Disney has been busy rebooting their classic shows, like That's So Raven, and channeling that '90s feeling again with Andi Mack, but their best series is being left out of the conversation. At least in my humble opinion. I'm talking about the outstanding So Weird, quite possibly the most ambitious supernatural show for kids ever made. For those who may have forgotten about this gem, the series followed Fiona Phillips, the daughter of a former rock star who took her family on the road for her comeback tour. Each week, Fiona would arrive in a new town where she would encounter trolls, ghosts, sirens, and even angels. It sounds simple enough, but what set So Weird apart was the overarching story of Fiona's quest to find out how her father died.
There's no denying the show used The X-Files as its template, but seeing the world of the supernatural through the eyes of a computer-savvy teenage girl was a different experience entirely. During the first two seasons, before an ill-advised Fiona-less third outing, Fiona's journey took some truly harrowing turns.
These days it's hard to imagine Disney airing an episode of television like "Medium," in which a desperate Fiona tries to contact her dead father through a jaded psychic, or "Twin," in which Fiona's obsession with uncovering the truth about her father almost leads to her death. Through its examination of the lasting effects of grief and an original soundtrack that was more Stevie Nicks than Carly Rae Jepson, So Weird was decidedly mature in its themes, which garnered the series a wider fan base than your average Disney show.
The intricate mythology attracted adult fans, but So Weird resonated with its young viewers thanks to its honesty. Fiona's journey took a few silly turns (like the time she was turned into a dog), but the series always grounded its supernatural stories with an honest depiction of a family dealing with loss. By not talking down to kids and actually allowing things to get scary every now and then, So Weird stood apart from your average show aimed at tweens.
Despite being off the air for years, So Weird's fanbase endures with a podcast called The So Weird Podcast, which you can listen to on iTunes. While the show may just be a footnote in the history of Disney to the channel, for fans like myself, So Weird remains a classic for the way it introduced young viewers to a capable female lead with a vast knowledge of all things spooky.
Fiona was a hero who saved the day with her smarts and her impressive internet research skills. Her bravery and unrelenting desire to forge a connection with her father, even though she never truly got to know him, made her a compelling character to grow up with.
Maybe Disney will release So Weird from their vault one of these days, but even if the series never airs again, it will remain one of the best shows of the '90s.