It’s the weekend once again folks, and you know what that means: time to get drunk watching a kick-ass film.
This week it’s the turn of the one-season wonder Eerie, Indiana, debut, incredible first episode, Foreverware. Scroll for the rules!
Drink every time one of the following takes place:
- Someone says "Foreverware"
- A lid pops open or seals shut.
Down your drink when:
- Someone ages
BONUS! Make yourself sick if:
- The twins speak at the same time.
Among all the amazing content that Amazon Prime Video has been curating lately, the one-season wonder of Eerie, Indiana has invoked the most nostalgia. Filling the void of small-town weirdness vacated by Twin Peaks’ cancellation, Eerie, Indiana was an anthology series set in a town filled with strange occurrences investigated by teen Marshall Teller (Hocus Pocus’ Omri Katz) and his sidekick Simon (Justin Shenkarow). NBC boldly placed this family-friendly oddball show smack in the middle of prime-time network television during the 1991-1992 season, and enlisted a slew of well-regarded horror talent. Horror master Joe Dante directed the pilot, among a handful of other episodes, and stayed on as a creative consultant for the remainder of the series. Which meant he had a direct say in casting, and setting the initial tone. He even appears as himself in the ballsy meta finale. Critically adored, Eerie Indiana cleverly towed the line between light-hearted, quirky humor and its underlying darkness, but its unforgiving time slot and expensive production ultimately relegated it to a single season.
Had it aired just a few years later, when supernatural network series were really gaining momentum, Eerie, Indiana may have continued for many seasons. The word “may” being the key word, here, though, as it appeared that series creators Jose Rivera and Karl Shaefer were prepping to retool the series by episode 13 with a new lead in Dash X, the grey-haired mysterious teen without a past played by Jason Marsden channeling his inner Christian Slater. Considering Marshall and Simon were far more likable, I’m not sure this move would’ve worked.
Like most small towns, Eerie was a quaint small town that belied its hidden darkness below the surface. The structure of the entire series unfolded layers of complexity that isn’t as initially obvious in its family-friendly sci-fi/supernatural leanings. Marshall arrives in town from New Jersey, and his closest friend and ally is the much younger Simon. Why would a teen hang out with a boy of roughly nine years old? Episode 3 reveals Simon’s home life is extremely dark and broken, with a father that ignores his son in favor of bringing home multiple women at a time.
The series also had a knack for doling out adult jokes and kid appropriate jokes in equal measures. Marshall’s dad referring to the homeless bum in episode 15 as the town’s sole liberal, followed by Simon’s inquisitive, “What’s a liberal?” induced a chuckle. More than the humor, though, is the show’s ability to retain continuity. Unlike a lot of anthology series, what happens in Eerie is never forgotten and the writers ensure that consequences and findings of episodes reverberate. At least if you pay attention.
With episodes directed by Dante, Bob Balaban (Parents, My Boyfriend’s Back), and Tim Hunter (Twin Peaks, River’s Edge, Hannibal, and notable guest appearances by a young Tobey Maguire, Danielle Harris, and recurring appearances by John Astin (Gomez Addams of The Addams Family) and Harry Goaz playing a much straighter police officer than his Twin Peaks oafish counterpart, Eerie, Indiana was years ahead of its time. Though it fared much better during reruns, garnering a new fan base, the time for this underappreciated series has long lapsed. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy its sole season for what it is; clever fun for the burgeoning horror fan with a high rewatch factor.
We want to terrify you!