Generally the words ‘Steven’ and ‘Spielberg’ were guaranteed gold in the 80s, but every so often even the best have a bad day, And while NBC’s Amazing Stories could hardly be considered ‘a bad day’, let’s just say that a lot of people blew it by not watching. And after only two seasons, it was gone.
Taking his inspiration from the pulpy sci-fi mag from the ’20s-’50s, Spielberg created Amazing Stories as a fun little diversion (think The Twilight Zone… but a little more on the ‘fun’ side, instead of the ‘creepy’ side).
Each half-hour episode told a bizarre, out-there story of weird, unexplainable things happening to perfectly normal people. From the young man fighting at the Alamo in 1836 who finds himself in present-day San Antonio, to the geeky guy (Jon Cryer) who discovers a secret potion that makes his pin-up posters come to life, Amazing Stories was… well, amazing. Fun, inventive, and awesomely bizarre.
Among our favorites is the ‘Thanksgiving’ episode from Season 2, when Kyra Sedgewick finds something living at the bottom of her well. But, of course, the pilot episode is what kicked it all off, and it’s still great all these years later.
The other great thing about Amazing Stories? Heck, it was chock-full of big names. The directors of the episodes included Spielberg himself, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, and Robert Zemeckis. And the stars? Whew. Charlie Sheen, Kevin Costner, Keifer Sutherland, Eve Arden, Christopher Lloyd, and even Sid Caesar… and that’s only a few.
We’ll go ahead and blame NBC for Amazing Stories‘ relatively quick flame-out–– because there’s really no other explanation. The network put it on Sunday nights in the fall of 1985 opposite the unstoppable train that was Murder, She Wrote… and they also put it right after Silver Spoons. Don’t know about you, but we’re thinking they may have lost a little bit of their lead-in audience.
Sure enough, after two years, Amazing Stories was history. Though, if ever there was a show that deserved to be resurrected…
We ♥ Amazing Stories.