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Save Pan Am!: My Favorite New Fall Show

December 4, 2011

Dudes, the fate of my favorite new fall show is questionable. On November 29th, Pan Am star Karine Vanasse tweeted: “Well, we received THE call, #PanAm is only coming back for one more episode after Christmas. But up to the end, we’ll give it our all!” leading to a world of confusion throughout the TV land. Merely an hour later, Vanasse returned to Twitter to clarify: “Sorry for the confusion #PanAm fans; we still have 5 new episodes to air until February! :)”  Prompting @PanAmABC to tweet: “No flight cancellations here” and a release statement from ABC statiing that Pan Am hadn’t been cancelled. What she probably meant was that the cast and crew likely only have one episode left to shoot before their 14 episode commitment is fulfilled. But boy did this spark a TV frenzy!

I for one would be darned disappointed if Pan Am were to be cancelled. It’s definitely my favorite new fall show and I honestly think it’s better than often lauded (and picked up for a full season) new ABC drama Once Upon a Time. Sure, Pan Am can be over dramatic, unrealistic and soap opera-like at times, but less so than the dying-a-slow-and-boring-death Grey’s Anatomy. 

At its simplest, Pan Am is just a great, fun show. To delve a little deeper, here are a few reasons why it happens to be my favorite 2011 addition to the prime time landscape:

1) I freaking LOVE to travel.

At this point I’ve been to 19 different countries and I’m just getting started. As hokey as it sounds, Pan Am gives me a nice hint of that excitement you get when you’re about to see a new place and marvel at its wonders. When the stewardesses step, wide eyed into a foreign country, I’m right there with them.

2) It’s got the ambiance of Mad Men, without the whole task of watching Mad Men.

Don’t get me wrong, I freaking love Mad Men. But it’s really nice to have a show within that 1960s setting that is just a little more whimsical fun and a little less “holycrapwhatjusthappened.” Mad Men is a brilliant, beautiful show but it can be seriously soul draining to watch sometimes.

3) The Pan Am gals are what we wish the Mad Men gals could be.

Again, brilliant show, brilliant female characters in Joan, Peggy and the awful Betty Draper. But Pan Am‘s Maggie, Laura, Kate and Colette are a little more tailored to 2011 mindsets.  While Joan is totally awesome, she frequently lets the sexism of the 60s slide, while Christina Ricci’s Maggie throws a drink in it’s face. Yes, it’s probably unrealistic for its time. Yet, if we had a chance to go back, exactly what we would do.

4) Mad Men talks about historical events, while Pan Am shows them to us.

While much of Mad Men‘s beauty lies in its subtly, I often wish the show would be more up front about the time period, not just by addressing the issues of the period, but by actually featuring 1960s current events. Where Mad Men slyly alludes to a historical events (JFK’s assassination, Race riots etc.) Pan Am puts its main characters present and involved (JFK’s trip to Berlin, Cuban refugee crisis etc.).

5) The Smoking Issue

Seriously, I don’t even notice that these people aren’t smoking up a storm. In fact, when I am watching Mad Men, I am seriously astounded at how much they smoke and often find it distracting. I know, again, unrealistic, but I really don’t mind it.

6) Karine Vanasse is fantastic and Colette’s story line is super interesting.

The tweeter herself is really wonderful in the role of French stewardess Colette.  Her WWII refugee back story in the episode “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” was incredibly engaging and paved the way for the flash-back/back story reveal as we go along system that they’ve now put in place.

Who knows, gang, maybe Vanasse’s tweet was a ploy all along to get Pan Am some more press. If so, I think it worked! But I was going to watch the mid-season finale tonight anyway, and I suggest you check it out as well. Save Pan Am!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Pam permalink
    December 7, 2011 11:19 pm

    Save this show–give it a chance–for us 30 somethings

  2. Erin permalink
    December 9, 2011 2:01 pm

    I happened upon this post as I was googling “Save Pan Am the TV show” LOL… that’s how addicted I am to it! I agree with the previous commenter – us 30 somethings need something to watch that is free from graphic violence and/or law shows. I love a few of the ABC shows though – Private Practice and Castle – but this one is just enjoyable. It’s a total escape and it really makes you wish you lived back in that time (although I agree, it’s probably most unrealistic) but you just want to be these women… at least I do 🙂 I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE Collette – my absolute favorite character on tv right now. I just hope they can save it! Anyhow, thanks for listening to my rant 🙂

  3. Ann permalink
    December 17, 2011 8:51 am

    Love the show, Each episode ends but you are drawn into next week and their adventures. It is slowly developing with each character and their lives. I am wondering if the second lieutendant is a memebr of the top office of Pan Am.

  4. December 17, 2011 9:17 pm

    Save Pan Am!

  5. December 18, 2011 4:48 pm

    Love Pan Am, please don’t cancel this tv show <for ABC !!!

  6. Lowell Whitaker permalink
    December 19, 2011 11:48 pm

    I love the show I sent my letter to ABC in support of Pan Am so I do hope they get another season.

  7. December 20, 2011 7:19 pm

    Save Pan Am bet tv show about stewardess 😉

  8. Mark Harris permalink
    December 26, 2011 5:30 pm


  9. bri permalink
    January 26, 2012 9:16 am

    love ‘pan am’ so much for all the reasons one falls in love

    episode in moscow

    707 touches down that one shot was so perfectly done

    episode in haiti

    colette seated behind dean afterr landing she is serene


    there you go

    some behind scenes love this production

    two sunday s ago

    was in hospital decided to focus on being home for ‘pan am’

    did focus was in my room watched show twice – have

    dish –

    one of the speed bumps is ten eatern when audiuance goes

    to sleep goes to jobs

    how to get around that

    can not be done due to content show begins at ten p m in

    both time zones


    we understand

    we get ‘it’

    thank you a b c for concept

    this is genuine

    here is the thing

    are we doing what we must

    to turn dean s 707 – 321 around?

    have to know have to continue

    – purrr –

  10. J waddell permalink
    February 20, 2012 12:49 am

    Love this show’. Hope it doesn’t cancel.

  11. Dianne permalink
    February 20, 2012 9:48 pm

    Love the show. It’s different and watchable. Try another time slot for season 2. Here’s hoping….

  12. March 5, 2012 5:32 pm

    Yes this show needs to be saved. It is a very good period show, along the lines of Mad Men which I enjoy. I was born in the early 60s so its fun to see that time era depicted on tv. I dont know why its so hard to give us a decent program, and give it to us every week, same day, time, without all the big gaps of time between episodes. I am going to show my age here, but I can remember a time, when tv shows had 25 30 35 episodes a season, no reruns during the season, and they kept them consistent. This networks want us to like these shows, but then they play around with time lapses, and scheduling, the viewer cant keep up half the time, and looses interest and then the networks wonder why the ratings go down.

  13. devoted2 permalink
    March 11, 2012 10:38 pm

    If Pan Am goes, I will be so sad I probably will give up watching anything on ABC. I hope and pray it remains. Better than some of the other junk out there. And, according to my friend who was a stewardess then, pretty well spot on!!!

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