TELEVISION / BRIEFING: Squeaky-clean strangeness

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The Independent Culture
Even before Northern Exposure has finished its run, Channel 4 is treating us to another small American town overrun with eccentrics. In the opening scenes of EERIE, INDIANA (6.30pm C4), our teenage hero, Marshall (Omri Katz), passes a formation lawn-mowing team and an Elvis lookalike. Marshall says: 'Eerie is, statistically speaking, the most normal town in the US . . . a place so wholesome, so squeaky- clean, you could only find it on TV.' Marshall is a wiseacre - he says of his sister, 'I don't think anybody who spells Cindy 'Syndi' should be allowed to operate a motor vehicle' - and the only person to see that there is something rotten in the state of Eerie. It is the sort of material that Joe Dante, the director, has already fingered in such films as Gremlins and The 'Burbs. In 'Foreverware', the first episode, Marshall rumbles 'a cult of housewife zombies who preserve themselves in giant rubber kitchenware'.

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