"Eerie, Indiana" is on Sundays, 7: 00 p.m. on NBC, (Channel 4 locally). The show centers on the strange happenings of a small, midwestern town with a "Twilight Zone" appeal. Elvis, Bigfoot, and other interesting creatures, live in this generally weird town, population 1,666.
Omri Katz stars as Marshall Taylor, a young boy who has moved from New Jersey along with his family to Eerie. Marshall is a believable character who adds excitement to the show. He is confused by his new town, yet he tries to make the best of it with his closest friend, Simon (Justin Shenkerow), who is an Eerie native. Simon is used to all the high jinks of the town and tries to help Marshall adjust.
In one episode, Marshall and Simon meet a girl, Sarah Bob (Shanelle Workman), in a hectic diner amidst a group of rough-housing boys. Sarah Bob reveals the hyper youths as her brothers, who all share the middle name of Bob. Sarah impresses Marshall with her incredible drawings of people and objects. She has not signed any of her art work, so Marshall urges her to with a special Eerie No. 2 pencil he has just purchased in her honor. She signs a picture of his bike, which has been stolen. When Marshall exits the building, he finds his missing bike. He soon learns Sarah Bob's pencil has magical powers. He then confronts her at her home and finds the place in worse condition than the diner. Sarah Bob wishes for a mother to fill the space of the one who has departed, and a normal family. She pencils Marshall's mom in along with her perfect family. Marshall convinces Sarah Bob that he needs his mom too. She erases the sketch and her creations disappear. She quickly draws something else and she then disappears. The last picture is of her and another woman in Paris.
I really enjoyed this unusual half hour sitcom. The humor of the show is not a laugh track, but an odd, psychological humor. It was funny in its own mind-bending way. For example, in the closing credits, all the names had the middle name "Bob." The mix of horror, the occult, and comedy make for an interesting time. The script, the set, and the direction is all wonderful. I will try to watch this show whenever possible, even if I have to tape it.
The acting in this show is very good. Omri Katz manages to lead the whole cast by himself. This is a big accomplishment for a young adolescent. He is too old to be considered adorable and he is too young to be a hearthrob. Yet, he does a stupendous job as Marshall Taylor at the awkward stage of being a preteen.
I recommend "Eerie, Indiana" to anyone age eight and above. The show may be too spooky for the little ones, but it is also good to learn to laugh at fears. If you are going through an awkward time right now, try watching Marshall cope with his problems and everything will seem much simpler. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.