• bob

    Oh wow. That’s… quite biting.

  • Robert

    [this is good] Does this clear up the mystery of why writers of US shows are grump and walk funny?

  • SK

    I’d have more sympathy if it even seemed possible to make a smart show with the premise of Pam Am. I mean, come on — ‘It’s a rip-off of Mad Men with stewardesses’? What exactly did these writers think they were getting into?
    (And surely nobody thinks, ‘He worked on The West Wing!’ promises anything ‘smart’ after Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip).

  • MediumRob

    The fact that Pan Am was absolute rubbish from the outset was my problem with the writers’ complaint. Plus Sorkin’s not involved – Tom Schlamme’s who they referring to and he’s the director. It certainly looks good, but it doesn’t exactly have sparkling dialogue.

  • SK

    Well, my point was that not only was it absolute rubbish from the outset, it was from the premise up very much not the kind of programme he claims to have wanted to make. I mean, it didn’t have to be rubbish — it could have been a stylish, funny piece of wafer-thin faux-nostalgia — but it was never going to be anything ‘smart’. I don’t believe there is a way to make a ‘smart’ programme from the premise they started with.
    I know it wasn’t Sorkin (though the voices aren’t exactly clear): my point was that, ‘You hired someone associated with the West Wing, so you must have wanted smart, and if you left them alone they’d make it smart’, has been disproved by the fact that someone associated with The West Wing made a very non-smart programme like Studio 60 (and more to the point, what Studio 60 showed was that it was the import of the subject matter, and the weighty setting with real meaty issues, that made The West Wing smart, and the style just accentuated it very very well; but if you try to lay the same style over a fundamentally shallow and trivial milieu like a TV sketch show, or an airliner, and the same style with accentuated the smarts of the people running a country just accentuates the vacuousness of the people running the TV show (or airliner).
    Note that Pan Am is ripping off Mad Men and Mad Men is, stylistically, about as far from The West Wing as it’s possible to get: a The West Wing treatment of ‘1060s ad agency’ would be horrific (can you imagine Don Draper and Peggy doing walk-and-talks with wisecracks and Sorkin formula dialogue? Shudder).

  • SK

    ‘Say, Peggy, do you know why I have my Playboy subscription sent to the office?’
    ‘Is it because you don’t want your wife to know you read Playboy?’
    ‘It’s because of the naked women.’
    ‘In the magazine.’
    ‘In Playboy.’
    ‘In Playboy magazine. Which I have delivered to the office.’
    ‘I know you have Playboy magazine delivered to the office.’
    ‘I don’t want my wife to see my looking at the naked women. In the magazine.’
    ‘Which you have delivered to the office.’
    ‘Do you know how I know you have your subscription to Playboy magazine delivered to the office?’
    ‘Because you open all my mail.’
    ‘Because I open all your mail.’
    ‘Even the envelopes marked “PERSONAL”.’
    ‘If I didn’t open the envelopes marked “PERSONAL” I wouldn’t know when to tell Mr Stirling you’re sleeping off the lunchtime whiskey in your office.’
    ‘And that’s why you’re the best secretary I’ve ever had.’
    ‘And that’s why I know that you have your subscription to Playboy delivered to your office.’
    ‘But this month’s Playboy wasn’t delivered to the office.’
    ‘In an envelope marked “PERSONAL”?’
    ‘In any kind of envelope.’
    ‘And what would you like me to do?’
    ‘I’d like you to become a copywriter , break through the glass ceilings and show all these talentless hacks around here that women are just as capable as any man who isn’t me.’
    ‘I meant about the magazine.’
    ‘Oh, call them and check it hasn’t been sent to my home by mistake.’
    ‘Your home.’
    ‘The magazine with the naked woman in it.’
    ‘Where your wife could find it.’
    ‘And my children.’
    ‘Is that likely?’
    ‘I beat them if they open the mail, but they’ve been acting up lately.’
    ‘I mean, that they’d have sent it to your home by mistake.
    ‘The way my life’s been going?’
    ‘I’ll call.’
    ‘By the way, Peggy, what did you want to tell me?’
    ‘There’s a naked woman in your office.’
    ‘Well, she was naked five minutes ago. She may have dressed since. I haven’t checked.’
    ‘I should check.’
    ‘You should.’
    ‘I’ll check now.’
    ‘Oh, and Mr Draper?’
    ‘She’s reading your copy of Playboy.’

  • Electric Dragon

    Bravo, SK. Bravo. Have an old-fashioned, on me.

  • bri

    pan am
    think i have hit on part of why rating have been
    when viewers record a show how could that possibly
    show in the rating?
    understand abc is backed into time slot corner
    because of adult content
    so my baby flies to another network
    maybe even hbo would up the adult element
    bridget and dean’s chemistery is like wow
    nostalgia of ‘clipper’ call sign hooked me
    flt sys are to die for
    stewardesses have no favourites each one is a
    wonderful choice
    captain lowrey what is this with how old he isn t
    please let us keep this flying
    – purrr –

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