BILL CRIDER'S POP CULTURE MAGAZINE
A brief resurgence of anthology drama that season on the commercial nets, with this series and the revived TWILIGHT ZONE on CBS and the revived ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS: on NBC. This series, while not bad (in its Very short run), wasn't up to the slightly later PBS comedy anthology TRYING TIMES, even if all of them were better than NBC's ill-advised Spielberg project AMAZING STORIES (which at least had the effect of giving TSR a big cash infusion to continue publishing the magazine for a while). And to think all were essentially children of the mild success of TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE and such other progeny of that syndicated series as MONSTERS...(well, perhaps TRYING TIMES might've happened anyway...brilliant show, that one).
I had high hopes for AMAZING STORIES, but it was a big disappointment to me. I think there was maybe one episode that I really liked.
That's six more than I did. But I never liked Spielberg (and his retinue) much past seeing DUEL and JAWS when they and I were new (I like both less now). I didn't like his segment of the NIGHT GALLERY pilot even then.Spielberg's run on tv, aside from his junior-partner status ER, has been uniformly disastrous. Hence the greater sophistication of the tv audience to the film audience!
I was wrong...AMAZING STORIES and AHP, TZ, and GEORGE BURNS COMEDY WEEK all started in 1985...and TRYING TIMES, for that matter, in '87. And TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE had launched just the season before...but clearly its example made an impression...I think the last previous actual anthology series on US commercial network tv had been POLICE STORY, wrapping in '77...and the abortive short runs of DARKROOM in 1981 and '82...though AMERICAN PLAYHOUSE was certainly getting more attention than most PBS series, starting in '82, and MASTERPIECE THEATRE and MYSTERY! were still separate series then, all three among the more popular offers on the network.
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