Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Remember "Amazing Stories" from 1985? It's back, and they may have screwed it up again

  1. #1
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
    Reputation
    5058
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    35,779
    Blog Entries
    2

    Remember "Amazing Stories" from 1985? It's back, and they may have screwed it up again

    In 1985, they announced that "Amazing Stories" would be on NBC that fall. I was very excited. I loved the premise of Steven Spielberg producing (and sometimes directing) an anthology-type show of horror, science fiction, and fantasy stories. Even better, tons of big Hollywood names signed on to participate in the project. It boasted famous actors, A-list directors, Steven Spielberg, a then-huge $1 million per episode budget....

    They even had John Williams on board to do the opening and closing music. The opening theme, while a little heavy on the '80s computer graphics, promised to tell many cool stories about space, ancient times, ghosts, magic, computers, cavemen, and other awesome stuff.



    The closing credits were a simple-but-elegant depiction of an American neighborhood at sundown, implying that this and other neighborhoods had just happily finished viewing the show in the early Sunday evening.



    Seemed perfect. How could it possibly go wrong?

    But it did.

    Amazing Stories was an embarrassing flop. I got my brother (who was then 9) all excited to see it with me, and then.... "Ghost Train" happened. It was a really weird episode about an old man who caused a train wreck 75 years ago, and felt the train would come back for him one day. The story was confusing and odd, had little suspense, and there basically unsatisfying to watch, despite having been directed by Spielberg himself.

    "Okay, that was disappointing," I thought. "But I'm sure this was just a bad first episode. I'm sure the good stuff is coming."

    The next episode was arguably worse. An arrogant jock in high school suddenly gets magnetized. Yes, that was the plot. It ended with him being physically drawn to an ugly chick in school who had a crush on him, who also was magnetized.



    Where was the magic? The cavemen? The aliens? The ghosts? The ancient mysteries?

    I wondered if perhaps, at age 13, I just wasn't "getting it" like everyone else.

    Turned out that I was indeed getting it. Amazing Stories was a mess, and nobody liked it. NBC had pre-ordered two seasons of it, so they rode it out, and then cancelled the show. I still watched every week, and occasionally there were some good episodes. Most ranged from bad to mediocre.

    One valid criticism was that they were too afraid to be edgy, because of the early Sunday evening timeslot, and Spielberg's obsession at the time with the show being family friendly.

    When it was cancelled, I was done with it, and didn't miss it at all. I moved on to "Max Headroom" -- another flop, which was at least good but a bit too far ahead of its time.

    I always wondered what "Amazing Stories" could have been if they just stuck to what was originally planned -- a cool, high-budget anthology of fantasy stories.

    Well, 35 years later, they took at shot at it:



    This showed up on Apple TV on March 6. There are only 5 episodes. I haven't watched it yet.

    At first, I was thrilled to see this, figuring that some '80s TV nerds like myself had the same idea -- that Amazing Stories could have been good, if done right, and set out to reboot it in the modern era.

    However, upon reading the reviews, I see that they once again screwed everything up. According to the reviews, the writing is poor, the stories are not compelling, and they're oddly obsessed with cramming SJW messages down everyone's throats. These criticisms aren't just coming from right-wing propaganda sites. Even those on the left believe that the reboot is garbage, and that basically nothing was done right.

    The SJW angle is sad to read about, because Amazing Stories was apolitical throughout its entire run, despite Spielberg's own left wing politics. Politics and social issues really have no place in a fantasy anthology series.

    From what I'm reading, the first episode is okayish, but the second one was horrible, the third is okay, the fourth kinda sucks, and the fifth is okay. Here are the reviews of episode #2 on IMDB -- mostly being 1 out of 10: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9134760/

    In 2018, in the early development phases, respected writer Bryan Fuller (who worked a lot on the modern Star Trek series such as Deep Space 9) was tapped to write the pilot episode. He left due to "creative differences", as did executive producer Hart Hanson. I imagine that there's a good chance it would have been better if they stayed on.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Seemed perfect. How could it possibly go wrong?

    But it did.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I haven't watched it yet.

  3. #3
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
    Reputation
    5058
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    35,779
    Blog Entries
    2
    When a ton of reviews (from viewers) pretty much all say that the thing sucks, I believe the thing sucks, blakey.

  4. #4
    Diamond Hockey Guy's Avatar
    Reputation
    1224
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    7,632
    I remember that show. It was a great premise.

    I made it thru 2 episodes & never thought about it again. Sad to hear they fucked it up.

    Again!!

     
    Comments
      
      Dan Druff:
    (_) ..
    ∫\ \___( _)
    _∫∫ _∫∫ɯ \ \

    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy
    I'd say good luck in the freeroll but I'm pretty sure you'll go on a bender to self-sabotage yourself & miss it completely or use it as the excuse of why you didn't cash.

  5. #5
    Diamond Hockey Guy's Avatar
    Reputation
    1224
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    7,632
    Quote Originally Posted by blake View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I haven't watched it yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    When a ton of reviews (from viewers) pretty much all say that the thing sucks, I believe the thing sucks, blakey.
    Whenever I read multiple hotel reviews mentioning they have bedbugs I always make sure to go stay there first to confirm myself before mentioning anything to anybody else.
    (_) ..
    ∫\ \___( _)
    _∫∫ _∫∫ɯ \ \

    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy
    I'd say good luck in the freeroll but I'm pretty sure you'll go on a bender to self-sabotage yourself & miss it completely or use it as the excuse of why you didn't cash.

  6. #6
    Diamond Hockey Guy's Avatar
    Reputation
    1224
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    7,632
    BTW, I have all 5 season of Quantum Leap on DVD & highly recommend it.

    I only mention this because it was another show in the "fantasy realm" that I thought the premise sounded really great but it actually lived up to it for the most part. There were some dud episodes but overall it worked.

    I was sad to see it cancelled especially the way they did it without a proper send off.

     
    Comments
      
      DirtyErnie:
    (_) ..
    ∫\ \___( _)
    _∫∫ _∫∫ɯ \ \

    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy
    I'd say good luck in the freeroll but I'm pretty sure you'll go on a bender to self-sabotage yourself & miss it completely or use it as the excuse of why you didn't cash.

  7. #7
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
    Reputation
    5058
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    35,779
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy View Post
    BTW, I have all 5 season of Quantum Leap on DVD & highly recommend it.

    I only mention this because it was another show in the "fantasy realm" that I thought the premise sounded really great but it actually lived up to it for the most part. There were some dud episodes but overall it worked.

    I was sad to see it cancelled especially the way they did it without a proper send off.
    Yes, I really liked Quantum Leap at the time.

    That's one show I'd like to see rebooted... as long as they don't screw it up and politicize it. Since it was a late '80s and early '90s show, the most modern era time traveled to was the early '80s. Since all time travel had to take place in the main character's lifetime, it all ranged between the '50s and '80s. Would love to see a modern version where he travels between the '70s and '10s.

     
    Comments
      
      BetCheckBet: Quantum leap was awesome but ages poorly

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy View Post
    BTW, I have all 5 season of Quantum Leap on DVD & highly recommend it.

    I only mention this because it was another show in the "fantasy realm" that I thought the premise sounded really great but it actually lived up to it for the most part. There were some dud episodes but overall it worked.

    I was sad to see it cancelled especially the way they did it without a proper send off.
    Loved that show. But at times it got frustrating because the first half of every episode was "Ziggy can't figure out why you're here."
    SOBCHAK SECURITY 213-799-7798

  9. #9
    Diamond Hockey Guy's Avatar
    Reputation
    1224
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    7,632
    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Sobchak View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy View Post
    BTW, I have all 5 season of Quantum Leap on DVD & highly recommend it.

    I only mention this because it was another show in the "fantasy realm" that I thought the premise sounded really great but it actually lived up to it for the most part. There were some dud episodes but overall it worked.

    I was sad to see it cancelled especially the way they did it without a proper send off.
    Loved that show. But at times it got frustrating because the first half of every episode was "Ziggy can't figure out why you're here."
    I just pretend that the leaps that they knew right away were resolved quickly & they didn't film those ones.
    Name:  Goodbye1.gif
Views: 216
Size:  616.9 KB
    (_) ..
    ∫\ \___( _)
    _∫∫ _∫∫ɯ \ \

    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy
    I'd say good luck in the freeroll but I'm pretty sure you'll go on a bender to self-sabotage yourself & miss it completely or use it as the excuse of why you didn't cash.

  10. #10
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
    Reputation
    5058
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    35,779
    Blog Entries
    2
    I might start with the third episode, since they're all independent from one another.

    That one seems to be the most faithful to the original series -- a story about a boy and his beloved (but very sick) grandfather, who receives a magic ring in the mail which he ordered 60 years ago. The magic ring makes him not only healthy, but super strong, and the two go on superhero adventures together.

    A little juvenile, yes, but at least this seems like a charming and uplifting plot, and the reviews of the episode are probably the best of the 5 they made.

    I'll post my own thoughts after I watch a few of these. Probably going to skip that really hated episode about the black lesbians.

  11. #11
    Diamond Hockey Guy's Avatar
    Reputation
    1224
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    7,632
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I might start with the third episode, since they're all independent from one another.

    That one seems to be the most faithful to the original series -- a story about a boy and his beloved (but very sick) grandfather, who receives a magic ring in the mail which he ordered 60 years ago. The magic ring makes him not only healthy, but super strong, and the two go on superhero adventures together.

    A little juvenile, yes, but at least this seems like a charming and uplifting plot, and the reviews of the episode are probably the best of the 5 they made.

    I'll post my own thoughts after I watch a few of these. Probably going to skip that really hated episode about the black lesbians.
    That's odd, looking back on your posting history black lesbians seems to be right in your wheelhouse.

    Name:  lol5.gif
Views: 161
Size:  1,002.7 KB
    (_) ..
    ∫\ \___( _)
    _∫∫ _∫∫ɯ \ \

    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy
    I'd say good luck in the freeroll but I'm pretty sure you'll go on a bender to self-sabotage yourself & miss it completely or use it as the excuse of why you didn't cash.

  12. #12
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
    Reputation
    5058
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    35,779
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I might start with the third episode, since they're all independent from one another.

    That one seems to be the most faithful to the original series -- a story about a boy and his beloved (but very sick) grandfather, who receives a magic ring in the mail which he ordered 60 years ago. The magic ring makes him not only healthy, but super strong, and the two go on superhero adventures together.

    A little juvenile, yes, but at least this seems like a charming and uplifting plot, and the reviews of the episode are probably the best of the 5 they made.

    I'll post my own thoughts after I watch a few of these. Probably going to skip that really hated episode about the black lesbians.
    That's odd, looking back on your posting history black lesbians seems to be right in your wheelhouse.

    Name:  lol5.gif
Views: 161
Size:  1,002.7 KB
    If they were hot white lesbians, I might force myself to sit through it.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy View Post

    That's odd, looking back on your posting history black lesbians seems to be right in your wheelhouse.

    Name:  lol5.gif
Views: 161
Size:  1,002.7 KB
    If they were hot white lesbians, I might force myself to sit through it.
    Name:  racist.gif
Views: 140
Size:  1.44 MB

    This really needs to be made into a smiley again.
    SOBCHAK SECURITY 213-799-7798

  14. #14
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
    Reputation
    5058
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    35,779
    Blog Entries
    2
    I watched episode 3: "Dynoman and the Volt"

    I'd rate it was "decent and watchable, not great".

    It did somewhat manage to capture the spirit of the original "Amazing Stories". I did feel like, with a 46-minute running time, they could have done more action and less drama. This is supposed to be a fantasy series, right?

    If you are into comic books, you'll probably like this episode, as that was the entire theme behind the whole thing, though the generation gap thing was also a big theme. Robert Forster (who died shortly after completing the episode) did a good portrayal of an old, emotionally-stunted blue collar type who had contempt both for education and the younger generations.

    This one had no identity politics or SJW crap, so that was a plus.

    This was one of the two better-regarded episodes, with #5 being the other. The first and fourth episodes were reviewed as mediocre but not terrible, and the second episode was apparently an abomination. I'll try #5 next.

    Supposedly Apple ordered ten episodes, so we will see the other 5 at some point, though maybe the coronavirus is delaying their production.

  15. #15
    Gold gauchojake's Avatar
    Reputation
    499
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Zipolite
    Posts
    2,171
    Name:  tenor.gif
Views: 80
Size:  3.09 MB

    Where is the jsearles I'm retarded gif???

  16. #16
    I watched the Robert Forster one out of respect it was so blah I cancelled appletv

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-07-2020, 11:00 PM
  2. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-04-2016, 02:18 PM
  3. Replies: 41
    Last Post: 01-14-2016, 09:21 AM
  4. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 12-14-2013, 03:05 AM
  5. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-29-2012, 04:47 PM