Steven Spielberg produced, wrote, came up with ideas for and even directed episodes of Amazing Stories, so naturally this would have to be the greatest anthology ever right? Unfortunately wrong. Some episodes are just fantastic, but all too often it was a mixed bag. In fact, that might have been it's downfall is it was way too mixed. Some episodes were light comedies, some were dramas, some were horror, and one was even animated, which made this a similar, but not as good 80s version of the Twilight Zone (which also was around).
Normally I'd like having a mixture of stories in an anthology show, but they just didn't fully work here. Some of the more fantastical dramatic episodes felt like they would be better being shown late on night on the Lifetime network, like the episode "Ghost Train", which was directed by Spielberg himself. In that episode, it gave the message of hope, and gave us a fantasy story, but overall it was just a build up to the ending which didn't blow me away anyways. The horror episodes tended to work better than the drama, but there were far more dramatic ones, and they grow tiring to watch. Acting wise, this anthology got some big stars, similar to the original Twilight Zone. Kevin Costner, Kiefer Sutherland, Milton Berle, Dom Deluise, Harvey Keitel, Beau Bridges, Charlie Sheen, Forrest Whitaker, Tim Robbins, John Lithgow, Rhea Perlman, Danny Devito, Patrick Swayze, Christopher Lloyd, June Lockhart, Kathy Baker, Weird Al Yankovich and many other well knowns have been in episodes of the show. It's fun to see well known actors in almost every episode of the series. Great directors have also had part in episodes including Spielberg himself, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Bob Clark, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Paul Bartel, Joe Dante, Robert Zemeckis, Danny Devito and even Martin Scorsese. I'd actually recommend this more to fans of the directors and/or the 80s than anyone else.
Amazing Stories was sometimes amazing, usually good, occasionally mediocre, and every once in a while a real stinker came out. But, this show has nostalgic value to me, and it's sort of fun to sit on boring afternoons and watch some episodes. John Williams' theme music for the show is sure to be caught in anyone's head who watches this, too.
My rating: Good show. 30 mins. per episode. TVPG