Fall Premiere Pilot Review: Pan Am (D)
Pan Am (ABC)
Let’s address this whole retro nostalgia for the 60’s thing that is flooding US television. The 60’s was a great time if you happen to be rich, white, American, a man and straight – for almost everyone else it kind of sucked, it especially sucked for women and people of colour. So this all-white-middle-class-privileged 60′s revival that is going on right now to capitalize on the popularity of Mad Men is offensive at best. Pan Am is revisionist history pure and simple, they have created a clean and glorified, sexy version of the 60’s that never existed.
This show follows around a group of Pan Am flight attendants who are really nothing more then glorified waitresses in the sky wearing cute outfits serving the rich. While the writers have conveniently ignored any race issues during the pilot episode, they certainly haven’t forgotten about the Cold War and we quickly learn that one of the flight attendants is a super secret CIA spy, (which is another pet peeve of mine: depicting the CIA as the “good guys” in the battle to do justice around the world… because they are really not the good guys).
We see the Pan Am flight attendants being weighed and critiqued on their appearance and as audience members, we are supposed to be appalled (“My God, look at the rampant sexism!”). But just a few scenes later we “ooooh” and “awww” at how fun and cute they look in their matching outfits during their slow motion walk through the airport. We are supposed to love and admire the retro throw-back appearance and style, yet we are also supposed to be appalled about the way that appearance gets manufactured!? You can’t have your cake and eat it too. These women trade the ability to make money and travel the world with being put on display, and this, of course, is not critiqued.
Not interested in watching again.
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