It’s no coincidence that the new retro-fab TV drama “Pan Am” has taxied into the same time slot that Mad Men should be filling. ABC is hoping to bank off the popularity of Mad Men with this slick, cool-styled show.
Set in 1963, Pan Am gives us a glimpse into the lives of what have become icons of the jet-set era…the Pan Am stewardesses, those beautiful, sexy goddesses that served our mini-bottle liquor in tight skirts and had a reputation for being easier to make than a toaster waffle.
Christina Ricci leads the cast, and as far as hot dolls go Ms. Ricci has sure grown up nice since playing Wednesday Addams.
Sneak peaks and trailer videos make this show look like it will teeter on the line between light drama and near-comedy, which might be a nice, smart way to differentiate itself from the heavy drama of Mad Men or the yet to be distinguished The Playboy Club. Cool cars, swingin’ music and era fashions galore make the look of the show promising. Now if the plot can get off the ground, it’ll be a winner. There’s just one thing that bothers me…one of the characters is apparently going to be a secret CIA agent, undercover as a stewardess. Like the murder mystery plot of The Playboy Club, that could be the one thing that derails the whole show (sorry for the train reference, couldn’t think of something clever like that about a plane). The Big Networks have a tendency to make everything about a murder or some other crime, and putting a CIA agent into a show about hot chicks on planes can easily turn this into another crime drama…or not.
One thing is ‘plane’ as day…this show will look great, and even if the plot stinks it will be fun to watch the pretty girls in 1960’s garb.
The real Pan Am: Like everything else great in the world, there’s a Florida connection. Pan Am was started in 1927 as a mail carrier between Key West and Havana, and was based out of Miami. Worldwide service began in 1947 and its luxury liner jets were known for their elegance, service, fine food and beautiful stewardesses. The last plane I was on had me squashed up against the wall, the air was stale and all they gave us was a tiny bag of peanuts and a canned coke in a plastic cup. Progress. Yeah.
There’s a great article on today’s Sun Sentinel about the real stewardesses and a little more info on Pan Am. It reports that 120+ original flight attendants will be getting together in Miami tonight to watch the premier of Pan Am. Must be pretty damned exciting for them, right?
Pan Am takes flight tonight at 10pm on ABC. Please make sure your seat back is in the lounge position, and your cocktail is ready to sip. Here’s the trailer…
-Tiki Chris reporting from the flight deck at Hollywood-Fort Lauderdale Airport, Florida