“Pan Am” review

Kimberly Mei, Staff Writer

     Tilted blue caps, smooth waved bobs, and knee-length skirts: the glamour of the 1960s has been revived as the Pan Am stewardess. Based off the actual Pan American World Airlines flight attendants, ABC’s new show Pan Am premiered on Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. Centered on the crew of the Clipper Majestic during their first takeoff from New York to London, the first episode was highly entertaining but a bit predictable.

    The overall episode drew my attention in and kept it, thanks to the fast-moving plot and convincing acting. There were tons of furtive glances exchanged between characters that hinted at undercover plots. Episode one, Pilot, proved to have the typical feel-good aspect to it that provided for an interesting 40-minute escape from the present.

     In addition, the classic, posh, crisp wardrobe of the actors and 1963-era sets were undoubtedly aesthetically beautiful—I felt like I was peeking through a foggy café window on a rainy evening in the streets of London. I already wanted to be part of the glamorous, poised, and intelligent “breed” of women that were the Pan Am stewardesses. The show created an aura around their main characters that was similar to the draw of the “Upper East Side” elite of CW’s Gossip Girl that made me want to watch more.

     However, though the sets were pretty, the range of backgrounds was somewhat limited. Most of the episode took place on the pristine Clipper Majestic jet or in various airports, and the settings got repetitive. In addition, they were almost too perfect and storybook-like, as if Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks had been propped up behind the actors. Perhaps this was to highlight the amazing service of the stewardesses and convey that they kept the plane spotless, but more often than not, the scenes, especially ones of the skies outside the jet windows, appeared artificial and dream-like.

     The storyline also focused on each individual stewardess and her issues, so the plots were not as intertwined as they could have been for a first episode. Regardless, the episode did introduce each stewardess well. Christina Ricci, who plays the part of Maggie stars alongside Margot Robbie as Laura, Karine Vanasse as Colette, and Kelli Garner as Kate. There is still a lot of potential for a juicy, complex, suspenseful season.

     Pan Am will be a fascinating show for those who are ready to be flown away to another age in America or those who are eager to experience life as part of an elite and young group traveling around the world.