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Small Town Pine Valley vs. Big City Pine Valley


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I am looking at these pictures of New Caanan, CT...and the Waveny House, which was actually used as the Cortlandt estate exterior and for Palmer's gothic masquerade party (by the way EricMontreal your DVD is being sent tomorrow)...and you can see these too at http://www.newcanaan.info/content/9492/9224/675/default.aspx.

But anyways, I can't help but feel a little bad. Pine Valley has been so abused, along with characters, by the remgimes over the years. The setting immediately sets AMC aside from it's sister show ONE LIFE with it being small town - possessing provincial charm, showing the attitudes of the people who live there. Now it's like grown, which yeah I believe most towns do, but it feels like it's trying to come off as something more than it ever was. If it was a suburb of Philadelphia, like Llanview, I can see it would have more liberties, but making Pine Valley a metro just feels weird to me.

Do any of the viewers, young, moderate, old, like the current Pine Valley vs. the one of yesteryear.

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I have mentioned this point before...it is just yet another reason why of all the soaps AMC is the one that least resembles itself. I remember watching that opening for their stupid nightclub ConFusion, and wondering where in town this was situated? Was it next to The Boutique? The Goalpost? Maybe it was next to the Glamorama. Were they all torn down for strip malls? And did the daughters of fine lineage actually approve this urban renewal project?

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Definitely prefer the small town feel of yesteryear. That's one of the reasons I hate that ConFusion set so much. It's just way too urban and NYC-ish to be a PV establishment. To me, that set is symbolic about how much TPTB could care about the show's identity. As much as I love Felicia Behr and Lorraine Broderick, they started the whole big city-ish feel, I think. Sure, they had big business like Cortlandt Electronics and Chandler Enterprises there since the early 80s, but that never detracted from the small town feel, at least for me. When Broderick returned to HW the show in 1995, all of a sudden the show began to go urban. I remember a more urban skyline with Taylor living in some downtown loft. The other side of the tracks was supposed to be Center City!

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I definitely wish that there were more visual cues that gave today's PV that quaint small town feel. At one point within the last decade ( :wacko: ) there was a scene at a tavern, I believe Michael Lowry was still playing Jake, and they did an establishng shot of a row of shoppes along a cobblestone street. That was cool. But I've rationalized the whole big city feel in a way. In Westchester County, NY and Fairfield County, CT (where AMC traditionally got all of its exterior shots) there are areas where you could draw a circle on a map and get big home country (Chandler and Tyler/Wallingford mansions, Linden House, Wild Wind), corporate offices, lofts, retail/restaurants, parks... It is conceivable, it's just that the show has almost completely abadoned the small town feel that does in fact still exist in these areas right along side the development. But I also agree that Pine Valley has always seemed to tip more towards the rural while Llanview seems to have been urban-suburban from day one.

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The thing about ConFusion that kind of tickles me now that you mention it LoyaltoAMC is that there are clubs like that in the burbs of a lot of big cities and they feel just as wannabe as ConFusion does to us viewers. :lol:

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To be fair, this started back when AMC was still in its glory days--the early 80s was when it started (and most soaps started becomign "bigger"--Pine Valley suddenly had three major corporations, etc) but it still retained a sense of community. That's largely gone now--and now they can't seem to decide what PV is--if it's big, if it's not, how many corporations are there, etc.

Sadly that's completely true. Even Erica's disco--in one book on disco there's a quote about how by the end of 1979 when every suburban strip mall had a makeshift disco, the DJ knew disco had died...

Actually I do miss that aspect (though they still mention C City sometimes)--it's true, to find the hookers, and drugs, etc, they used to have to go to nearby C City (although I guess by the time Noah came to town in 1994 or so that was changing...)

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I much prefer small town Pine Valley. Small, RICH, town, Pine Valley mind you. Very Main Line Pennsylvania.

I always thought once they stopped using the Country Club set that it was the beginning of the end, setting wise, for the show. Those scenes where Phoebe, Marian, Ruth, Erica, Mary, Brooke, Vanessa, Arleen, etc etc etc would be doing lunch were so emblematic of the show to me. This small rich little town where everyone knew everyone's business and would run into each other at the club or in a shop and class divides would collide.

AMC has really changed, identity wise and all for the worse.

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You mean the Pine Valley Inn? But I do definitely agree--I wish they'd just junk ConFusion and bring it back, they can keep Krystal's for lower key stuff the way they used to with McKay's (that was Tom's restaurant right?) and before that the random diner you can see Erica and Phil at in that 1970 episode.

I like the mix of rich and middle class that they had, myself--not all rich. But I really miss that snob set--Phoebe and Enid, etc (who Broderick brought back in 96--and then Agnes really tried hard to bring back in her brief return stint in 1999/2000, with that great side story about Opal trying to get Marian to get the group to accept her, etc). It's too bad, I really don't think the show is beyond being able to bring that back, you even got a tiny sense of it again when Broderick was interim, full HW last Spring, but they just have no interest in it (and I blame some of this on Frons, even if he's an easy scapegoat, I don't think it's the kind of thing he would even have a slight interest in).

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I liked the snob set too. I have an ep on tape somewhere, mid-'90s, and the moneyed folks in town have gathered at TVI to nominate the Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year. It's being moderated by Tom who we don't think of as rich rich, but he was a football player and proprietor, but there's also Erica, Myrtle, Phoebe, Palmer, Marian, Enid, Tad (new Orsini money), and Opal. Adam enters and suggests that the award should be Woman of the year (Erica of course thinks he's suggesting her), but he means Brooke. It's just a cute little scene where they all get in a few jabs at each other's histories.

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Once they decided to make AMC daytime's answer to Sex and the City, that pretty much signaled the "no coming back" point. I think Jean Burke had the whole small town thing in mind throughout her time EPing the show. A lot of that was Agnes, but even after it was just the two Jeans running things, there was still that...that "something" that made PV feel like a cozy little hamlet where one could go for a picnic by Willow Lake then drive through the crunchy autumn leaves to the local art gallery to view the fine local art. Then another short drive to the restaurant for an evening of fine dining, then home to the estate for fireside reading. All the while the "groundlings" of the city were busting their asses working behind the scenes at the art gallery or the restaurant or some other place in town trying to get money to pay their Pine Cone rent before going out to let it all hang out at The Pit. I miss that.

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You know what is so funny...was when I was 16, 17 years old...I didn't care about Hayley and Brian, or Terrence and An-Li...or Timmy and Harold...I was sooooo into the adult stuff, and couldn't wait to have my own adventures like Erica feeling double crossed by Travis and Barbara who decided to make a baby in order to in turn save their daughter Molly, or was it Bianca, from an ailment. And then Erica turning to Jackson and Travis angered at the fact sue Erica for parental custody of their child. And Palmer beckoning Opal to come back to Pine Valley in order to help him control his niece Dixie's love life as his daughter Nina had left town due to that fact...and Phoebe's narrative while she championed the cause of the environment and of course the colorful array of supporting characters...Stuart Chandler, Marian Colby, Enid Nelson, Myra Murdoch Sloan, Jasper Sloan, Ethel at the Glamorama, Mrs. Valentine at the Tyler mansion...you know what would be kind of cool, is if Vanessa Bennett came back to Pine Valley bought the Tyler estate as a base to operate from and became the shows "black queen" manipulating the hell out of people, while keeping an assortment of creamy stud houseboys in Phoebe Tyler Wallingford's once pristine home.

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I miss the whole class division theme AMC used to be famous for. Those "Daughters of Fine Lineage" meetings were so hilarious.

I want this again:

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/T2U03fhQIJQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/NYN5KeCWE70?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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AMC always felt like the product of a marriage between Grace Metalius and Charles Dickens, if that makes any sense. It had that great small town, close-knit Peyton Place feel populated by very Dickensian characters. Other shows may have had more complex characters and more layered storytelling, but very few shows were as atmospheric, dependent on humor, and laden with such unique characters. Even with all the urban flourishes Behr and Broderick brought to the show in the mid-90s, it still retained that small town vibe. I'm not a big fan of Francesca James's stint, mostly because it seemed so directionless a lot of the time to me, but she actually did a lot to restore that community feeling. Jean Burke, for all her many flaws, continued that, and it was nirvana when Agnes returned, restored the Glamorama, and had all that stuff with Vanessa who wanted to be accepted by PV Society and then with Opal and Marian. It was just classic AMC. As others have pointed out, the big change came when Frons appeared on the scene and tried to turn the show into some trendy Sex and the City clone with all that Fusion uber-crap that continues until this day. I remember his first press conference or something, where he described AMC as a show about youthful romance portrayed by very attractive young actors, or something like that. Yeah, that was part of the formula. He forgot about the other things that made AMC so special over the years...family, community, humor, the topic issues. And JHC obviously doesn't get the show either. I don't think any other show within recent memory has been as unrecognizable as AMC is right now. It's definitely gotten back on track a bit with D&D I think, but it'll never be even close to the same show I grew up with.

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What if...they cancel it. Okay God forbid...but do you think Oprah would then pick it up as her OWN? I think she would. I seriously do. I think Oprah would save the show, as silly and far fetched as this is, Oprah loves her soap. And when Oprah is attached to something, she fights like a tiger to preserve it. I think it's a crazy faerie tale...but you never know.

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I can see it now.... Angel Oprah announcing that she will saved AMC:

"OK, child. I have some awesome news. Starting in January of next year, my OWN network will be the new home of... All My CHIIIILDRRRREEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNN!" *massive applause... and a couple faints*

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