- “You can't be afraid to think outside the box.”
- ―Fiona "Fi" Phillips
So Weird is a television series shot in Vancouver, British Columbia that aired on the Disney Channel as a midseason replacement from January 18, 1999 to September 28, 2001. In season one and season two, the series centered around teenage girl Fiona Phillips (Cara DeLizia) who toured with her rock star mom (Mackenzie Phillips), encountering paranormal activity along the way.
The series was compared to the Fox TV series The X-Files since it took a darker tone than other Disney Channel Originals. The third and final season Disney replaced Cara DeLizia (due to her wanting to pursue future projects outside of Disney) with actress Alexz Johnson playing Annie Thelen. Production ceased after 65 episodes.
- Cara DeLizia as Fiona 'Fi' Phillips (seasons 1–2) - The series' main protagonist, who left at the beginning of season three to live with her aunt and try to have a "normal life". Fi set up a website called So Weird, which was shown in episode one and appeared until season three. On this website she posts her strange experiences and finds a community that shares her belief in the paranormal. Fi has a vast knowledge of all things paranormal and an eye for detail. In "Strangeling" and "Banshee," it is hinted that she is part witch on her grandmother's side. In "OOPA," it is shown that she has a psychic connection to an ancient computing device from Atlantis. Fi lost her father in a car accident when she was three years old. In "Strange Geometry", Fi learns that her father was obsessed with the same weird things that she investigates. The will-o'-the-wisp known as Bricriu says that this may have led to his death in "Destiny". Fi's father's death and its increasingly mysterious circumstances acts as a double season-long story arc over seasons 1 and 2.
- Mackenzie Phillips as Molly Phillips - Fi and Jack's mother, widow of Rick Phillips. She opened once in "Encore" instead of Fi. Molly had a bit of a rocky relationship with her father, apparently starting when she was a rebellious teenager. She wrote a song about him called "The Rock" in "Banshee" to make peace with him. She kept the knowledge that Rick also investigated paranormal activity secret from Fi, saying "he became obsessed with it". She doesn't share Fi's strong belief in the paranormal, but she does support her daughter. Bricriu possessed her in "Destiny" to stop Fi from learning the truth about her father's accident and supposedly to also protect her mother from the spirit world. But the part about protecting Fi is questionable since he goes so far as trapping a pyrophobiac mechanic (who pulled Rick from the car the day of his death) and Fi in a burning building.
- Alexz Johnson as Annie Thelen (season 3) - Family friend of the Phillips', she moves in with the Phillips' after Fi leaves for her aunt's to try to have a "normal life". Fi gives Annie a ring that previously belonged to her father, that serves as a gateway for Annie's adventure into the paranormal world. There is always a mysterious black panther around just as something 'weird' is happening, which she later finds outs is her spirit guide.
- Patrick Levis as Jack Phillips - Although he is Fi's older brother, Jack doesn't believe in paranormal activity and is the series' most staunch skeptic. Jack is very protective of Fi, as well as Molly as seen in "Fathom." He once opened the show in the episode "Avatar" instead of Fi, and opened the episode "Dead Ringer" instead of Annie. Bricriu possessed him in "Will o' the Wisp" to supposedly "protect" Fi from others in the spirit world, others who didn't like her investigations of the paranormal. He meets his girlfriend Gabe in "Angels", whom he keeps in touch with long-distance and went to visit in "Fall".
- Erik von Detten as Clu Bell - Carey's younger brother, Ned and Irene's son, Clu is more accepting of Fi's paranormal theories. She often takes him along when investigating. He got into college in "Mutiny". He tends to have a rather goofy laid back attitude, much like his brother Carey but more so. Still, he can be rather responsible such as when he helped Jack study for his driver's license in "Rebecca".
- Eric Lively as Carey Bell (seasons 2–3) - Clu's older brother, he was introduced in "Siren". He goes along more with Fi's paranormal ideas, and sometimes comes up with his own, as shown in "Avatar". He dropped out of college and joined Molly's band against Irene's wishes in "Listen". When he was in the hospital for tonsillitis in the episode "James Garr", Fi discovers that his roommate had been cryogenically frozen.
- Belinda Metz as Irene Bell - Molly's band manager. She has a younger sister with whom she never got along after she washed her "ratty stuffed bunny" and made it into a "clean soft bunny", a brother-in-law named Kevin, and a young nephew named Danny, who pulled Clu, Fi, and Jack into his dreams because he wanted help to deal with "the monster" (it turned out he was having nightmares because of his parents constant fighting, something they resolved to try to fix for Danny's sake) in "Nightmare".
- Dave Ward as Ned Bell - Drives Molly's tour bus; he was possessed by a claustrophobic sea captain in "Mutiny". He went home to visit his childhood friend Sam, who was being haunted by a vision of their friend Pete, who had died in a bad fall over river rocks. He was Fi's, Clu's and Jack's home school teacher while on the road. In "Troll" he mentions he has Viking ancestors.
Season 1 (1999)
|1||"Family Reunion"||January 18, 1999||Molly Phillips, a touring musician, prepares to perform at a Chicago waterfront; her daughter, Fi, investigates the drowning death of a boy on the SS Eastland that still haunts the building where his body was brought following the disaster, present-day Harpo Productions.|
|2||"Web Sight"||January 18, 1999||An anonymous emailer sends Fi articles, sound-bits, and videos that predict the future.|
|3||"Memory"||January 25, 1999||En route to Tulsa, Fi and the gang visit a town in Oklahoma where it seems that aliens have repressed the memories of everyone in the entire town after their ship crash landed the previous night.|
|4||"Sacrifice"||February 1, 1999||While lost in the woods Fi helps a Bigfoot-like creature remain undetected by humans and learns about a brave soldier who gave his life for the creature.|
|5||"Escape"||February 8, 1999||Fi and Jack visit a carnival where Fi is haunted by a ghost who wants to play, but Fi discovers that the "ghost" is really the soul of a stressed-out girl who uses astral projection to escape her problems.|
|6||"Simplicity"||February 15, 1999||The gang stop at a town called "Simplicity" where gremlins are destroying everything mechanical.|
|7||"Angel"||February 22, 1999||Fi thinks a strange man that ran Molly's bus off the road may be The Angel of Death, with an important message for Fi about a local farm girl.|
|8||"Strangeling"||March 1, 1999||While visiting her aunt and twin cousins, Fi inadvertently conjures up a creature using a Celtic spell.|
|9||"Rebecca"||March 15, 1999||While in a small town for a gig, Molly runs into a girl who looks exactly like one of her childhood friends, Rebecca, claiming to be Rebecca's daughter; however, Fi soon finds out that Rebecca's "daughter" is actually Rebecca herself, who belongs to a secret clan of immortals.|
|10||"Tulpa"||March 29, 1999||Fi tries to help a boy who has a destructive imaginary friend (a tulpa).|
|11||"Singularity"||April 5, 1999||Clu becomes lost in a wormhole in a curmudgeon's back yard and it's up to Fi to save him.|
|12||"Lost"||April 12, 1999||Fi uses the computer game SimCity to help a hospitalized woman escape the confines of her mind and wake up from her decade-long coma.|
|13||"Will o' the Wisp"||April 26, 1999||While viewing the ghost lights of Marfa, a mischievous will o' the wisp takes over Jack's body and freezes time leaving Fi to decipher the riddle of his name or the creature will inhabit Jack's body permanently.|
Season 2 (1999–2000)
|14||"Medium"||August 27, 1999||Fi tries to contact her dad through a real medium who spends his time debunking fake mediums and has no interest in using his own talents.|
|15||"Drive"||September 3, 1999||Jack and Clu buy a car that belonged to a man whose wife died while he was trying to drive to the hospital to help her (she had earlier had a heart attack). It's spirit forces its driver to head for the hospital to complete its Earthly mission.|
|16||"Siren"||September 10, 1999||When Carey falls for a young female singer with a beautiful voice, Fi discovers that the girl is a siren (a bird-woman from Greek mythology who seduces men with her singing voice) and is being exploited by Molly's ex-manager.|
|17||"Nightmare"||September 17, 1999||Fi, Jack and Clu find that they are all having the same nightmare, all related to a frightened little boy.|
|18||"Listen"||September 24, 1999||As the band is doing a concert at a local farm town for charity, Fi notices that the townspeople have the ability to read minds and discovers that it may have been caused by eating wheat from a field that was branded by a crop circle.|
|19||"Mutiny"||October 1, 1999||Clu finds a piece of driftwood from a sunken ship and Ned becomes possessed by the spirit of a sea captain who was on the ship when it sunk.|
|20||"Boo"||October 8, 1999||A Halloween gig in a strange New England town called Rhiannon turns into a nightmare when Fi discovers that the spirits of the dead walk the night on Halloween and lure the living back to their graves.|
|21||"Werewolf"||October 15, 1999||While at a bed and breakfast, Fi suspects that the animal preying on local farms may be a werewolf.|
|22||"Second Generation"||October 22, 1999||Fi meets a young man who's really the clone of his genius scientist father.|
|23||"Oopa"||November 5, 1999||When a rich but nerdy computer genius is attracted to Molly, Fi gets the opportunity to examine a mysterious out of place artifact that turns out to be an ancient computing device.|
|24||"Banshee"||November 12, 1999||Fi fears that a banshee has come to announce the impending death of her grandfather.|
|25||"Strange Geometry"||November 19, 1999||As Molly shoots a music video in an abandoned building, Fi discovers a portal to the spirit world and can't resist entering it.|
|26||"Fountain"||December 10, 1999||While the family prepares for Christmas, a depressed Fi stumbles upon a 1950s-style soda shop and eats an ice cream sundae that takes her back in time first to when she was 12 then younger until 3 when her father was alive.|
|27||"Fall"||January 7, 2000||Ned's childhood friend, Sam, gets caught up in the reenactment of a tragic childhood accident where Ned and Sam watched their best friend die.|
|28||"Destiny"||January 21, 2000||The Will o' the Wisp that once possessed Jack, returns and this time jumps into Molly and once again plays with Fi's mind and reveals a secret to her.|
|29||"Blues"||February 11, 2000||Fi discovers that a murdered blues singer is channelling the mortal world when everyone in Fi's family begins singing one of his songs.|
|30||"Avatar"||February 25, 2000||Molly, Jack and Carey find themselves trapped in a succession of virtual realities by a lonely young man, while Fi tries to figure out where they are.|
|31||"James Garr"||March 18, 2000||Fi discovers that Carey's hospital roommate was revived after being cryogenically frozen in an experiment.|
|32||"Troll"||April 1, 2000||A troll stops the gang at a bridge and turns the ones who can't answer 7 questions into vegetables.|
|33||"Fathom"||April 22, 2000||Jack thinks their mother's new love interest is a merman.|
|34||"Roswell"||May 6, 2000||Fi meets a homeless man who turns out to be in possession of an artifact from the 1947 Roswell UFO crash.|
|35||"Vampire"||May 20, 2000||Fi learns that an online study program, OSSN, is actually a cover for a group of vampires, and they are looking to make Jack a member of their clan.|
|36||"Shelter"||June 3, 2000||When Fi tries to expose abuse at an animal shelter, an insane veterinarian injects her with a serum that turns Fi into a dog.|
|37||"Encore"||August 12, 2000||Flooded by memories of Rick and all the strange things that have happened while on the road, Molly decides to end the tour and go home, much to Fi's dismay.|
|38||"Transplant"||August 19, 2000||Fi thinks an old family friend who just got a heart transplant may be possessed by the donor when he loses his ability to play the guitar and slowly goes insane.|
|39||"Twin"||August 19, 2000||Fi believes her dead father is trying to communicate from beyond the grave through his fraternal twin sister.|
Season 3 (2000–2001)
Although this season appealed to a younger audience due to its lighter tone, ratings declined.
|40||"Lightning Rod"||August 28, 2000||Fi decides to go live with her aunt for the school year in order to forget the supernatural and resume a normal life, receiving another visit from the Will 'O Wisp Bricriu , at the same time that Annie Thelen, a family friend joins the tour. Fi learns that Annie has a supernatural aura around her too, especially when Bricrui mentions that Annie is protected.
Note: This is Cara DeLizia's final appearance in the series.
|41||"Talking Board"||September 7, 2000||Annie and her friends play with a Ouija board that seems to be able to predict the future for real.|
|42||"Detention"||September 14, 2000||While visiting Molly's old high school, Jack and Annie get trapped in a time warp by a strange watch that puts them into a detention class in the 1970s.|
|43||"Eddie's Desk"||September 21, 2000||While still in Hope Springs, Annie meets a ghost of a boy. Meanwhile, Clu comes home from college for a visit.|
|44||"Voodoo"||September 28, 2000||Annie and the gang meet an old family friend of Annie's, who curses Molly and Annie (accidentally) by way of voodoo.|
|45||"Banglebye"||October 5, 2000||All the kids in town become obsessed with a new video game, but Annie soon discovers that the video game was designed to brainwash the children into behaving properly.|
|46||"Rewind"||October 12, 2000||Molly stops by a recording studio headed by a woman who uses the recording equipment to steal musical talent and transfer it into her reluctant daughter. Meanwhile, Annie hears a strange backwards message while in the studio that may be a warning.|
|47||"Exit 13"||October 19, 2000||At a rest stop, en route to Niagara Falls, Annie buys a mysterious Native American stone from a man name Ziegler and learns the hard way that the stone causes bad luck for its owner… and sends people in a time loop. The events of the day continue to repeat themselves until Annie helps the girl engraved on the stone reconnect with her twin sister.|
|48||"Carnival"||November 2, 2000||While visiting a carnival, Molly and the gang are kidnapped and brainwashed into becoming sideshow freaks while Annie tries to search for a way to break the spell.|
|49||"Earth 101"||November 9, 2000||When Annie encounters two aliens studying humans, namely Molly and Ned, they all are delayed from Thanksgiving dinner with Fi.
Note: Although many fans of the show mistake Cara DeLizia for appearing in the show, Fi's cameo appearance is actually created by using a vocal recording and a look-alike stand-in.
|50||"Beeing There"||November 16, 2000||En route to their next concert, the gang stop by a town called Hiveburg, where the people act like bees.|
|51||"Changeling"||December 7, 2000||Annie and the boys are stuck babysitting a strange creature called a changeling.|
|52||"Snapshot"||December 14, 2000||Annie encounters an ambitious photographer whose camera has stolen the townspeople's souls and trapped them in her photographs.|
|53||"Still Life"||December 21, 2000||Molly buys an unusual painting that sucks everyone in… and Annie learns that the artist who created the picture trapped himself inside it to escape the real world.|
|54||"Grave Mistake"||March 2, 2001||The Phillips' old family friend, Margaret comes to visit and brings along the ghost of her dead husband who urges her to join her in the afterlife.|
|55||"Pen Pal"||March 16, 2001||When two parallel worlds collide, Annie enlists Fi's help to correct the collision and learns that only one Annie can survive in the world and must fight for her rightful space.|
|56||"The Muse"||April 6, 2001||Annie thinks a brash young man named Quinn may be a muse who can give anyone inspiration to do anything creative.|
|57||"The Great Incanto"||May 4, 2001||After picking up a young magician hitchhiking, Annie learns he stole his former master's bag of magic and now the Great Incanto wants it back and will stop at nothing to get it.|
|58||"Meow"||May 11, 2001||When visiting an Egyptian museum, Annie encounters a cat who once belonged to an Egyptian Princess, who now wants her beloved pet back.|
|59||"Widow's Walk"||June 8, 2001||An old woman who waited fifty years to see her husband wishes she were young again… and ends up switching bodies with Annie when Annie wishes to be old enough to have the same privileges as Jack and Carey.|
|60||"Babble"||June 29, 2001||While at school, Annie discovers that the new boy owns a stone from the ancient biblical Tower of Babel that causes people to speak unintelligible languages instead of English.|
|61||"Gone Fishin'"||August 10, 2001||With Molly on vacation, Irene takes Annie and Jack on a fishing trip where Annie discovers that the lake used to be a flooded town and the townspeople have now evolved into sea monsters that attack the people of the new town.|
|62||"Mr. Magnetism"||August 17, 2001||During a school science fair, Annie meets a troubled boy who gains the power of magnetism and uses it to abuse others.|
|63||"Dead Ringer"||August 24, 2001||Alone in the house, Jack believes he's being haunted by his dead neighbor over something he did when he was six years old.|
|64||"Annie's Song"||September 7, 2001||While at a Native American tourist site, Annie meets a shaman who shows Annie her past, revealing the reason why the black panther is her spirit guide.|
|65||"The River"||September 28, 2001||In this clip show episode, Ziegler from "Exit 13" gives Annie a package, containing a spell that makes the gang lose their memory about Annie. Annie tries to refresh everyone's memories using anecdotes from their past adventures.|
The season began with Fiona Phillips on tour with her famous rocker mother Molly, brother Jack, a skeptic, bus driver Ned, his wife Irene, and their son Clu. Stringing together all of Fi's paranormal encounters was her search to communicate with her father, who died when she was three years old. Fi first "encountered" her father in the second episode titled "Web Sight" where an unknown force sent her internet articles warning her of the future. From alien invasions, time warps, and ghosts, Fi faced 13 episodes worth of paranormal activity. Also encountered: one powerful tulpa, a Bigfoot, angels, and more significantly, the Will o' the Wisp. The season finale featured Jack becoming possessed by a hyperactive Scottish Will o' the Wisp, also known as a Spunkie.
The Spunkie told Fi she could save her brother from his control by speaking his one true name, which was only seven letters. Fi found the spirit's one true name, Bricriu,therefore saving her brother. Bricriu had offered to protect Fi from evil spirits who had battled her father and had also offered to give her contact with her late father in return for being allowed to possess her brother. She thought he was lying therefore rejected his offer. He reappears in later episodes to keep her away from other spirits and people who claims are a threat to her, depending on how one reads it, this may be seen as evidence he was telling the truth, but this is questionable at best, especially since in one episode he tried to prevent her from talking to a person who knew her father and wanted to give her information.
The second season was even darker than the first, playing out over twenty-six episodes. The premiere picked up with Molly taking time off the tour to record an album. Fi and friend Candy meet a medium who is proven to be a fraud. However, the one who uncovers the fake is actually a medium himself who aids Fi in contacting her father through music on his old guitar.
The character of Clu was reduced during the season, as he went off to college, and his brother Carey was introduced to fill in the gap. Many classic beasts surfaced within the season, including vampires, werewolves, banshees, trolls, sirens, and merfolk. In a pivotal episode, Fi learned that her father investigated the same kinds of supernatural events that Fi did. In fact, this was exactly what led to his death. Upon learning this, Fi is angered by her mother's deceit in covering up the truth about her father. Molly was eventually possessed by Bricriu, the same Will o' the Wisp as Jack was in season one. Fi discovered that Will o' the Wisps or other dark powers, though not necessarily Bricriu himself, may have killed her father, resulting in the accident that police had assumed took his life.
In this episode Bricriu tried to kill a former firefighter who had been present at Rick's car crash and was aware that Fi's dad had been dead, with no apparent cause, before the car crashed. Following this episode, Fi had further contact with her father, as the answer to a troll's question - Faith - was revealed on her computer and a plethora of cell phones. Fi briefly time traveled to her third year, when her father was still alive, in the episode "Fountain".
The season ended with Fi discovering her father's twin sister received encoded messages from him in her sleep. The messages led Fi to a rooftop where she was attacked by a three-headed demon and saved by the ghost of her father. He left her with a message that the spirit world was angry with her and would try to stop her investigation about the paranormal. At last, Fi got the proper farewell to her father that she had been searching for. Many DeLizia fans consider this a proper, if not entirely fulfilling, finale.
After skewing somewhat dark and intricate in its second season, the show was forced into a lighter tone for its final batch of episodes. Cara DeLizia left after the first episode, which introduced family friend Annie Thelen. Fi had yet another encounter with Bricriu. In this episode her family turn into plants and animals and Fi has to go to Bricriu for help in saving them. He does and then he convinces her to give up investigating the occult to save her family, which spirit world threatened because of its anger at Fi's intrusions. Fi, who still didn't trust Bricriu even though he claimed he was trying to help, trapped him in a floppy disk. The attraction to the occult, manifested in the ring her father gave her, was passed on to Annie as Fi went to live with her aunt. Molly moved the family to a new, brightly colored house.
Annie's story arc was the mystery behind a spirit guide that followed her in the form of a panther. Her character was also musically talented, and episodes featured more of her singing than that of the older Mackenzie Phillips. The season's stories were a far cry from previous episodes, playing such plots as being sucked into a painting (which directly followed an episode of people being sucked into photographs), a stone from the Tower of Babel that caused xenoglossy and a detention class that never ended.
Cara DeLizia never reappeared in the season, however Fi was still prevalent in many episodes via e-mail. She made a brief appearance in the episode "Earth 101" by a look-a-like, and in the final episode, although in the final it was only a rerun clip from the first episode of the season. The mystery of the panther was solved: when Annie was three and living in the Amazon she saved a young tribesman at risk to her own life. His tribe, in turn, saved her and his father took on the form of the panther to always protect her as thanks for her selfless act.
After 65 episodes, Disney ceased production. After the show ended, reruns of the series were pushed further and further back in the schedule. In September 2003, So Weird was removed from the Disney Channel schedule altogether, and has not aired since.
Cast changes and guest appearances
- Erik von Detten was snatched up by Disney when the show was in its second season. While he was used in two network projects, the sitcom Odd Man Out and the fantasy series Dinotopia (both aired on ABC), von Detten returned in the third season in several guest spots. Eric Lively meanwhile replaced him.
- Despite many rumors, producers confirm that Cara DeLizia left after season two to pursue other projects before Disney had decided to revamp the show. DeLizia's departure was the first time that a Disney Channel original series in which the lead actor departed a series during its run (the only other series this has occurred is Sonny with a Chance, whose lead actress Demi Lovato left due to health issues). In the season three episode "Earth 101," Fi's cameo appearance was done through past vocal footage and a look-alike stand-in. DeLizia had no part in the episode.
- The Moffatts made a guest appearance in the episode "Destiny." SHeDAISY made a guest appearance in the episode "Listen."
- Mackenzie Phillips does not appear in two episodes of the series.
Music of So Weird
The series featured original songs sung by both Mackenzie Phillips and Alexz Johnson. Songs sung by Mackenzie Phillips included the theme "In the Darkness", "Another World", "Rebecca", "The Rock" and "Love is Broken". Each of the songs usually tied into the theme of the episode they were featured in. For example, "Rebecca" was featured in the episode "Rebecca" which dealt with Molly's former best friend of the same name who vanished when she was 13 years old. A compilation of Molly's songs was featured in the episode "Encore."
During season one or two, a music video that starts out with a talking scene between Jack and Clu and then Molly asks them and Fi to go to bed while they act jovial and happy, was aired. It featured over 62 clips from season one and two. It was the song "In the Darkness". It starts out with Jack and Clu fooling around, Clu howling and someone strumming a guitar. Molly comes to them in the RV and tells them it is time for her second show and that means bed. Fi closes her computer and says goodnight. She looks sad. Jack hugs Molly goodnight. Clu tells Molly to "knock em dead' or something or Break A Leg, Molly mocks his voice and says, "Thank you Clu" and shakes his hand. They leave. She goes out of the RV and starts to sing in a strange set.
"Last Night Blues," was the only occasion Cara DeLizia had to sing during her stint on the show. The song was supernaturally transferred to the characters from a murdered blues musician.
Season 3 mainly used the music of Alexz Johnson. One of Johnson's original songs, "Dream About You", was featured in the episode "Carnival." A music video by Alexz Johnson, "Shadows", was also featured near the end of the show's run on the Disney channel.
The following is an incomplete listing of music from So Weird. With the exception of "Lorena" and occasional musical guest appearances, all music was original, created especially for the series.
Introduced in Season 1
Introduced in Season 2
Introduced in Season 3
A So Weird soundtrack was never released, but the executive producers of the series record studio versions of the songs. Some parts of the studio songs can be found in the end credits, like She Sells, Another World, One in a Million, Different Story, Dream with Me, New Math. Fans had made covers CDs and the executive producers Jon Cooksey and Larry Sugar did as well.
- She Sells (Extended Version)
- Rebecca (Piano Version)
- Questions (Extended Version)
- The Rock (Extended Version)
- In the Darkness (Extended Version)
- Another World (PKB Version)
- New Math (Extended Version)
- More Like a River (Jon Cooksey's Key Version)
- Last Night Blues (Mackenzie Phillips Version)
- Love is Broken (Revised Version)