And then, disappointment set in. I had by September of 1985 long abandoned watching television, but Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories brought me back through curiosity, more than any expectations of seeing something amazing. Exactly one year before the series premiered on NBC, I heard the news on my radio. The super film director was moving to television.
The super film director should have stayed away.
The good news for me was I did not stick with this thoroughly unamazing show. The bad news for NBC was they had committed to a two-season run.
Joseph McBride spends a few pages in his outstanding book, Steven Spielberg: A Biography, on the trials and tribulations of making a television series with a larger than usual built-in audience. Film scripter Bob Gale is quoted as saying something which, to me, serves to sum up the problems with Amazing Stories. Something like: "(Instead of putting so much emphasis on casting name directors) they should have come up with good scripts, then [emphasis his] searched for directors."
Final note: John Williams' signature theme music was wildly inappropriate; which probably did not help matters. His tune was grand, romantic, and charged with a sense of wonder: things all but missing in the following twenty-three minutes.
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