I love the bygone days! I listen to oldies, I covet vintage 50s and 60s dresses, handbags, furniture, cookware, books, billboards, signs, well, you get it, pretty much everything. I loved the first few episodes of “Mad Men,” but never got to watch any more (something I will soon be remedying). So, adding my love of all things retro to my family history in the aviation industry and you have a prime viewer of ABC’s new drama “PAN AM!” My Aunt became a flight attendant in 1979 for Delta and my father was a flight instructor (smaller airplanes) for as long as I can remember. Ironically, with all this aviation in my blood, I acquired a fear of flying during my years at law school (I was probably thinking too much)!
So, how was the pilot episode of “PAN AM?” I would classify the first episode as quasi-boring with loads of “eye candy.” What I mean by “eye candy” is really the set designs and costumes–which, I should admit, those aspects alone would have me watching the show! Not to say that the four main characters are not “eye candy” in the traditional sense of the word; but to me the sets and costumes give me something I’ve always wanted: a glimpse into the world of the 50s and 60s! I appreciated the little details, like the menus for the passengers, the magazine covers, the guest book at the hotel, the handwritten boarding passes, I could seriously go on and on!
As far as the characters and stories go, there was just enough going on to justify me watching it religiously every Sunday night (or at least queuing it up to be recorded on my DVR and watching it in stolen moments when Kysen is napping). The two most intriguing characters are Bridget and Kate. Bridget and one of the pilots had some relationship going on and now shes bailed. The scene shot in Cuba was ridiculous, as I am half-Cuban, and all the actors they got to play the Cubans looked to be Middle-Eastern! Ironically the two most interesting characters are both working for the CIA, so that will be an interesting plot line to follow.
Unsurprisingly, a married man was having an affair with the French stewardess (who is also unsurprisingly named Colette). His wife and son board Colette’s flight and the wife goes out of her way to be very friendly to the somewhat-surprised stewardess (hey, she’s French). It all seems a normal cheater’s wife unsuspectingly meets “the other woman” scenario until the wife comes back on board after deplaning, having forgotten her purse, and telling Colette to keep her son’s drawing of his family to remind her not to sleep with a married man. Didn’t expect that, but seriously, how “racy” can the plot really get?
I found myself wondering what kind of woman I would have been back then. Would I have been like Laura heading dutifully into marriage? Or would I have been one of the “new breed” of women? Putting aside my fear of flying to boldly serve food and drink in my girdle and then have an unabashed blast during my layovers across Europe? It certainly drives home that there were far fewer choices for women back then and all of them entailed stereotyping in one regard or another.
How did you Mommas like PAN AM? Are you into the retro scene too?