• Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 25, 2011
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Sep 23, 2011
    40
    Even so, the disjointed, choppy approach leaves this meticulously outfitted production looking overdressed for the occasion, and while there are enough moving parts to potentially turn up something interesting, turbulent takeoffs seldom bode well for the rest of the trip.
  2. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Sep 23, 2011
    60
    There's soap here, and the liberated-woman part sometimes feels like a reach. But the show is fun, it makes flying look like fun, and yes, that line of stewardesses does look good enough to stop an airport.
  3. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Sep 23, 2011
    70
    Every television series launches on a wing and a prayer, perhaps none more than this entertaining, glossy drama.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Sep 23, 2011
    80
    Watching Pan Am is like getting a free upgrade to escapist class.
  5. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Sep 12, 2011
    75
    The romance and the attractively stylized innocence of the era is addictive, but the espionage plot, with its link to political history, is absurd.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Sep 22, 2011
    75
    This is a series where surface is substance, and surfaces don't come much dreamier than in this beautifully realized flight fantasy, from its lovely, terror-free airport to its even lovelier cast.
  7. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Sep 23, 2011
    30
    It has neither the exactitude of the times nor the talent of the writers to get at the issues, ala Mad Men, that illuminate the issues of the day.
  8. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Sep 22, 2011
    91
    A gorgeous production, though the story sometimes keeps it on the tarmac.
  9. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Sep 16, 2011
    75
    The show is fueled with so much soap-operatic hot air that it takes off. [26 Sep 2011, p.54]
  10. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Sep 26, 2011
    75
    The female leads are appealing, the world promising and the pilot much more clear-eyed and less compromised in its view of the era than "Playboy Club" is.
  11. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Sep 23, 2011
    88
    So far, so great.
  12. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Sep 23, 2011
    70
    My favorite so far of the fall's two "Mad Men" wannabes and a show with more moving parts than a jumbo jet.
  13. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Sep 23, 2011
    50
    Beyond selling the glamour of it all, Pan Am may be very hard-pressed to come up with weekly storylines that impel viewers to climb aboard.
  14. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Sep 26, 2011
    75
    For shows that play to our longing for America's lost days of glory, the sky's the limit.
  15. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Sep 26, 2011
    50
    Beneath all the visual dazzle of the premiere episode, a bit of the groundwork is there, but Schlamme and Orman need to build on it very soon.
  16. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Sep 26, 2011
    80
    The glamour in Pan Am may indeed be manufactured--doubly manufactured, given the re-created places and planes--but it's not empty: The show says, yes, this is as good as it looks, and it looks very good
  17. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Sep 26, 2011
    75
    Right now Pan Am doesn't seem to know exactly what it wants to be; it's experimenting with tone, and seeing what works and what doesn't. That's the kind of attitude that, if done right, should lead to an interesting series. [30 Sep 2011, p.62]
  18. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Sep 22, 2011
    50
    If only for the costumes and '60s music, Pan Am is amusing to see at least once, but if it has any instructive benefit at all, it's as a mood indicator for these times, not those.
  19. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 16, 2011
    50
    It's a handsome study in perfect mediocrity.
  20. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Sep 26, 2011
    80
    Derivative Pan Am may be, but that doesn't make it any less watchable.
  21. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Sep 26, 2011
    80
    Pan Am is nostalgic bonbons for the mind, made with the finest ingredients.
  22. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Sep 23, 2011
    70
    Take the back stories, add the unfolding drama of love, loss, disappearances and danger, shake it all up with exotic locales from Paris and Berlin to Monaco and Rio--and it could be a tasty cocktail
  23. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Sep 22, 2011
    75
    The action is set to the beat of "Mack the Knife" and other swingin' songs that, along with some stunning production design, help the show deliver a hefty dose of '60s nostalgia.
  24. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Sep 23, 2011
    80
    Pan Am's easy whirl fits the bill, when its chatter is snappy and also when it's not.
  25. Reviewed by: Rick Porter
    Sep 26, 2011
    80
    It's definitely a flight worth booking.
  26. Reviewed by: Nancy Franklin
    Sep 26, 2011
    60
    The new shows are more concerned with hitting their marks and getting the sociology right than with character, but Pan Am has a bit of style to it, and a note of darkness, and the formula might just work.
  27. Reviewed by: Phillip Maciak
    Sep 22, 2011
    50
    The show's extravagant, aggressive joy about the friendly skies sometimes makes even that pinnacle of historical romance seem like a Lars Von Trier film in comparison.
  28. Reviewed by: Renee Scolaro Mora
    Sep 26, 2011
    60
    Set in 1963, Pan Am's production is highly stylized, neat, and dreamy, perfectly suited to the nostalgia it is eager to evoke.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. Oct 3, 2011
    4
    As a state department brat who flew hundreds of Pan Am flights back in the day (first class until mid-60s budget cuts sent us to coach), IAs a state department brat who flew hundreds of Pan Am flights back in the day (first class until mid-60s budget cuts sent us to coach), I should be a complete sucker for this show. But, aside from the uniforms and the logos, the show gets most things wrong. The actors, for starters, are all too young and/or unsophisticated; the women lack elegance, and the men lack distinction. I can no more imagine a Pan Am stewardess hiding in the galley from her mother than I can imagine Jackie Kennedy flipping off a reckless cabbie. Despite near-constant girdle checks, the stewardesses are clearly products of a women's movement that hasn't happened yet; the pilots shave their chests, and the set design (clubs, restaurants, hotel rooms) are proudly postmodern. Even the aircraft interiors, which would be so easy to get right, succumb to the anachronizing impulse, appearing much more airy and uncluttered (very 21st-century Zen) than their mid-century models. So what? Well, this show is much more about style than about characters, stories, or ideas, so it ought to have done a better job. It's either going to need MUCH stronger writing and a few new cast members or a style makeover. Or an audience that doesn't care, of course. Full Review »
  2. Sep 27, 2011
    10
    I loved it. It was very much a pilot episode- you get to know all the characters involved and there's not much to it other than that, but it'sI loved it. It was very much a pilot episode- you get to know all the characters involved and there's not much to it other than that, but it's so well-made and interesting! Loved how glamorous and yet realistic it is.
    The production and overall looks of everything is very very good. Very good graphics, wardrobe and everything.
    It's all in very good taste.
    To be honest , i never liked Mad Men all that much, it was so boring. Watched about 3 seasons of deathly boredom. This is the same decade and it's youthful and good. I really loved it.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 7, 2012
    10
    Pan Am is amazing, cute, retro, tearjerking, awesome, cool, romantic, nice, sentimental...good, entertaining...and more...and that's all I canPan Am is amazing, cute, retro, tearjerking, awesome, cool, romantic, nice, sentimental...good, entertaining...and more...and that's all I can say about it. Full Review »