Quick Take: Pan Am, "Pilot"
"You better buckle up, adventure calls." - Maggie
Review: Pan Am, "Pilot"
(S0101) At first I didn't fully enjoy the overall flow of the premiere episode of Pan Am. I felt as though I was walking into the middle of something without any backstory as to what was going on. I got that it was New York in 1963 and the Clipper Majestic was making its first trip from New York to London but what else was there. Thankfully there were strategically placed flashbacks that filled in some of the gaps.
The cast is led by Christina Ricci, who plays Maggie, a stewardess (the word used before the politically correct term flight attendant was coined) who appears to have a penchant for breaking the rules every now and then. Kelli Garner plays Kate, who may just end up being the most interesting stewardess of the cast. Her sister Laura is played by Margot Robbie, who ends up being a stewardess after a life-altering decision. And then there is Colette, portrayed by Karine Vanasse, who we learn in the pilot was having an affair with a frequent flyer whom she did not was married with a child.
Kate's involvement with the MI-6 may very well end up being the most intriguing storyline of the show. Will Kate really be able to handle this extremely secretive and high-stress role? She's so adamant to prove that she can succeed and be more than what people think of her that she may get in her own way. For a while, being a stewardess was her own thing, but, when her sister, Laura, decides to walk out on her wedding and follow her path she's ultimately left in the shadows as Kate's face ends up being plastered on the cover of LIFE magazine. Kate tries to hide from the attention but that's difficult considering LIFE magazine was a global one. One more thing, what will happen to Kate after her involvement is over? Bridget, a fellow stewardess, essentially walks away from her life; will Kate have to do the same?
While the stewardesses may have the adoration of the public and many little girls as being a new breed of women, behind the scenes of their so called glamorous jobs there are weigh-ins, uniform guidelines (they must always wear a girdle and their stockings cannot be too dark) and restrictions on their relationship status. We mustn’t forget this is the 1960's. While ABC and NBC (with The Playboy Club) are trying to capture the magic of the 1960's, as AMC's Mad Men has been doing for some time now, they are doing so in a very niche way that uses women at the forefront.
The show does have a lot of promise, but, I was left wondering though where does it go from here? It's definitely not the type of show where you can or have to drag out too many storylines. Hopefully the writers will keep it fresh and intriguing.