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Pan Am OAD 09/26/2011 Pilot


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#1 OFFLINE   cj9788

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 10:00 AM

Loved the music, the clothes, the whole feel of the show, I think this is my new favorite show. Sorry for the wrong date I recorded it on West Coast feed and my guide had 09/26/2011 as OAD. MOD please feel free to change date to 09/25/2011 in thread title.

Edited by cj9788, 26 September 2011 - 10:15 AM.


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#2 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 11:49 PM

Was I ever surprised, favorably, when we watched it tonight. Somehow I missed the memo that this show was going to have a "cold war spy" element.

For a pilot the writing was good and the story was introduced without overdoing it. The feel of the show was more or less true to the early 1960's. The period songs were fine, but the occasional epic film background music was a bit much. The acting was solid, the primary characters being better designed than the new "Charlie's Angels."

In the next two weeks, ABC should promo the espionage element to draw audience.

"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
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#3 OFFLINE   olguy

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 07:13 AM

We enjoyed it. I never thought I would think of anytime in my life as the time for a "period piece". :lol: And it brought back a few pleasant memories of tales my late baby sister told. She was a Continental stewardess from 1961 - 1966 when she married the B-57 driver she met in the O club at Clark AFB while ferrying troops in and out of Viet Nam.
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#4 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 03:34 PM

We enjoyed it. I never thought I would think of anytime in my life as the time for a "period piece". :lol: And it brought back a few pleasant memories of tales my late baby sister told. She was a Continental stewardess from 1961 - 1966 when she married the B-57 driver she met in the O club at Clark AFB while ferrying troops in and out of Viet Nam.

I really was impressed by the premier. The Bay of Pigs thing was really unexpected as an intro to that mysterious ex-stewardess.

About being a "period piece," I was a skeptic when I read this quote at EW about comparing it to "Mad Men":

“Is The Good Wife comparable to House because they take place in this decade?” asks creator Jack Orman. “I don’t think so.” Adds Ricci, “The only thing similar is the time period, and the fact that both shows are shot in very cinematic ways.”

There was a lot of critical comment in advance about the $10 million spent on the pilot. But some of that money was wll spent on thoughtful, complex writing creating what could continue to be complex characters.

"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

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#5 OFFLINE   olguy

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 07:51 PM

The only thing that bothered me at all was the apparent youth of the pilot. Many commercial pilots in the 60's were WWII vets. Sis flew with several of them.

I am looking forward to the series. Wonder if we will see Bridget later?
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#6 OFFLINE   njblackberry

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 07:59 PM

I enjoyed the pilot a lot more than I expected to. Great historical references, music and scenery. Looking forward to next week's episode!

#7 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 11:23 PM

You know, some big critics lumped this in with the Playboy Club which is a huge turkey, but I think they're being unfair to Pan Am. It's not great, but it's definitely got something going on.

#8 OFFLINE   mreposter

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 11:26 AM

Was I ever surprised, favorably, when we watched it tonight. Somehow I missed the memo that this show was going to have a "cold war spy" element.


Yep, this one took me completely by surprise, it was nothing like I was expecting. I wonder if they can keep up the production values - that may be tough for an internationally-set period piece. If they do a "very special" episode where everyone's locked in the luggage compartment for the whole show, you'll know it's because of the budget.

The one thing that confused me a bit was headliner Christina Ricci's relatively small part in the first episode. Granted, they needed to establish the spy storyline, but I'm wondering if Ricci's character will be more of a supporting one rather than the lead.
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#9 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 12:29 PM

...The one thing that confused me a bit was headliner Christina Ricci's relatively small part in the first episode. Granted, they needed to establish the spy storyline, but I'm wondering if Ricci's character will be more of a supporting one rather than the lead.

Based on her past experience playing 'jailbait' roles, perhaps the Ricci credit is being used as bait for the show. If that is the case, then it works for me! :sure:

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#10 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 01:34 AM

Ricci's huge scary sunken eyes make her look like an escapee from the Adams family, and she was clearly the odd man out looks-wise on the show. And role-wise, she had nothing to do once the plane took off.

But the rest were very well cast, a very attractive and fresh ensemble. Really well done show, which is not surprising since Tommy Schlamme was directing (West Wing/Sports Night).

Looking forward to next week's show.

#11 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 11:33 PM

Enjoyed episode 2. It appears that the CIA - MI6 Cold War subplot is significant and will continue. It's nice to find something with possible mystery that isn't about bodies and computerized forensics.

"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

"If you're good enough, they'll talk about you." - Tom Harmon
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#12 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 12:14 AM

Wow the Berlin ep was amazing. Some heavy stuff in there. Props to the writers for making it all work. Kind of a "West Wing" vibe with the mix of romance, light comedy and serious drama. A keeper.

#13 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:59 AM

Yeah, this is a well written and produced show. Unfortunately, ABC needed to introduce it in January instead of against Sunday Night Football.

"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

"If you're good enough, they'll talk about you." - Tom Harmon
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#14 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 09:01 AM

Wow the Berlin ep was amazing. Some heavy stuff in there. Props to the writers for making it all work. Kind of a "West Wing" vibe with the mix of romance, light comedy and serious drama. A keeper.


I felt quite the opposite. The Berlin episode is the one that convinced me the show isn't worth it and I canceled my series link.
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#15 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 09:22 AM

I felt quite the opposite. The Berlin episode is the one that convinced me the show isn't worth it and I canceled my series link.

What about the show made you feel that way?

Having lived through that time, it seemed very real to me, in a fictional drama way. But I wondered if it was too much focusing all of an episode on three historical elements that represented intense but accurate emotions of the time:
  • An otherwise reasonably intelligent young adult behaving like a groupie about Kennedy.
  • An accurate portrayal of the pain caused to a victim of German occupation when Kennedy chose to offer forgiveness to Germans.
  • A bit of a stretch, but the complexity of a young American stewardess functioning as a volunteer CIA courier (yes, they did this) facing up to the real risks taken by those trapped on the other side of the Cold War.
I'm curious.

Also, for those who don't know this, when jets began to replace prop planes in the airline industry there was a generational thing going on in the pilot ranks. WWII pilots flew prop planes. Korean War pilots were the first to fly jets. Airlines frequently put the younger pilots with jet experience in the captain's chair first.

"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

"If you're good enough, they'll talk about you." - Tom Harmon
A GEEZER who remembers watching TV in 1951 and was an Echostar customer from 1988 to 2008, now a Dish Network customer.
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#16 OFFLINE   pablo

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 09:44 AM

I'm loving Pan Am, I hope it's around a few seasons at least.

#17 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 10:04 AM

What about the show made you feel that way?

Having lived through that time, it seemed very real to me, in a fictional drama way. But I wondered if it was too much focusing all of an episode on three historical elements that represented intense but accurate emotions of the time:

  • An otherwise reasonably intelligent young adult behaving like a groupie about Kennedy.
  • An accurate portrayal of the pain caused to a victim of German occupation when Kennedy chose to offer forgiveness to Germans.
  • A bit of a stretch, but the complexity of a young American stewardess functioning as a volunteer CIA courier (yes, they did this) facing up to the real risks taken by those trapped on the other side of the Cold War.
I'm curious.

Also, for those who don't know this, when jets began to replace prop planes in the airline industry there was a generational thing going on in the pilot ranks. WWII pilots flew prop planes. Korean War pilots were the first to fly jets. Airlines frequently put the younger pilots with jet experience in the captain's chair first.


Well the biggest thing for me is that they stage this in Terminal 6 which wasn't built until 1970 and they are in 1963... The CGI of the planes is just plain bad, no pun intended.

I know that stewardesses were popular back then but they weren't rock stars that could just walk into any party that they wanted.

They seem to just fly anywhere and are always together when you don't always fly with the same "team" let alone the same pilots. You also have assigned areas and don't just randomly fly anywhere in the world on a given day.

The story lines are just blah...

I will give them credit though for pointing out JFK said he was a jelly doughnut which everyone else seems to overlook.
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#18 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 10:11 AM

I agree with RunnerFL. Really sub-par production design. The CGI looks like Microsoft Flight Simulator, the costumes look inauthentic and the entire thing has the look of a set, not the look of real life in 1963.

It's very hard, when looking at the production design, not to mention the hair. The men's hair is for the most part completely wrong. And, for all the attention paid to the idea that women were supposed to wear girdles, I don't think they were. The girdles of the day would have given the women a much more constrained posture that I don't see there.

The plots may improve, and that may rescue this show from its poor attention to set design and detail, much like you really didn't care that The Wonder Years didn't look particularly '60s or Happy Days didn't look particularly 50s.
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#19 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 12:38 PM

Well, they did have to decide on how to split the budget between the cost of production design (sets, CGI, etc.), location expenses, and people (actors, directors, writers, etc.) and while I like Christina Ricci (probably the most expensive actor on the show) as noted in this article she isn't the ideal actress for the look.

By the way the article does reflect what I know about girdles of the time period, that they were becoming more flexible and less movement restraining:

It quickly becomes apparent that Jack Orman is not the man to ask about the tensile strength of the Van Raalte Parisian pink Power Net girdle, circa 1963, nor its magical Lycra properties. “Puts everything about you in its place,” promised the Van Raalte advertisements of the day, along with the rather discomfiting ad line: “Opens the door to a world of nice things.”

It's an interesting article and offers this picture from The Pan Am Historical Foundation:

Posted Image


On the foundations web site they note:

ABC has introduced a new series, Pan Am, in their Fall 2011 lineup. Brainchild of former Pan American World Airways flight attendant Nancy Hult Gannis, the show stars Christina Ricci and is put together with meticulous attention to the detail that distinguished the "world's most experienced airline."

They haven't offered any post premier critique.

I hope that now we have the relevant backstory, the episode story arcs will improve though the article causes me some concern that the next few episodes are going to become a 1960's travelogue:

...[Jack] Orman puts down any notion that the...series Pan Am, of which he is creator and executive producer, is a small-screen derivative of the highly sexed, and sexist, Coffee, Tea or Me? take on Swinging Sixties stewardesses.

...It’s just that Pan Am the show, just like the once glorious airline, is historically rich, with a dramatic arc that will jet viewers to Paris, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Monte Carlo, Rome and, not least, Berlin for President John F. Kennedy’s Ich Bin Ein Berliner speech....

“Pan Am represented a time when America was at its apex,” Orman continues. “The whole idea of the Jet Age. It was glamorous, new. Anything was possible.”

That's a bit of an overstatement as at the end of 1963 a lot of us watched the hope and optimism reflected in Ricci's character in this last episode ominously carried to a grave.

We'll see.

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"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

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#20 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 01:03 PM

That's a great picture and really illustrates what's wrong with the overall design of this show (in contrast.) Look at the "whitewalls" on that guy in the center. Look at the posture of every woman in the picture... back straight but leaning slightly forward. The mural on the wall, hopelessly hokey by today's standards but obviously quite exciting then. Also notice that neither man is wearing a hat. I could see wearing a hat in the airport — my granddad did, even though it was gauche to do so inside. He wore hats in the airport and the train station but took them off when he sat. Too much indoor hat wearing in Pan Am.

Yes, I'm still as picky as ever, and until Mad Men comes back I'll be biting into this show with vigor.
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