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Amazing Stories

As a huge fan of Steven Spielberg's original anthology TV series on Sunday nights in the late 70's, I was really excited to see a modern reboot on Apple TV+.

Alas, AMAZING STORIES is a lackluster reference (Tribute? homage?) to the classic series.

The original season on NBC had episodes from Spielberg himself, Robert Zemeckis, Joe Dante, a group of directors relishing telling one short story for the small screen.

This new update promises modern visions from today's leading filmmakers, but after completing all of season one, I'm still waiting.

Five one-hour episodes comprise the first season.

It opens strong with the first installment, "The Cellar" about an old Iowa home with a basement that has some time travel tricks up its sleeve. If you've seen "Somewhere In Time" with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, you pretty much get the idea as lovers trapped by time try to reconnect. Some good story aspects and suspense combined with great sound and special effects make it a winner.

Episode 2 "The Heat" lands with a thud as two young girls on a track team deal with loss and violence. While some of the messaging is terrific, the entire episode creaks along, boring you into submission

Episode 3 gets back on track. The always terrific Robert Forrester (Jackie Brown) stars as a grandfather who gets a mysterious superpower ring from his youth in the mail. It leads to some nice DC/Marvel tinged adventures with his grandson. It's heartfelt and fun.

Episode 4 slips back into meh with the story of a woman emerging from a coma who seems to be a very different person. Throw in some aliens and family drama and you've got zzzzzzzzzzzzz.....

The final episode delivers, with a World War II pilot crashing into the modern day through a wormhole. Bonding with a young widow and her stepson, they cram a lot of adventure and excitement into an hour.

It ends the season on a high note, but still leaves me wondering what the hell happened to this reboot.

With Apple size budgets and unbridled creativity on the table, this is the best that showrunners Edward Kitsis (Lost, Tron Legacy) and Adam Horowitz (Lost, Felicity) could come up with?

Unless they improve the content dramatically for season two (if there is one) they should consider a name change to TRITE STORIES YOU'VE SEEN BEFORE.

Season One gets a C-.

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