RECAP: ABC's Pan Am Takes Off
Pan Am, ABC's new flight attendant show starring Christina Ricci, premiered Sunday. It harkens back to the '60s when air travel was better in some ways (passengers wear their Sunday best) and worse in others (stewardesses must wear girdles and attend "weigh-ins" to make sure they are not gaining weight). In this Cold War-era, generally light-hearted drama, it turns out that a major plot line will involve spies, there will be much ado about women's rights, and plenty of air crew incest — as in, pilots hooking up with flight attendants.
Ricci plays Maggie, the smart, rebellious one of the bunch, who gets airlifted from the West Village to the airport when the Pan Am flight is missing its "purser" (whatever that is). Kelli Garner and Margot Robbie play sister stewardesses Kate and Laura, respectively, who put up with some sibling rivalry. Mike Vogel plays a dubiously young-looking pilot named Dean, who had some history with Bridgette, the original, now-missing purser.
The show is reliant on nostalgia (Kodak cameras!) and flashbacks (trips to Rome!) to weave together the pleasure of the golden days of air travel with the intrigue of missing persons, spies, the Bay of Pigs and other not-so-golden aspects of the early '60s. The episode ended with enough unanswered questions to possibly make some people care to watch again, but most importantly with the lovely, uniformed stewardesses boarding their next flight, their delicate hands and white gloves being admired by a little girl at the airport. You just can't look away!
Pan Am airs on ABC Sunday nights. Watch the full episode here: