• Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 25, 2011
  • Season #: 1
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 84
  2. Negative: 5 out of 84

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  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), 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. Expand
  2. Oct 5, 2011
    0
    Original? Seemingly. Captivating? No. Interesting at all? No. I watched the first episode. There is a forced introduction of characters. And it quickly spirals into an unwatchable mess of Desperate Housewives-style fluff.
  3. Sep 26, 2011
    4
    I feel like this show has great potential. It has beautiful production and costume, and some potentially interesting story lines. I also think the premise is pretty brilliant. I was at times put off by the acting, the story seemed overall pretty boring, and I felt like everyone was trying too hard. I will hang in past the pilot to check it out hoping it settles into a groove, but I am a little skeptical. Expand
  4. Oct 7, 2011
    4
    Pan Am is no Mad Men. As of now it's entirely too lighthearted and cute for me to take seriously. I was hoping the glossy exterior would be a facade and the girls' private lives would hold the real drama, but the style of the pilot suggests they want to slop the icing on thick all-around. The bulk of the pilot's drama takes place in flashbacks which seem to be the product of a screenwriting roundtable of romance movie cliches. And no, they did not forget the swelling orchestral accompaniment. Ricci is a good fit here, as is her ginger co-stewardess. The espionage aspect interests me greatly, as does the globe trotting. There hasn't been a show on air to satiate that weekly adventure itch since Alias. The melodrama with the mother in the second episode was too much. However intriguing the spy angle is, it's not enough of the show to justify my watching it. I would have much rather seen an espionage thriller revolving around stewardesses than a girl-powered melodrama with the 60's airline as its backdrop. Expand
  5. Nov 6, 2011
    1
    The BEST thing about this show is the uniform! The Cast is HORRIBLE! The Writing is weak! I can't believe this show is still on TV! Charlie's Angels was much better than this show. If they intend to be around next Season, the Writers must step their game up and they need more Crew on-board the flights ,,, at least 10 Crew members. It's just a STUPID show!
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: 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Sep 26, 2011
    80
    Pan Am is nostalgic bonbons for the mind, made with the finest ingredients.
  3. 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]