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AMC: Tornado '08 Review

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First, the backstory...I grew up watching ALL MY CHILDREN, going back to the classic days of the early 80's. I was a loyal and faithful viewer up until around 2000 or so when the show veered terribly off track , but I still managed to drop into Pine Valley from time to time...until the disgraceful Un-abortion debacle. Following that disgusting plot twist, I tuned out, vowing never to watch AMC again.

However, I was seduced back for a few episodes this year thanks to the return of Angie and Jesse, but found that besides them, there was nothing else on the program that resembled the close-knit community I once loved so much. But when Charles Pratt, Jr. was named as HW and I read what seemed like some possible good attempts at getting the show back to some semblance of its former self, I decided to tune in for the tornado. I fondly remember the original tornado and the outstanding job done back then by Felicia Behr and Megan McTavish(!)...would Pine Valley Tornado II come anywhere close to the brilliance of the original?

First of all, let me say that it was fairly easy for me to fall back into the goings-on in Pine Valley. Most of the characters were the same...both a good and a bad thing. However, to my surprise, under Pratt there seems to be a new vibe that was absent unders McTavish and B&E...the tone of the show, while not what it was in better days, seemed to be at least trying to find its way back to Agnes Nixon's original recipe.

Ever so slowly (I sincerely hope I am right on this one) it seems as if that Pine Valley community feel, an aspect that is so integral to the dynamic of AMC that made it so successful, is creeping back into the program. The relationships of the characters are being highlighted and spotlighted, with the individuals and their storylines being weaved together. Although the tornado is nothing less than a big stunt, the tales that have either spun out from it and/or been jump started by the twister are at least TRYING to be be real and human, traditional classic soap opera tales in the best sense of the word.

That said, I was impressed with the week and a half of shows I watched...they were well-paced, entertaining, and action-packed, both with literal action as well as the moments of human interaction that only soap opera can document so well. The only negative I had was the whole Ryan/Greenlee mess...Greenlee alone I can take, but Ryan ceased to be a character I want to see on my TV screen a LOOOONG time ago.

Also, and this is just a small thing that I guess only my weird mind thinks about...but it warmed my heart to see the exterior of Pine Valley Hospital once again! I remember back in the 1980's it seemed like almost every AMC episode opened with a view of the hospital's exterior, which years later as an adult I learned was actually the headquarters of the CIA in surburban Virginia. Well lo and behold, on my screen again was the CIA doubling for PVH! :lol:

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