Save Pan Am!: My Favorite New Fall Show
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!