Pan Am Review: Pilot

“They don’t know that they’re a new breed of women. They just had the impulse to take flight.”

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a flight attendant. Actually I still kinda want to be a flight attendant. I want to see the world and meet interesting people and get paid for it, even if it doesn’t pay all that well. However being a flight attendant now isn’t the same as it was back in the 60s and 70s; the golden age of travel.

I’m a sucker for TV shows and movies with a historical storyline; I am a history major of course I am going to watch these shows!!! That’s why I love Mad Men and why I stick with Boardwalk Empire, even if it is a doozy to watch. I also love the 60’s, I love feminism, and I love everything to do with the cold war.

In comes Pan Am, one of ABC’s newest dramas to premiere this fall about the crew aboard a newly minted clipper fleet. The drama follows the lives of 4 beautiful Pan Am Stewardesses (Christina Ricci, Killi Garner, Margot Robbie, and Karine Vanesse) and 2 handsome pilots (the always beautiful, Mike Vogel and Michael Mosley). This is a TV show people, like come on, the cabin-crew have to be hot…duh!

So who are these lovely ladies and dashing men? Let’s go down the list shall we?

Laura Cameron (Margot Robbie): She is the newest Pan Am stewardess and by a freak accident, she became the face of Pan Am for Life magazine, much to her displeasure.  She got the job after running away from a marriage, she didn’t want, to see the world. She is also the sister to Kate, another one of the four stewardesses.

Kate Cameron (Kelli Garner): You can tell almost immediately that Kate was never the prized child in the Cameron family. She was always being upstaged by her sister Laura, who has now joined her as a stewardess on the newest clipper flight. There is more oomph to Kate. She just accepted a job with a US Intelligence agency and her first assignment happens to coincide with the first flight of her new flight. Her first assignment? Replace a Russian passenger’s passport with a fake one to keep him from entering the country. It’s just a test, and she passes, barely. That Russian passenger actually ends up being her newest British contact at Mi-6. The storyline has potential and it’s actually kind of realistic; Pan Am was started by the US Government after all.

Collette Valois (Karine Vanesse):A French stewardess and the character I liked the most. Turns out that one of the regular passenger’s she’s been sleeping with is actually married and has a kid and she totally gets told off the wife at the end of the episode. However, you can tell almost immediately that there is more to her than just an unaware mistress. This is someone who my guess had a rough life growing up and she joined Pan Am to see the world and rise above her old life. I can’t wait to find out more about her.

Maggie Ryan (Christina Ricci): the rebellious one of the group; she is a bonafide beatnik out to see the world. We still don’t know much about her except that she’s one of the older stewardesses whose seen a lot already. I really hope we see some more flashback’s with her. I have a feeling her backstory is going to fascinate me. I loved the beatnik generation. I hope they do her storyline justice to that fabulous culture.

Ted and Dean (Michael Mosley and Mike Vogel) are our co-pilots. Dean has just been promoted to Captain and he is sadly, in love with a missing stewardess, Bridget (Annabelle Wallis).  We see that in the pilot episode, he proposed to Bridget and when he hears that she resigned from Pan Am, he takes it as a sign that she has accepted his proposal. However, it is the exact opposite. She’s left him and he has no idea why. Well the audience has an idea why, she was involved with that same espionage plot that Kate is involved in and I am sure we will see more of it as this season progresses.

This show has ton of promise and I easily fell in love with its enchanting premise and intriguing take on 60s feminism. Being a woman who is utterly fascinated by the feminist movement that took place during the 60s and 70s, I for one can’t wait to see what this show brings. Will it be as good as the stuff Matthew Weiner is doing on Mad Men, with Peggy and Joan? Probably not. But this show is not Mad Men and nor does it want to be. It wants to be something different and eventually, shine on its own, which, given enough time, it could do.

One other thing, this show is going to make people miss that golden age of travel that is for sure. Im probably being a little too optimistic and wishing too highly but maybe it will reinvigorate the airlines to try and step it up again and bring back the golden age of travel. Hey, a girl can dream right?

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