Monday, September 26, 2011

Live-blogging the New Television Season, Volume 2

Pan Am A+



I'm giving you my grade ahead of time, plus the logo, just so you know where I stand. I enjoyed it a great deal--although I must admit that I:

a--was in a fragile emotional state post-Jets
b--didn't start watching it til perhaps half-past-midnight
c--because of this may have been delirious.

But enough with the disclaimers. Disclaimers are for sissies. I stand behind my grade.

There was a time in my life when I actually did something for a living. A subset of that time was spent flying Pan Am First-Class from New York to London. And back, obviously. I was doing this a decade or so after the period of time in which the show is set (for example, they'd renamed Idlewild as Kennedy Airport by then), but it was before flying had completely gone to shit. And let me tell you, Pan Am to Europe was perhaps the best flying experience the American airline industry had to offer. I probably flew that route a dozen times or so. Certainly enough to get the hang of it.

In the history of commercial aeronautics, you could argue that everything started to go to hell in a hand-basket--whatever that means--the day Delta bought Pan Am. Or at least they bought the planes and the routes and the crews. But the day they whited out Pan Am and wrote Delta on the tail of those planes was some version of the night they drove Ole Dixie down.
Brief personal aside: Am currently reading Killer Angels--the famous Gettysburg novel--so I've got Dixie on the mind.
I tried Delta once or twice after that, then said Screw This and started flying Continental out of Newark. Which was significantly more convenient and, while horrible compared to Pan Am, dramatically better than Delta.

I, by the way, have never forgiven Delta and I refuse to fly them to this day. Easy to say, since I never fly anywhere anymore, but still...

All of which inexorably leads us to Pan Am, the TV show. What's not to like? Everything is so clean and nice. Particularly the stewardesses. One of them, as near as I can tell, even has a side gig with the Central Intelligence Agency as a spy! And I've had a fond spot in my heart for Christina Ricci ever since Samuel L. Jackson chained her to the radiator in Black Snake Moan. And the whole thing is carried out with such frothy aplomb that it makes The Playboy Club (which desperately needs some frothy aplomb) suck even more in comparison.

Pan Am A+

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