Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Fall Shows: Pan Am

Since I’m still riding on my wave of Mad Men enthusiasm, I was really looking forward to the new show, Pan Am, as a way of getting my 60’s-era fix.

"Welcome to 1963: a time when only a lucky few could take flight, experience a global adventure or gain a front-row seat to history. Those lucky few flew Pan Am, the largest, most prestigious airline in the world. More than Coca-Cola, Elvis Presley or the transistor, Pan Am exported American culture to the world abroad and brought that world back to American shores.

The jet age has arrived and Pan Am’s Clipper Majestic is about to embark on its inaugural flight with Captain Dean Lowrey at the helm. Dean, who has recently been made captain wouldn’t trade this moment for anything in the world. Step by step, Maggie Ryan has climbed her way up to a better life, to greater opportunity. As Purser of Pan Am’s new Clipper Majestic, she’s at last riding high; determined not to fall. Kate Cameron left her sheltered life in East Granby, Connecticut to brave the intrigue of a wide new world. Now, she must brave even more intrigue in becoming an international agent for the CIA. In running off on her wedding day, Kate’s sister, Laura Cameron, left her past and future, following her older sibling to the skies of Pan Am; a bold move, but one with serious personal consequences. Born and raised in France, Colette Valois has an innate understanding of international affairs. But in affairs of the heart, she’s still a wanderer, a searcher, a soul traveling a confused sea. First Officer and Co-Pilot Ted Vanderway, a former Navy test pilot, finds the commercial skies every bit as turbulent as he struggles to overcome past mistakes and prove his worth as an aviator.

Join our crew as they travel to intoxicating cities such as Paris, Berlin, Monte Carlo and Rome and bump into history along the way. Through their eyes we revisit an era nearly half a century ago. So, buckle up; adventure calls. And thank you for choosing Pan Am." -ABC.com

The general consensus among the critics seems to be that it’s not as good as Mad Men, but better than NBC’s The Playboy Club (do not even get me started on that show).

And I agree. But it also seems that I liked the show more than most critics.

Similarly to Mad Men, it appears that the creators intend to incorporate significant historical events, standards, and stereotypes. However, unlike Mad Men, there was not a great deal of strong characterization or extreme delving into the issues of the time period. Which it seems is what most of the criticisms are stemming from.

Um, did they forget that this was only the first episode? I agree, it seems like Pan Am is a little more on the light-hearted side of things, but they have to save some things for future episodes and (fingers-crossed) seasons. And, to be quite honest, what’s wrong with a show that, while maybe not having a huge amount of substance (yet), is enjoyable to watch?

Overall, I thought the show did a splendid job at portraying the time period and lifestyle of a Pan Am flight attendant, and at setting up storylines that make you become invested in the characters.

In fact, remember how Mad Men made me appreciate the fact that I’m not a 20-something woman in the 1960’s? Well, Pan Am actually made me wish I was a Pan Am flight attendant back in the 60’s.You get to travel, see the world, and, oh, be a CIA agent.

Anyone have a DeLorean they are not using?



In the meantime, I will be watching Pam Am on ABC, Sunday nights at 10 PM.

Tomorrow: My thoughts on Terra Nova. Spoiler: I liked it.

All photos from ABC.com

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