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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Amazing Stories is a fantastic anthology series of sci-fi, horror, and curiosity tales. Each episode starts a new story with wide-ranging concepts like ghost trains, serial murders, time travel, and space adventures, and content that varies accordingly. This makes the show's appropriateness for kids difficult to predict, but it's safe to assume there's usually some creepiness factor, a few scares, and the possibility of some violence. The complex stories are more highbrow than action-packed, so it's better suited for tweens and up than a younger crowd.
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What's the Story?
Steven Spielberg's AMAZING STORIES is an Emmy Award-winning collection of fascinating, funny, and sometimes freaky tales that aired for two seasons in the mid-'80s. Here magic potions change the course of people's lives, space aliens infiltrate hallmarks of society, psychics tap into people's thoughts with unexpected consequences, and voodoo and magic run amok. Each of the series' 30-minute episodes follows an autonomous story, and most feature well-known stars like Charlie Sheen, Kevin Costner, Gregory Hines, and Beau Bridges.
Is It Any Good?
Any project synonymous with Spielberg's name is likely to be worth your time, and Amazing Stories certainly doesn't disappoint. Despite the distinctly '80s ambiance and production value, the stories themselves play out like condensed versions of Spielberg's films, with the same superb storytelling, complex characters, and even a top-notch score from John Williams, among others.
Because most of its content is fairly benign, this series is a great option for kids who have outgrown Scooby-Doo-level spooks but aren't quite ready for full-blown scares. Plus there's the bonus of knowing that somewhere in each story lies a nugget of morality, whether it's a cautionary tale of greed or an empowering example of an unlikely hero.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the stories' lessons, specifically how the characters' actions relate to their endings. How do greed, bullying, and intolerance play out? Who emerges as a role model? Do you find the same correlation between people's behavior and their fate in real life?
Is this series scary? Are the scares physical or more implied? Is it fun to be spooked by movies or TV shows, even just a little? Kids: What types of violence or scary content bothers you the most?
This series is a great one for families to watch together, especially given its unpredictable content. Take the opportunity to talk to your kids about their media rules and why they're important. Have they ever seen things on TV that they knew weren't appropriate? How should they handle a situation like that?
- Premiere date: September 29, 1985
- Cast: Charlie Sheen, Harvey Keitel, Kevin Costner
- Network: NBC
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Space and Aliens
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Award: Emmy
- Last updated: June 3, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
The Twilight Zone
Classic morality tales still make you think.
Short-lived '90s series is more fun than frightful.
The Addams Family (Live Action TV Series)
Kooky, spooky classic is still fun for tweens.
For kids who love scares
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