Sunday, December 04, 2011
Watch Pan Am Tonight at 10pm on ABC- PLEASE
by Kelly Bedard
As I've said before, this was a great season for new shows, but I've loved none so much as I've grown to love Pan Am. There hasn't been a new drama this well written or an ensemble this talented since the premiere of Parenthood almost 2 years ago, and the last time I saw a network show as beautifully designed or directed was Lost, back in 2004. What could have easily been frivolous 60s exploitation full of mile-high, low-stakes interpersonal drama is instead a fascinating, character-centered global adventure that defies genres as well as it does stereotypes.
Pan Am is in every way just really great. It mines wonderfully honest character stories out of a premise that could easily have limited them and uses said premise to open itself up to possibilities no other show has (in episode 8, a heart attack on board led to an emergency landing in a politically fraught Haiti- there was a brilliant and high-stakes story there for every single character but the drama was still rooted in a believable plot). That's a show worth saving, but with ABC limiting its season one order to 13 episodes, the fact that the network still claims it's in the running for a second season has become laughable (literally, people are laughing). These networks have let me down time and time again, especially ABC who once ruled the airwaves with no fewer than 10 intelligent scripted dramas and now has almost none. It's time for them to realize that ratings can't and don't measure value and that great shows need time to be known as great.
But in the meantime, I'm begging you, tune in to Pan Am tonight at 10pm on ABC, it may be one of the last times you can.
PS: ABC execs, if you're reading this, Once Upon a Time is horrible, kill that if you really need blood.