The continuation of RICH MAN POOR MAN is entirely different from the very beginning. Rudi Jordache (Peter Strauss) makes the political career and leaves Julie Prescott. What is more, it is no longer the story of two different brothers because one of them, Tom, is dead. A kind of replacement for his character appears to be Wesley (Gregg Henry), his son. He is similar, gets into trouble as easily as his father did, and even behaves in a similar fashion. Into view comes Julie's son, Billy Abbot, who is, on the one hand, very ambitious and good at his job, but, on the other hand, falls into serious problems. The sequel is equally involving.
Most of the content is occupied by two major plots: the problems that Rudi has to cope with as a senator (one of them is indeed the investigation of the mysterious scandals of Tricorp company, the mysterious past of Estepp's wife, and Jordache-Estepp conflict) and the story of Falconetti, who is set free from prison and seeks revenge on the senator and his family.
The whole story is showed equally well as the first 12 parts. As I already wrote in my previous comments on RICH MAN POOR MAN Book II, all characters are ambiguous, not totally good or evil.
Nevertheless, Rudi appears to be better than in the first part. His career is not so much of utmost importance but he looks at other people's happiness too. He cares for Tom's son Wesley; helps Billy financially, and aims at other values in life. All other characters are, like most people, very unique. Two interesting new characters, worth mentioning are: Annie Addams (Cassie Yates), who wants to be famous, but later realizes that career is not the most important thing in life; and Ramona (Penny Peyser) who is a wonderful individual, especially when applied to her attitude towards abortion (young girls and women should see it).
The acting is EXCELLENT. Most cast perform very well. I particularly like Peter Strauss as a tired senator seeking for a calm life, William Smith as crazy Falconetti, and Susan Sullivan as ambitious but jealous Maggie.
After the sad final scene of dying Rudi, noticed by nobody, I came into conclusion that there is one message not directly but rather implicitly conveyed at the end. The most important thing in life is not career, not riches, not even fame. It is friendship. Friendship between Wess and Roy, between Wess and Rudi, and every single friendship in everyone's life...
I would recommend everyone to see both parts of RICH MAN POOR MAN. It is, though quite long, a wonderful lesson of life.
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