Pan Am Recap: “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”

I think one of the things that annoys me about Pan Am is that most of Laura’s and Colette’s storylines (and some of Kate’s and Maggie’s too) all revolve around their romantic interest. I get it, it’s night time soap, we want romance, but it’s easy to see why Laura comes off so shallow and insipid as the majority of her stories deal with her ex-fiancé or the sexual tension between her and Ted. Or how Colette is still so vague as a character after 8 episodes because all we know about her is “French”, “orphaned”, and “liking Dean.” Not the best impression when the show is trying to portray these characters as modern women of their time.

This week’s episode is not very different. Let me tick off the points for you:

– Maggie runs into some troubles (political and otherwise) with a congressman on his way to the Atomic Symposium in London. Of course they cut to commercial break before Maggie can make her case about nuclear testing to the congressman. Is it too hard to write? Their hook-up is much more important, I suppose.

– Colette meets Dean’s parents. Despite the rather forcefully introduced conflict with Dean’s dad, this storyline pretty much frizzles out before it even begins. And suddenly Colette is mixing up words like “hooking” and “playing hooky”, like she can’t speak English now?

– Kate gets what was promised as the final mission, but it gets complicated. As usual, the most coherent plot, but things don’t become interesting until the last 30 seconds or so.

– Laura deals with a sexist captain (who replaces Dean for the flight) while trying to help Ted make his ex-girlfriend jealous (and fails miserably.) I do admit that Ted is growing on me as a character, but this is almost a non-plot, because it’s mostly just set up for next episode.

So each girl has a storyline that deals so specifically with her supposedly “character”, that it doesn’t help us understand them any better (for example, if Maggie got involved with a guy who brought her to see his parents after 2 weeks of dating, we would see a whole new side of her); none of the stories connects, the girls barely talk to each other during the episode. It’s like compartmentalized writing.

My reaction exactly

You know, snarking is fun when the plot is ridiculous (like the previous episode), because at least it gives you something to talk about. But this? This is just boring. We’ll see if I still feel that way when the show comes back in January, but as of right now, I’m done with Pan Am.


4 Comments on “Pan Am Recap: “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang””

  1. Good points about why Pan Am isn’t quite working, and I agree that this episode in particular was a bit all over the place. But I think they’ve had a couple of episodes that did work on a character level – namely, “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” and “Unscheduled Departure,” both of which worked to develop Colette’s character without putting the romance front and center.

  2. Cortney A. says:

    Maybe it’s just one of those shows where you’re supposed to oooh and ahh over the clothing and hairstyling? And multitask, because you don’t really have to pay attention?

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