“Pan Am,” the new ABC series set in the 1960s whose focus is the lives of stewardesses, played by Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Margot Robbie and Karine Vanasse, premiered Sunday night.
Naturally, critics drew comparisons to “Mad Men” and NBC’s “The Playboy Club,” other series also set in the ’60s. Here’s what they had to say.
The Hollywood Reporter:
“Pan Am seems most intent on making the idea of the ’60s and stewardesses and ‘the jet age’ more glamorous than real. It has neither the exactitude of the times nor the talent of the writers to get at the issues, a la Mad Men, that illuminate the issues of the day. It only has the magazine ad dreams of the times – girls don’t have to be their mothers; they can also be modern women who get weighed at work and dumped at 32 for being too old.” — Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter
The New York Times:
“Mad Men, which returns for a fifth season next year, is unquestionably a far better show, but ‘Pan Am,’ like ‘The Playboy Club,’ which began on NBC this week, may be a more accurate reflection of our own insecurities. Viewers may not see anything particularly fresh about this show’s foursome of stewardesses, however. The Pan Am heroines represent the dawning of the women’s movement, and they are not fully formed characters so much as stick figures borrowed from a Rona Jaffe novel.” – Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times
The New Yorker
“Pan Am has a bit of style to it, and a note of darkness, and the formula might just work. … The show makes me think of the difference between Truman Capote’s novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the movie version: Pan Am feels like a watchable version of something whose core has been removed.” — Nancy Franklin, The New Yorker