|Article from 1991 about Eerie, Indiana when it first aired
||[Dec. 1st, 2015|11:00 am]
|[||Tags|||||actor: omri katz, char: elvis, creator: joe dante, creator: jose rivera, creator: karl schaeffer, discussion: episode, ep: foreverware, ep: heart on a chain, ep: scariest home movies, ep: the losers, ep: the lost hour, ep: the retainer, fanworks: reviews, interview||]|
Oh, Tom Jicha, whoever you are, why couldn't everyone in '91 have as good taste as you clearly possessed?
Tv Look Boring? Try A Trip To `Eerie`
Text of the article behind the cut, just in case:
Tv Look Boring? Try A Trip To `Eerie`
September 15, 1991|By TOM JICHA, TV/Radio Writer
The creative team behind Eerie, Indiana talks a great show. Their outline of plots for their new NBC series exhibits more imagination than can be found in a dozen other newcomers combined.
Talking a great series is no big deal in Hollywood. Virtually everyone in show business can do that. This is why so many abominable projects get on the air. What`s significant about the Eerie, Indiana crew is that they seem capable of delivering.
The pilot episode, which airs at 7:30 tonight on WTVJ-Ch. 4 and WPTV-Ch. 5, is the most creative premiere of the fall. It`s such an enjoyable half-hour it could coin a new genre -- ``science fun-tasy.``
Eerie, Indiana, is so normal it`s weird. The problem is 13-year-old Marshall Teller seems to be the only one who notices. It doesn`t strike anyone else as strange that a man named Elvis Presley picks up his mail at an address in Eerie. Or that the mailman packs a sidearm. And wait until you meet the representative of Foreverware (Eerie`s version of Tupperware).
In spite of Marshall`s efforts to alert them to the rampant weirdness, the unfazed includes his family. They think Marshall is merely rebelling against having to relocate from his beloved New Jersey. Because Eerie is so statistically average, Marshall`s father, a product tester for Things Inc., was assigned to relocate there.
The only soulmate Marshall can find is his lonely, impressionable 10-year-old neighbor, Simon, who becomes his sleuthing partner.
In the premiere, this means checking out something really bizarre -- even by Eerie standards -- about the Foreverware lady`s twin sons.
The second episode will see Marshall and Simon discover that an experimental dental retainer allows you to hear what dogs are thinking. This is an alarming turn of events inasmuch as they learn of an impending canine coup, which will commence as soon as the dogs solve the complexities of the doorknob.
Further down the road, the youngsters will become lost in time when they challenge Indiana`s refusal to embrace the concept of daylight-saving time.
Ever wonder where lost objects wind up? Marshall and Simon track them to the World of Lost Stuff, an enormous underground warehouse below (where else?) Eerie, Indiana.
A Halloween show will have Simon`s baby brother changing places with a mummy in a TV movie.
There will even be an episode in which Mr. Presley offers Marshall a tip on how to impress a young lady. ``Buy her a Cadillac.``
Omri Katz, who played J.R. Ewing`s son for eight seasons on Dallas, is Marshall, and seems to have the perfect sense of humor for his material. Asked what advice Larry Hagman had given him during the years they worked together, Katz deadpanned, ``He said, `Don`t smoke.```
Francis Guinan plays Marshall`s father, Edgar; Mary-Margaret Humes is his mother, Marilyn, an aspiring party planner; Julie Condra is Marshall`s younger sister, Syndi, and Justin Shenkarow is Simon Holmes.
The inspired zaniness is the product of Karl Schaefer and Jose Rivera. Schaefer won a Writers Guild Award for his first series, TV 101. Rivera parlayed winning a play-writing contest conducted by CBS into a staff writing job for Norman Lear`s Embassy Television and later was awarded a Fulbright Arts Fellowship.
Rivera was working on the concept for a teen-age Twilight Zone when he was introduced to Schaefer, who was trying to develop a modern day Tom Sawyer idea. They put their ideas together and created Eerie, Indiana.
Joe Dante, whose credits include Gremlins II and episodes of The Twilight Zone and Police Squad, directed the pilot and will do at least three more episodes.
Speaking of The Twilight Zone, a lot of TV writers began to hum the theme music when Schaefer recounted a strange coincidence.
``I was shocked to find out that there are actually two Eries in Indiana. Not spelled with three E`s, but two. And the kid who has the retainer in the second episode is named Steve Concolusky. I pulled that name out of a hat. It turns out there really is a Steve Concolusky in Erie, Indiana ... and his father`s a lawyer.``
Premiere: Tonight at 7:30 on WTVJ-Ch. 4 and WPTV-Ch. 5.
Airs: Sundays, 7:30 p.m.
Starring: Omri Katz as Marshall Teller; Justin Shenkarow as his pal, Simon; Francis Guinan as Marshall`s father; Mary-Margaret Humes as his mother and Julie Condra as his sister, Syndi.
Jicha says: A constant (and deserved) criticism of television is that it rarely attempts anything daring or imaginative. Eerie, Indiana gets points on both counts. It might not be enough to scare people away from 60 Minutes, but it`s worth taping for enjoyment later.
Also, holy crap, there was a real Steve Concolusky in the real Erie, Indiana.