There are weeks that slap you in the face with exhaustion and unexpected hits, and with that it's important to have a treat waiting for you at the end of it all to offer some relief. My treat was one that I saved on the DVR. All summer long I couldn't wait for the premiere of ABC's Pan Am because as a child my favorite Barbie had been a stewardess. I had this world map that I would place on my bedroom carpet and would fly my pink uniformed Barbie in her pink corvette (with homemade wings taped to the side doors) to all the exotic locals I dreamed of visiting myself. I would have been glued to my TV Sunday night if I hadn't desperately needed sleep. The need for sleep continued throughout the week, but fortunately I was finally rewarded with a relaxing evening with a new show about the supposedly complicated lives of four 1960's stewardesses. Maybe it was the wine that I drank while viewing or maybe I'm just simply obsessed with this era and travelling the world, but I thought the show was cheesy old fashioned fun.
The acting was on the weaker side, the storyline felt dated and lacked the clever lines and wit of AMC's award winning Mad Men (also set in the sixties), but he costuming and set design was exquisite. The sleek blue Pan Am stewardess uniforms with pillbox hats, wing pins, and vinyl travel bowling bags illustrate the crisp glamor of mid-century jet setting that is now clearly absent. Boarding a Southwest airplane now a days, flight attendants (no longer called stewardesses) don khaki shorts and polos. Free wing pins are no longer handed out, food is not served, peanuts are now carefully rationed, and passengers have traded in their elegant hats and gloves for sweats and flip flops. Flying is not the special event it once was. The air is no longer filled with alluring fashion and free bottles of champagne for requesting customers, but at least we have Pan Am inviting us into a bygone era that edges closer to fantasy than the reality of our own current flying experiences. I just might have to join the fantasy as I once did with my Barbie, and purchase one of those Pan Am bags for my next big trip. After all, who wants reality when "adventure calls?"
Airs Sundays 10pm pst on ABC
Starring Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie, Karine Vanasse and Kelli Garner.
The original 1963 Pan Am crew for the first flight from New York to London.