Marshall Teller has been uprooted from his beloved home in
New Jersey to Eerie, Indiana. This particular town seems at
first to be the most normal place in the world, but Marshall
soon discovers that there's more to Eerie than meets the eye.
Underneath the illusion of reality, Eerie is swarming with
weird stuff, women who seal themselves in Tupperware, werewolves,
even Elvis who lives on Marshall's paper route. The only person
that believes him is his new friend, ten-year-old Simon Holmes.
Together they decide to investigate Eerie's weirdness keeping
a record of what they unearth...
series gets off on the right foot with the bizarre Forever
Ware. In this episode the Teller's have only just moved
into Eerie, and their very first visitor is an oddly dressed
woman (who looks like she's just stepped out of the '60s)
who wants to invite Marilyn Teller over to get to meet some
of the other mums in Eerie. Of course she has an ult-eerie-r
(geddit?) motive - she is the local party organiser for a
range of plastic ware known as Forever Ware. But when Marshall
and Simon discover a secret about this strange woman they
have a hard time getting Marshall's mother to listen - mainly
as she's become a Forever Ware addict.
is one of the series's best episodes, with the others being
a bit of a mixed bag. When they get it right, then this is
a great series, but when they go all mushy everything seems
to fall apart.
second episode, The Retainer, and everything is still
going strong. We get to see a little more of the Teller's
dysfunctional family life, and we get to meet one of Simon
and Marshall's school friends, Steve. Steve gets a retainer
(better known as braces to us Brits) from his dentist. But
once he has it on he can hear the thoughts of any dog within
barking distance. This episode stars Vincent Schiavelli (who
you'll recognise from his roles in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's
Nest, Ghost, Tomorrow
and Batman Returns) as the dentist.
not until the third episode, ATM With a Heart of Gold,
that some very small cracks start to show. It's not that it's
a particularly bad episode, just a little corny. Having
said that, this has got one of the show's best scenes. Marshall
pops over to Simon's house. Off camera we can hear a man and
a woman laughing and fooling around. Marshall says: "Sounds
like your parents are having fun." To which Simon simply
says: "Mum's not home." It's such a casual, throw
away line, that you may well miss it. But, it had my laughing
like a fool for some considerable time.
episode also sees the first appearance of Gregory Itzin (who
Star Trek fans will know from his various roles in the
franchise. He also played President Charles Logan on 24)
as Mayor Chisel.
worry not, the very next episode, The Losers, and we
are back on form. The episode stars Dick Miller (who is probably
most famous for starring in another Joe Dante production -
and examines where everyday household objects go when they
vanish into thin air. While this is a good episode, I thought
the long and drawn out scene at the Ministry of Lost (or whatever
it was called) was a little too boring. These episodes are
only 20 mins and it's a little bit odd when the writers have
trouble filling that time with quality material.
next few episodes are pretty dull, and in the case of Heart
on a Chain, downright slushy pap - as is the following
episode The Dead Letter. In fact, the only noteworthy
mention of this clichéd "dead boy still in love
with a living girl" script is that Tobey Maguire (of
fame) guest stars as the ghost, Tripp McConnell.
Who is another great episode. Marshall meets a girl called
Sarah Bob who can make any of her drawings come to life by
simply signing them. The highlight, for me, was Marshall and
Simon turning up at Sarah's house and discovering what a nightmare
world she lived in - she basically has to run-around after
her siblings and father, who treat her like a maid. But she
soon turns them into the perfect family with hilarious results.
As all of Sarah's family are called something "Bob"
(including little Bob Bob) the closing credits add a "Bob"
in the middle of most of the crew's names.
Lost Hour sees Marshall inhabiting an empty Eerie because
he puts his clock back an hour - Eerie doesn't have daylight
saving. This results in him being whisked away into a parallel
universe (for some reason). Here he meets a strange old man
who drives a milk float. This is where the show pays homage
to Back to the Future - kind of. It's not a bad episode,
but I could see the surprise, at the end, coming a mile off.
Theory of Believability is a bit of a dull affair, although
it has one of the best pantomime villains you are every likely
to see - shame he didn't have a moustache he could twirl.
But the spoof alien artefact idea was pretty funny.
Days stars Matt Frewer (Max Headroom, Honey I Shrunk
the Kids, Taken)
as a tornado hunter. This is sort of like a cross between
Groundhog Day and Twister (if you can imagine
such a thing) and is rather dull.
Hole in the Head Gang is very dull and introduces us to
another regular character called Dash X. To be honest it's
obvious the the writers don't really know what to do with
him, and that he has only been included to help make the series
appeal to teenage girls. Not much happens. Marshall and Simon
meet a rubbish bank robber's ghost.
Chaney is an interesting episode, although the title spoils
the main surprise in the tale. There is also a really interesting
speech by the Mayor - basically he explains that no one in
Eerie really wants to know about things that are going on
that are bad. Why? Because if they did then they would have
to do something about it. I think that's something that can
be said about the general populace of any Western civilisation.
next three episodes are nothing too exciting (No Brain,
No Pain, The Loyal Order of the Corn and Zombies
in P.J.s - which has a truly embarrassing role for Rene Auberjonois,
who Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fans will know as Odo).
Takes a Holiday is great fun, and would have played better
as the show's final episode. This sees Marshall discovering
that his life is really a TV show, that his family are simply
actors and his home is a set. There are some great scenes
here. Joe Dante guest stars; a Back to the Future DeLorean
appears on set; and Marshall's mum starts talking about the
time when she cried because her character was killed on Jake
and the Fatman (a show the actress did indeed appear in).
series is rounded off with Broken Record, which sees
a rebellious young teenager clash with his overbearing father,
when the teenager starts to listen to loud heavy metal music.
However the father is a little disturbed to find that his
worse fears are realised when he starts playing his son's
records backwards. There is indeed a hidden message.
are also quiet a few in-gags throughout this series. For starters
every now and then familiar characters from another episode
will turn up in the background, which is a great touch. Also,
I was curious to know what on earth the ongoing problem with
milk floats in Eerie was all about. They seem to be involved
in more than a few accidents.
the end of the day this is a pretty enjoyable show. It's funny
and, at times, quite subtle in its delivery. The
only real downside is that the picture quality is not that
much better than VHS and there are no extras. But then with
a show as fun as this, who really wants to listen to audio