Eerie, Indiana

Common Sense Media says

Short-lived '90s series is more fun than frightful.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive messages

Kids see that looks can be deceiving, and that it's always better to learn the truth about a person or a strange situation than to judge it on its appearance alone. Of course, Marshall's investigations often turn up strange truths that lead to even more questions, but at least he diffuses his initial fear by yielding to his curiosity and compiling facts through investigation. Rarely the show touches on serious issues like death or homelessness.

Positive role models

Marshall's desire to uncover the truth leads him into some sketchy predicaments, all of which he tackles without his parents' knowledge or permission. In the real world, this would be a problem, but things always work out in this lighthearted show. Aside from disregarding all of his suspicions about the town, his parents are very involved in his life, and he often turns to them for guidance.

Violence & scariness

The show deals more in the bizarre and mysterious than in truly frightening stories, but a good portion of each episode builds the pretense that something sinister is going on. Some themes are worrisome in theory (a pack of dogs plotting to take over the town, or a ghost haunting a local building), but the show's light tone makes it hard to take these suggestion seriously. There is mention of death (and, in a couple of case, the characters fear for their lives). Occasionally there's some physical contact like slapping or pushing between characters.

Sexy stuff

Some flirting between teens.

Language

Very rarely "hell," plus playground talk like "shut up" among kids.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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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?

QUALITY
 

Originally airing in the early '90s and comprising only 19 episodes, Eerie, Indiana 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, this 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. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why this show 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?

TV details

Cast:Jason Marsden, Justin Shenkarow, Omri Katz
Network:Hulu
Genre:Drama
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires, Space and aliens
TV rating:TV-Y7
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Eerie, Indiana was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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