'Pan Am' recap: Eh, Paris

The series premiere of Pan Am was, in hindsight, all about promise -- the promise of high-style romantic adventure for the characters, and the promise of a high-style period romantic drama for the audience. And what better place for the show to start delivering on both points, than New York City made to look like Paris with a green-screen spit-and-polish Paris, right?

Alas, instead, Pan Am's second episode seemed aimed at getting both its characters and audience to start lowering their expectations. The two most compelling storylines left dangling last week -- Pan Am stewardess-turned-Cold-War-spy Bridget's mysterious disappearance; and the frosty relationship between runaway-bride Laura, her liberated sister Kate, and their imperiously patrician mother -- were more-or-less resolved by the end of the hour. Christina Ricci still doesn't have enough to do as the proto-feminist Maggie, doubly disappointing since she's pretty much the only actor on the show who doesn't deliver her/his lines in I'm-in-a-period-drama quotation marks. And it's disconcerting that a series built around the allure of transporting us to a different far-flung location each week cannot convincingly recreate the City of Light, even with CG slight-of-hand. (In other words: Don't promise us the Champs Élysées and then deliver an anonymous park.) Read More...



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