Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pilot Thoughts: Pan Am

Pan Am is better than The Playboy Club. Everyone and their mothers already seemed to know this before both shows premiered, though of course it didn't hurt that critics who saw both shows months in advance kept repeating this mantra throughout the summer. It's probably not fair to compare the two shows since they are both airing on different days and on different networks, but when there are two 60s era shows with a focus on women liberating themselves by taking on "sexist" jobs coming out in the same season, it's inevitable.

While the best parts of The Playboy Club were the women and the surprise gay subplot, both of those seemed to play second fiddle to the uninteresting mob/Eddie Cibrian plot whereas in Pan Am the women are front and center while the show does an even better job integrating its surprise subplot (spies!) in the pilot. Pan Am also seems to benefit from having more nostalgia power than that other show. Everywhere I look there seems to be a story about a mother, an aunt, a grandmother who used to be a Pan Am stewardess or numerous tales about flying when it was super pleasant and high class.

I admit, part of why I saw this show is because I am intrigued by not only the period, but by the world of travel back in those days. I got even more excited by the spy subplot that looked to be a strong part of the series giving the show somewhat of a genre edge that nicely complements its more traditional drama elements. Another reason why I was looking forward to this show is, of course, Christina Ricci. She was my childhood crush back in the days of Mermaids, The Addams Family, Casper, and Now and Then which evolved into fanboyism after her sexy turn in The Opposite of Sex. Unfortunately, she hasn't done much since then, which is why I'm hoping for big things from her on this show. I already love her character of Maggie (professional in the uniform, beatnik out).

My one worry is the flashbacks, which I think if I remember correctly from reading somewhere online, would be used throughout the season. This worked for the pilot as it was a nice way for us to learn more about the four main stewardesses and the captain, but it could get a bit messy or gimmicky if not done right later on. Still, it's a high flying start for me. B+

1 comment:

  1. Meh. I didn't watch it. I don't think it would interest me much.


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