Pan Am Recap: “We’ll Always Have Paris”Posted: October 3, 2011
Perhaps I was being a little too hard on Pan Am in my last review. The show definitely has its problems, but I also need to lower my standards. This is network television, not cable.
Last night’s episode seems to prove that the show is settling into its “nighttime soap” identity, which is what ABC does best (Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, etc.) It’s not that different from the pilot, full of pretty fluff and low on drama. I have to say though, I’m a little disappointed with how Paris is represented. Yes, I know they don’t have the money to actually film in Paris, but for such an iconic city, the set doesn’t even look like Paris that much.
The writing is, as usual, very on the nose, especially on Christina Ricci’s character (“You made it okay for him to try that again with another girl”? OK, she’s supposed to be a rebel, but seriously? That’s a 21st century line!)
Also disappointing is the wrap-up of the two storylines with the most potential for drama: the aftermath of Laura’s pulling a runaway bride and Bridget’s disappearance. Tom and Lorenzo make a good observation in their recap, that this probably is going to be the show’s format: short arcs that last for two or three episodes, instead of a serialized story. I’m not used to that; all the shows I watch are either episodic (CSI), episodic with an overall arc (Fringe), or completely serialized (Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire), but we’ll see.
The one good thing that comes from this episode is that since those two big storylines seem to have been wrapped up, I’m interested to see what’s coming up. I only hope that Dean and Colette are not going to be a thing from now on, because I couldn’t care less about them. In fact, my reaction on the opening scene is: “Dude, your girlfriend/fiancée just disappeared, why are you driving your convertible with that gormless grin on your face and flirt with Colette?!” (actually I do know why. This was supposed to be episode 3, but the network switched up the order for some reason. So Dean has had a little more time to recover.)
And speaking of Dean, the men on the show could use some work too. We have Dean the Captain, then Douchy Co-pilot and Ethnic Second Officer. That’s what I call them because that’s what they are; there’s no point in learning their names. Of course they only play second fiddle to the women, but I would appreciate a little more effort in the writing and casting of these characters. Especially casting, because the writing probably won’t get any better. Dean may have a bit of that matinée idol thing going on (when he’s not being gormless, that is), but the other guys – from the handsy passenger to an MI6 guy – all look like dorks.
Here’s a big question for you guys: do you guys want me to keep doing the recap? The show doesn’t leave much to the imagination so there’s really not a whole lot to analyze. I have fun snarking, but if you guys don’t care that much then I’ll go back to the usual movie reviews.