Eerie, Indiana - ATM with a Heart of Gold
Lacking any real friends because his best friend, Marshall, was hanging out with two popular skateboarder types his own age, Simon befriends the AI of an ATM machine at Eerie’s local bank named Mr. Wilson. Soon Mr. Wilson offers Simon money in exchange for friendship! Eventually that money (taken from the accounts of the citizens of Eerie) leads to the town’s near bankruptcy. Simon’s obsession with the money because the skateboarder teens start paying attention to him could end up costing Marshall’s dad his job and potential investigation! Not as wall-to-wall weird as the previous two episodes of Eerie, Indiana, with mainly the square face of Mr. Wilson (his bright pearly whites, spinning bowtie, and black-rimmed glasses certainly giving him that nerdy appearance) and his robotic hand spitting out cash for his buddy Simon providing the odd in oddball. Gabriel Damon (Robocop 2; Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Scott Weinger (Full House) are the teens Simon wants to impress. Gregory Itzin is the poor mayor who keeps his chin up and political enthusiasm in check despite developments that could land him in jail or, at the very least, community service! This is primarily about Marshall determining that his friendship with Simon is quite important and money doesn’t provide full satisfaction in life. Simon understands this as the town around them goes broke and the two doooods he thought were his friends couldn’t bother to remember his name, just cool with him because he buys them lots of ice cream and candy. And as the return of what was offered in friendship transpires, Mr. Wilson’s personality reverts back to its intended form: not developing human traits but becoming a functioning machine just doing what it was built for. So instead of evolving it is returning to its original state…there’s kind of a tragedy in that. That it all ends happy ever after is preposterous, but the show is known for that.