The Televangelist: 'Pan Am' Series Premiere

My worst fear for "Pan Am" is that it becomes a sort of "Grey's Anatomy" of the skies. My second fear is that it won't be nearly that interesting.


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I have to get something off my chest first and foremost: one of my primary interests in this show was Jonah Lotan (Generation Kill) who played the cocky captain Dean in the unaired pilot (from which all of the early promos were based). Imagine my surprise to tune in and see Mike Vogel (The Help) in his place instead! I couldn't find an explanation for what I clearly find to be a terrible mistake, but that's the way the cookie crumbles (to use a cliché that would have been right in line with last night's offerings).

?I also want to get this elephant in the room out of the way: this is not "Mad Men." It really doesn't deserve any comparison. It's not about an ad agency, it's not about a complex man going through an existential crisis, and as Matthew Weiner said, "I don't have a monopoly on the era."

?But what "Pan Am" is may be just fine. The comparisons to "Mad Men" are inevitable, although "The Playboy Club" may be a fairer peer. Sure the one-liners are cheesy, the music is over-amped and the drama is beyond melodramatic … but this is a network drama. What were you expecting, "The Wire"?