Guest Blog Post: Pan Am Episode 2 Review and Contest

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My sister-in-law Danielle is back again with a review of the second episode of ABC’s Pan Am. I suspect that, like her, many of you have been disappointed with the show’s bumpy ride so far, but take a look at her synopsis, and get in on the contest she talks about at the end!

REVIEW

Bonjour and welcome aboard to my week-two review of Pan Am; “We’ll Always Have Paris.” For such a romantic backdrop the second episode in ABC’s new series hardly got the blood boiling. I found myself feeling just about as dispassionate as the episode’s storylines as I perched on the couch preparing to write this post. So with nowhere else to turn I checked out ABC’s website for some inspiration and instead found one comment online that pretty much sums the show up for me at this point, “Where’s the turbulence??”

While it’s true that on a flight the last thing you want is a rocky ride, the opposite is true for a sexy new primetime drama, but the thrills just weren’t there this week … again. Here’s what did happen.

During the opening Maggie proves that she has a big mouth and a quick wit when she challenges the matriarch of the stewardesses in defense of Laura, who is chastised for gaining a pound and threatened with a review of her “personal weight limit.” Later in the show I did sit up a little straighter when a drunken first class passenger followed Maggie into the galley in pursuit of more than the lavatory. Maggie thwarts his advances by poking him with a serving utensil and scolds, “I am not included in the price of your ticket.” Later there is a predictable argument between the co-pilot Ted, and the same passenger – apparently the man has the power to get Maggie fired over the incident (an example of 60’s lack-of gender equality), but settles for another free drink before landing. Maggie expresses her indignation over this resolution since the unruly flyer didn’t learn anything from being forked and will go on to accost the next pretty stewardess. Interesting to note that Maggie claims that it is her job to know the names of each and every first class passenger – she also serves escargot and pâté. Imagine that: a time when flight attendants thought of passengers as individuals and first class was like a gourmet restaurant in the sky. Sigh.

Colette cozies up to heartbroken Dean after he gives her a lift to the airport. However, everyone’s intentions are all above board and instead of a sizzling scene between the sheets, Colette ends up escorting Dean around Paris attempting to track down someone who might know the whereabouts of his ex-girlfriend, the missing flight attendant Bridget. The scene ends with Dean and Colette slow-dancing in the street as they are both “lost” (Colette presumably after her fling with a married man in the previous episode). Then …nothing. Ah, Paris. The fun fact snuck into this story line? A restaurant maître d’ informs the Colette and Dean that Bridget was, allegedly, a married woman, and Colette explains (for our benefit I’m sure) that secret marriages were a necessity among stewardesses who wished to remain employed since airlines had a strict single-status policy for flight attendants.

Laura is still estranged from her parents and her fiancé after running out on her wedding to join big sister Kate as a Pan Am stewardess. But, after Laura’s mother surprises her daughters by showing up on their fight we learn that apparently Laura’s appearance on the cover of Life far overshadowed the embarrassment that leaving her groom at the altar caused her family, and now her mother wants her back. A yawn-inducing set of scenes follow where mom reveals that she has brought Laura’s ex to Paris to reconcile. After running from him a second time the two have a heartfelt discussion about life’s adventures and part as friends (with the Eiffel Tower shining through the window). Really?! The modern-day air industry takeaway from this set of events is that even so many years ago flight benefits were extended to family members. Maggie lets Kate and Laura know that their parents can fly for free, and during the flight Laura upgrades her mom to first class because there’s space.

Perhaps, the biggest disappointment? I’m just not that drawn (yet) to what is probably meant to be the most interesting plotline – Kate and her new role as an American spy. She finally finds out what happened to Bridget (after compromising her identity by not following orders, Bridget is discharged and relocated to Missouri) and despite hearing about how Bridget had to sacrifice everything for the “cause” and regrets it, Kate is still inexplicably compelled to continue her career in espionage. I guess that even with how “liberating” it is to be a Pan Am stewardess, it still doesn’t imbue the ladies with a real sense of purpose in life.

I’m still holding out hope that Pan Am will fly us into some juicier territory. I just hope that it’s sooner rather than later (as in, before cancellation) – because I’m beginning to wonder if spending an actual hour on a plane (in coach) would be more tantalizing . . . à la prochaine!

PS: There is a contest going on at the moment that can win you one of those glam Pan Am bags I mentioned last week. Simply follow the show @PanAmABC on Twitter and tweet them a message (up to once a day) with the hashtag “#panam” before 1pm Eastern Time on October 7th, 2011, to be eligible. Official rules and regulations.

The chances of a TPG reader winning that are small, so Brian has agreed to give an Orion bag (in the color of your choosing) to a lucky TPG winner. All you need to do is comment your thoughts on this show (or why you don’t watch it) on this blog post. Winner will be announced in my next review. Good luck!

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