So, I was all set to talk about my new favorite TV show, Pan Am, and then read this headline on the TV by the Numbers website:
The show hasn’t been officially cancelled, but TV by the Numbers is usually right on with their predictions, so even if every episode is aired, the show probably won’t continue. Total bummer because it’s an awesome show.
It takes place in 1963 and follows the lives of a group of stewardesses (because flight attendants didn’t exist yet) and pilots of the airline.
Looking pretty is part of job. Before every flight the girls are weighed, measured and checked to make sure they’re wearing their girdles. Flight was not just transportation back then, it was an experience and the airline aimed to deliver it with pretty girls. Basically, part of the job description was daily objectification. No surprise, female empowerment is big on the show.
In one scene, a passenger gets grabby with Maggie (Christina Ricci) and she stabs him with a fork. Awesome as that was, what came next was even better. The co-pilot swoops in to smooth things over and Maggie is quick to tell him she doesn’t need his help. Unfortunately, he overrides her and apologizes to the passenger.
By siding with the passenger, the co-pilot made Maggie feel foolish for defending herself. She later confronts the co-pilot and tells him what that passenger did was wrong, but it was even worse that he made it okay for him to do it to another girl.
It’s a show about people and with the backdrop of an airline, the writers can send them all over the world which has so many possibilities.
In another storyline, French stewardess Collette (Karine Vanesse), has a breakdown in Berlin during a layover. She was three when the Nazis invaded France and lost her whole family to them. She thought she was ready to forgive and finds she still hates the Germans.
There’s so much more happening, but I’m not here to give you a blow by blow or to get you watching. (The Hulu link for full episodes if you do.)
I’m just confused.
Is a show just about people boring these days? I’d like to think not, but I feel like if the plane crashed on an island filled with dinosaurs and also haunted by the spirits of its original inhabitants, it might be doing better. “Coming this fall to ABC, Haunted Pan Am EXTREME!”
I’m not against anyone choosing other TV shows over Pan Am, but when I look at what’s getting the big ratings, I do wonder if it’s too boring a concept to interest people.
What’s your expectation for a new TV show? Would Pan Am be better suited for a cable network where huge, out of the gate ratings aren’t as big a deal?