The 1990s were a veritable cornucopia of bizarre and fascinating science fiction and fantasy shows for kids. We’ve already talked about The Magic School Bus, Captain Planet, Space Cases, and Animorphs, but no, we are far from done. For instance, we are just now getting to what is possibly the greatest kids' science fiction show of all time: So Weird.
The show ran from 1999-2001 on the Disney Channel and introduced its pre-teen audience to all manner of paranormal phenomena, including aliens, ghosts, astral projection, angels, monsters, and the terrifying mysteries of this brand-new thing called “the internet.” Seriously, the number of times the show’s characters deal with monsters and ghosts on the internet is incredible from today’s perspective. But in 1999, I suppose it made perfect sense.
You know what else made sense? The show’s protagonist, a teenage girl who is cursed by a Will-O-The-Wisp (an Irish imp spirit that is literally just a glowy ball with a really annoying accent) to encounter all these crazy monsters and demons no matter where she goes. And how does a teenager with no driver’s license manage to encounter these things? Well, by traveling with her mother, the rock star and her band around the country on tour.
Oh yes, this show also introduced a brand-new generation to Mackenzie Phillips. You know, after all those drugs and stuff.
Naturally, as a teenager in the late '90s/early '00s, Fi also had a blog — or at the very least a crappy little Geocities page — where she kept the world updated on her exploits.
How this girl managed to keep from getting locked up, I do not know.
The show was like X-Files lite, and much like its grown-up predecessor it either piqued your morbid childhood curiosity or gave you nightmares. Usually both. Yeah, definitely both. I still have nightmares about that damn Will-O-The-Wisp.
Eventually, though, all the ghosts and monsters and out-of-body experiences (and that one time she used her computer to see the future) begin to wear on our heroine, so she passes on her abilities to a brand-new teenage girl. This time, Alexz Johnson (pre-Instant Star), who not only encounters the same ridiculous paranormal activity but also seems to have a guardian spirit panther which does not give her panic attacks.
Oh, and apropos of nothing … Erik von Detten is in this show, and he plays a character named Clu which no one questions in the slightest.