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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Eerie, Indiana is a '90s series about a teen who investigates strange happenings in his new hometown. Although the stories often center on spooky scenarios (a haunted house, an alien in the neighborhood, etc.), few kids will find the content truly scary because of the show's jovial tone and the dated special effects. The teen protagonist always takes matters into his own hands when he suspects something's not right in his neighborhood, so it's a good idea to remind your kids what they should do if they ever feel something's amiss at school or in their community. Ultimately, this show's clean content, humorous undertones, and comical pop-culture references make it a great pick for families.
What's the story?
Marshall Teller (Omri Katz) was far from thrilled when his parents relocated the family from New Jersey to the poky town of EERIE, INDIANA, but he soon discovers that there's more to its desolate appearance than meets the eye. Everywhere he turns he finds mysteries, from a neighbor who looks just like Elvis to twins down the street who haven't aged a day in 25 years, and, despite his parents' assurances that it's all in his head, Marshall sets out to uncover the truth behind the citizens of Eerie. Joining him in his adventures are his friend Simon (Justin Shenkarow) -- one of the few "normal" people Marshall has found in his new town -- and, in later episodes, the mysterious drifter Dash X (Jason Marsden).
Is it any good?
Originally airing in the early '90s and comprising only 19 episodes, this series is easily overlooked amid more modern offerings, but it's actually a great pick for family entertainment. Although the title suggests some frightful content, these aren't the typical jump-out-of-your-skin kind of scares, nor are there any truly "bad" guys. Instead, they touch on urban legends like Bigfoot and aliens, or they cast suspicion on hallmarks of suburban life like Tupperware parties, all in a lighthearted context that's entertaining for a range of ages.
Because the subject matter changes with each episode and your kids' sensitivity to one topic might be a bigger concern than to another, you might want to preview them before sharing them with your younger kids. For older kids, though, Eerie, Indiana is a fun, off-the-beaten-path throwback that's so entertaining you'll want to take in with them. What's more, you'll both have fun comparing the '90s-style special effects to what CGI offers us today.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Eerie, Indiana was so short-lived. Did you find it entertaining? Was it at all scary? Would a show like this succeed today?
What are the dangers of prejudging a person or a situation? Have you ever done that, only to find you were wrong after learning all the facts?
What are some of your favorite spine-tinglers? Do you like being scared by movies? What kinds of things are the most frightening to you?
- Premiere date: September 15, 1991
- Cast: Jason Marsden, Justin Shenkarow, Omri Katz
- Network: Hulu
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Space and Aliens
- Character strengths: Curiosity
- TV rating: TV-Y7
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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