Pan Am and The Playboy Club

Posted on May 19, 2011

We may have to wait until March (at the earliest) to get our Mad Men fix, but fortunately the entertainment industry has a tendency to incestuously rip off its own hits endlessly and there are two network shows on the fall schedule who are doing their best to recapture the early ’60s and bring it to your living room. We don’t know if we really want these shows to succeed, because if they do, you can expect to see even more ripping off down the line.

ABC? Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your new show, Pan Am?

Passion, jealousy and espionage… They do it all – and they do it at 30,000 feet. The style of the 1960s, the energy and excitement of the Jet Age and a drama full of sexy entanglements deliciously mesh in this thrilling and highly-original new series.

In this modern world, air travel represents the height of luxury and Pan Am is the biggest name in the business. The planes are glamorous, the pilots are rock stars and the stewardesses are the most desirable women in the world. Not only are these flyboys and girls young and good looking, but to represent Pan Am they also have to be educated, cultured and refined. They’re trained to handle everything from in-air emergencies to unw.anted advances – all without rumpling their pristine uniforms or mussing their hair. There’s Dean (Jonah Lotan) – a cocky, charismatic and ambitious new pilot – the first of a new breed not trained in the war. On the sly against company policy, he’s dating Bridget, a stunning beauty with a mysterious past. A rebellious bohemian, Maggie (Christina Ricci) turns into a buttoned up professional for work so she can see the world. Rounding out the crew are flirtatious Collette (Karine Vanasse), the adventurous Kate (Kelli Garner) and, finally, Laura (Margot Robbie) – Kate’s beauty queen younger sister, a runaway bride, who recently fled a life of domestic boredom to take to the skies.

“Pan Am” stars Christina Ricci (“Penelope”) as Maggie, Kelli Garner (“Going the Distance”) as Kate, Karine Vanasse (“Polytechnique”) as Colette, Margot Robbie (“Neighbours”) as Laura, Jonah Lotan (“24″) as Dean and Michael Mosley (“Justified”) as Ted.

We have opinions, but before we get to them, let’s listen in as NBC tells us about their new Mad Men ripoff, The Playboy Club:

It’s the early ’60s, and the legendary Playboy Club in Chicago is the door to all your fantasies… and the key is the most sought-after status symbol of its time.

Step inside the seductive world of the Bunny, the epitome of beauty and service, and rub shoulders with the decade’s biggest mobsters, politicos and entertainers (like Tina Turner and Sammy Davis, Jr.) With all these larger than life ambitions, there are even greater secrets. Like when innocent new Bunny Maureen – who wants to take the world by storm – accidentally kills one of the Windy City’s most powerful mafia bosses… and the only person capable of covering it up and protecting her is Nick Dalton, a man who once worked for the mob but is about to run for district attorney. Bunny Alice is married but hiding an explosive personal life while Bunny Janie is running from a past that threatens to catch up with her. It seems everyone has a secret – none more so than Maureen, who may not even be the innocent orphan she appears to be. Thank goodness Hef’s Playboy Mansion is open after hours for a little R&R… and burying your past.

Enh. We’re gay, so were predisposed to be more excited about stewardesses than Playboy bunnies. We don’t have a lot of faith that either of these shows will make it to the end of the season, but we’re definitely inclined to root for Pan Am simply because it looks so fabulous. Eddie Cibriani in The Playboy Club seems to be doing a Jon Hamm impersonation and you, sir, are no Jon Hamm. We love Christina Ricci but let’s face it: a woman that skinny in the early ’60s would have been hospitalized rather than getting a job as a stewardess. These shows are chock full of gals, but none of them have thevoluptuous mid-century ideal body of a Joan Holloway.

It’s kind of interesting that both shows are about women presenting themselves to men. Mad Men is probably the most subversively feminist show in the history of television. We don’t have a lot of faith that either of these shows are going to handle the nuances of gender roles a half century ago.

Still, we’ll tune in for the pilot episodes. If for no other reason than to look at the art direction. What do y’all think? Poor imitations of a great show or potential great shows in their own right? Will you be checking them out?

[Photo Credit:, – Video Credit:,]

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  • Anonymous

    I have no interest in either show.  None.

  • Anonymous

    the one with the stewardesses could be trashy fun (espionage!).
    the playboy one i have zero interest in, but i might think differently if i were a straight guy.
    but yeah, that one shot on the bottom left of the promo picture sais “im a knock off of the cheapest kind!”

    cant wait for mad men (and downton abbey) to return!

  • I’m a flight attendant, so I can’t help being fascinated by Pan Am, and I truly hope the writing and stories are as good as the style.  If not, I guess I’ll have to watch the show on mute. 🙂

  • Randel Wiley

    I’m kind of inclined to check out the Pan Am show simply for my love of all that is graced by Ricci.

  • scottyf

    After a long, hard, day of trying to do my work–and sneak peeks at what’s happening on T&Lo–the LAST thing I need to watch is yet another bunch of TV shows that remind me that PoC didn’t exist before 1970.

    • Leslie Streeter

      We used to watch Westerns and old movies on TV, and my mother would say, with a straight face, “And this is, you see, before black people were invented” before cracking up. I feel just the way you do – I don’t expect to see sistahs with ‘fros that look like me, but do we have to always tell stories where I’m only gonna be the maid?

      • Ah, but they DID exist, Scotty, and this old white DFH would dearly love to see a show that depicted the lives of POC during the 60’s.  Looking back on that time, there was the civil rights movement (both militant and non-militant), the sexual revolution where race barriers were beginning to be crossed, the music scene where Jimmy Hendrix, the Isley Brothers, War, etc., were getting recognition.  Juxtapose all of those different movements and the young people involved in them with the older blacks who were both proud of things changing and afraid of it.  That would be a fantastic show.  I would love to watch that show.  And maybe someday in the not all that distant future someone will get around to making such a show.  Then we’ll know we made some kind of progress in TV Land.

    • MilaXX

       This is why I love Diahann Carroll. I still remember her as Julia in her crisp, white nurses uniform. I can’t recall a single episode, but it’s that I Spy and Mission Impossible are the only shows from my childhood that had POC who weren’t servants.

    • Anonymous

      This. Plus women as bunny toys. This trend – no POC, women as “girls,” etc. – makes me deeply sad and discouraged. There’s a lot I love about the ’60s. But now we’re supposed to be nostalgic about and smile at  this fuckingcrapshit, the parts of the era people worked so hard to overcome? No. N.O. NO.

    • scottyf

      I can’t tell you all what a balm, a blessing, and a therapy session it is to engage in a dialogue such as this.

      Even at my age, I still think “Is there something wrong with me when I notice that there are no people of color in shows or posts? Or that women are–at least in MY mind–being objectified?” My life has been spent wrestling with the “Get over it” and the “Don’t take it so seriously” to the point of much destructive doubt and insecurity…and that male favorite response: anger.

      It’s just so friggin’ nice to know that there are people out there who understand where I’m coming from. Thank you.

      Oh, and MilaXX: I thank God for Corey Baker, Alexander Scott and Barney Collier . I think in some significant way, they saved my life.

      • Anonymous

        Scotty, I think it’s good for our blood pressure and for the overall health of the world when we can learn to take some things more lightly, to modulate our responses so that we’re not adding more negativity to already negative situations And sometimes we have to just laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.


        Get on board with the idea that civil rights, equal opportunity, racism, sexism, homophobia, human rights, and the concept that we humanoids might just be capable of creating a world in which all people really do enjoy the same rights and freedoms and opportunities if we really wanted to are merely trending topics, cultural phenomena that go in and out of style, been-there’s-done-thats? Nevernevernever. Sure, we can compartmentalize a bit and evaluate the crazy sexy shoes and the all-white shows on their own terms. But pretend they don’t exist inside of powerful cultural and political contexts? No. We need to be angry, and to refuse to accept certain things, so that we’ll try to make them better. . . while still enjoying the silliness of Hello World, there’s a song that I’m singin’ –C’mon Get Happy!

        By the way (you, too, MilaXX): don’t forget this guy; I had a crush on him:

        • Anonymous

          I just wanted to thank all of you for this conversation – which I’ve loved reading; I don’t know if you all realise how nourishing your words are.  Just that; I don’t have anything genuinely meaningful to add besides a loud Amen – 

          Except that I still have a crush on Ron Glass. Oh my. 

          • Anonymous

             Perfectly rational, he’s still one fine looking man.

          • scottyf

            In the American version of Death At A Funeral he looked HAWT!  

            How ironic that the best performances in that movie were the ones given by the two white guys: Peter Dinklage & James Marsden.

  • Having seen A Bunny’s Tale multiple times when nothing else was on TV, I have a hard time swallowing (no pun intended) the Playboy Club… the other one could be interesting.

    • Anonymous

       A Bunny’s Tale…is that the movie about the 2 friends who become bunnies, one b/c she wants to find a man and the other b/c her friend talks her into it?  I thought that movie wasn’t terrific, but I did enjoy seeing what all went into being a bunny.  The particular way to serve a drink, etc.

      • No it’s the movie version of Gloria Steinem’s undercover expose from 1963 about the clubs (starring Kirsty Alley). She covers a lot of the myths about them, including the exaggerated pay.

        • Anonymous

           Oh, I’ve never heard of that.  Now I want to see it.

  • Pan Am reminds me a bit of Catch Me if You Can – could be good.  The Playboy Club had potential until they brought in murder mystery and mob bosses.  The last thing TV needs is another crime show.

  • Anonymous

     Don’t feel like watching the Playboy trailer, but I’m a little excited to see Pan Am. A wee bit giddy.

  • Pan Am definitely looks like the better of the two shows, but of course I’m reserving judgement until their critics get their hand on them. And I dunno about Christina Ricci being too skinny — wasn’t it the ’60s and ’70s when stewardesses were contractually obligated to be a certain weight to keep their job?

    •  also whoever said “in this modern world, air travel represents the height of luxury” CLEARLY HAS NOT FLOWN FOR LIKE 50 YEARS.

      • Anonymous

        i think the promo text is indeed talking about how it was 50 years ago.
        ‘this modern world’ = ‘the world this story takes place in’

    • jessamyn

      Yes, TLo dropped the ball on that one – blinded by their (understandable) love of Joan Holloway Harris, they’ve completely forgotten that Jean Shrimpton exploded the mold of curvy models when she hit the scene in 1960 – and was Glamour’s Model of the Year by 1963 – followed by Twiggy, “The Face of 1966” and an icon of the ’60s.

    • Anonymous

       Yes. Regular weigh ins and you could be fined for gaining even a couple of pounds too much. I *think* it was eliminated in the 70’s.

  • Anonymous

    The Playboy Club looks like some one loved the Playboy Club episode of Mad Men and said, wow, what if the entire show were set here, and we sexed it up some more and got rid of the strange pacing and added murder … in other words a dumbed down knock-off.  I won’t be likely to tune in unless you guys recommend otherwise after watching the first show. 🙂  Will similarly await your assessment of Pan Am.  There are several freaky shows I will give a look, as I hopelessly succumb to looking for the next Lost (more likely finding the next V, Event or FlashForward) from among Alcatraz, The River and Person of Interest.  May also check Terra Nova and Missing, so that is a ton to check out for me already.

  • Amanda in Austin

    I just threw up in my mouth a little reading the descriptions of both shows.

  • MilaXX

    Pan Am sounds interesting, but Playboy Club has fail written all over it. Eddie Cibrian does ok in an ensemble, but he can’t carry a show as lead. Beside Playboy club sounds hokey.

    • Anonymous

      Playboy Club has fail written all over it. 

      From your mouth to God’s ear. 

  • Anonymous

    Well, my first reaction is–product placement? It appears to me that the networks already took the easy route using known product names rather than original titles. I know, Pan Am isn’t anymore (and since it died in 1991, perhaps it’s not that well known to the current generation) but still. Then the premise of each show (as stated) just does seem smarmy and unoriginal. Yeah, I MAY try once but I doubt I’ll stick. It took me a long time and a lot of good reliable information to try Mad Men. I’m generally very skeptical, especially of network spin offs or cheap copies. 

    • But… isn’t that what Mad Men is? Product placement? Lots and LOTS of product placement?

  • Anonymous

    Pan Am – yes
    Playboy – no

  • Anonymous

    “Pilot” episode, hahahaha.   No way in hell would I watch the Playboy show.  As for Pan Am, espionage, schmespionage, but at least I don’t get the immediate whiff of trashy exploitation from the press materials.  May turn out to be as tasteless as the Playboy show but I’d give it a whirl.

    • Anonymous

      Ricci’s presence gives me a little more faith that Pan Am is probably not trash, even if it’s not great. She seems to have decent taste in projects.

  • Merry Colella

    everyone seems pretty excited about the pan am one, but honestly if you took out the stewardess uniforms that preview looks really boring and cliched. it’s hard to tell from previews but i dunno i couldn’t get much of a sense of what the show on the whole would be actually be ABOUT, other than girls being on an airplane.

  • Anonymous

    The world will always invent a reason for women to wear the bunny costume, yes? 

  • I feel like both would be interesting movies but I can’t see them growing into full-fledged television shows.

    •  I agree.  Pan Am may have more stories to plumb, since I presume they’ll be traveling all over, but how far can you get with Playboy Club?  If if lasts one season, or maybe 2 episodes)  I’ll be surprised.

  • Anonymous

    The world will always invent a reason for women to put on the bunny costume, yes?

    The descriptions make them both sound like … bad.  But I’ll watch the pilots. 

  • I will watch Pan-Am just to see the luggage. I adore vintage luggage. The Playboy Club just seems weird. 

  • Anonymous

    I gave up on Mad Men in the first season as cliche (although I drool over the art direction/sets/costumes), so I can’t imagine how much worse these will be. Still, I may give Pan Am a try if they promise to have fun with it. 

    Playboy Club is not only trying too hard, I think it wants to have its cake (give a nod to 20th-century sexism and gender roles) and eat it too (while showing hot women in tight costumes).

  • Pan Am looks fun, although it did go up a notch for me when I saw it was from the same director as The West Wing. 

    I will turn the channel if I even see an advertisement for the Playboy show.  I will not spend one moment wasting my time on that show.  Yuck.

    • Anonymous

      Whoa whoa whoa whoa, I missed that about The West Wing. That changes things considerably (WW is still my favorite show of all time, ever).

  • Well, I have to watch at least the pilot of The Playboy Club, because I’m a huge fan of Laura Benanti from her theatre work, and she seems to have at least a moderately sized supporting role. Not a lot of faith that it’ll be *good*, though…

  • Actually I’m sort of interesting in seeing playboy mostly thanks to this:

    • Anonymous

      Same! I may have watched anyway, because I am a sucker for period pieces. But that article and casting information (Sean Maher!  Amber Heard, who was voted “America’s Hottest Lesbian”! Other old, recognizable faces!) have really got me looking forward to the pilot.

  • Anonymous

    My MIL was a Pan Am stewardess in the late 50’s – early 60’s.  From the stories she tells, it was a pretty exciting lifestyle – could be a good show if they don’t veer to far from the way it really was.  About Christina Ricci being too thin, I’ve seen lots of pictures of my MIL and her fellow stewardesses.  They were all quite thin.  My MIL says the weight restrictions at that time were VERY stringent. 

  • Anonymous

    Eh, maybe.  They both look a little soap-opera for my taste, and I’d probably get more into it if the bunnies were, I don’t know, solving crimes or saving the world or something. But they’re scripted and costumed and on regular networks rather than pay networks, so I may tune in to support them.  And hey, once I liked Dallas, so I’m not totally against soap operas!

  • Anonymous

    I’ll watch Pan Am. I am sick of anything having to do with The Playboy Club, even if it is retro. 

  • Pan Am has potential because of a) Tommy Schlamme and b) Christina Ricci.  I don’t see either becoming involved in trashy, rip-off projects, so it might actually be a good program.  The Playboy Club, though, should aim low and hope to achieve a Dynasty level of cheesy goodness.

  • I think Pan Am could be fun, if they took it in a Down-With-Love sort of direction (which was the vibe I got), you know, fluffy and playful.  The Playboy one just looks ridiculous because it looks like a really stupid show where the creators are trying to be sophisticated.

  • taodon

    Judging from the two clips, apparently Frank Sinatra was the only recording artist in the 60s.

  • Pan Am looks fun,I’m looking forward to that. Yet Playboy seems to be trying too hard,  and you’re completely right about the body types, they’re too thin and muscular.  I don’t like the actor’s pseudo Don Draper either.  Nobody does Don Draper like Jon Hamm, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery this is a poor copy. Looks like all style, but I doubt it will have any of the substance of Mad Men!

  • Anonymous

    Mad Men should sue that Playboy show – right down to stealing the gal who played the in the ‘chocolate bunny’  arc, to Eddie Cibrian impersonating Don Draper. Please. And the dead body in the rug? A little overused isn’t it? When they put something like that in the trailer you know it’s got nothing else to show us. And the Pan Am show? What’s the point – except to give TLo something to talk about on the costuming and styling. No thanks.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure I can handle going back to the “Coffee, Tea or Me ” generation again, but at least I might give the Pan Am show a shot because I adore Christina Ricci.  The Playboy Club show just looks trashy with no redeeming qualities.  Bleah.

  • Anonymous

    I think the description of Pan Am SCREAMS Grey’s Anatomy meets Mad Men, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. It’s all “young and good-looking and possessed of Godlike powers.” No nuance. The Playboy one looks juicier. I suppose I have to watch both.

  • Anonymous

      Still, we’ll tune in for the pilot episodes. If for no other reason than to look at the art direction. What do y’all think?

    I think Playboy bunny show should eat shit and die.

  • The Playboy show sounds kinda stupid and rife for bad impersonations.  The PanAm show….maybe, but that’s just because anything is more interesting when played out on a plane…

  •  I’ll give them both a try. Pan Am looks good, and the other looks like it *could* be good. We’ll see.

  • Anonymous

    I’m old enough to remember bits and pieces of the Playboy bunnies and Pan Am. I’d love to wax nostalgia and watch these show, but I’m sensing they won’t be anywhere near the likes of Mad Men. On another note, I, too, remember growing up and seeing only the occasional PoC on shows such as The Flip Wilson Show, Room 222 and Star Trek.

  •  I watch almost no scripted television. And I don’t think I’ll be watching either of these.

  • Lauen newman

     You guys should check out SMASH. It’s like an adult Glee- sort of.

  • Tamar Shaham

    Re: “a woman that skinny in the early ’60s would have been hospitalized rather than getting a job as a stewardess,” you must not be aware of the airlines’ very restrictive weight policies at the time.  Weigh-ins were a regular thing, as was bending down to pick up things men “dropped.”  I read about one 60’s stewardess having to be hospitalized for trying to lose weight to be 100 lbs to pass her weigh-in.  I think people remember curvaceousness in the 60’s with very romantic eyes.

  • Judy_J

     The Pan Am show looks way more interesting than the Playboy one.  I grew up in the 1960’s, and at that time, being a stewardess was considered one of the most exciting, glamorous professions to which a girl could aspire.  I have a 27 year old niece who is a flight attendant for Delta, and I guarantee you that from the stories I’ve heard, glamorous and exciting are not adjectives she uses to describe her job.  Judging from the clips, the production values on Pan Am look better than on Playboy.  And yes, Eddie Cibriani is no Jon Hamm. I’ll probably give Pan Am a shot and skip Playboy.

  • Anonymous

     Wait a minute, is that Toni in the yellow bunny outfit? Looks like she’ll be playing bunnies for a while…

  • The girls in the Playboy show are way too skinny to be Playboy Bunnies in the 60’s. IMHO

  • Neither of them appear to be as meticulous about the styling as Mad Men, so I predict a lot of people pointing this out. A lot more people than will actually be watching.

    The plot for The Playboy Club is ridiculously convoluted, as if they’re trying to find a reason for justifying the presence of Playboy anything on network prime time. I have absolutely no interest in watching Playboy Bunnies for an hour, personally.

    All of the girls in the Pan Am show look too thin for the period, and I can’t raise any interest in it, either, though the lack of interest is more boredom-related.

    Maybe they’ll pull off miracles and produce watchable programs, but I doubt it. I think I’d rather rewatch seasons 1-4 of Mad Men than waste my time with either of these shows.

  • Enh.  These shows don’t look the least bit appealing.

    One of my sisters-in-law from my first marriage was a bunnie.  She met her husband there, who turned out over the course of time to be a real shit.  But then she wasn’t any prize, either.  She had the most beautiful dark auburn hair when we were growing up, but it hasn’t seen it’s natural color in over 30 years.  And she may be the most conceited woman I’ve ever known, just totally in love with herself and full of it.  So I’m not thrilled to relive the “romance” of those bunnie years.

    Likewise, the Pan Am show doesn’t look all that exciting, either.  Unless on of those stewardesses manages to break the steal ceiling and become a pilot, I’m not interested.

  • Anonymous

    Both look bad. 

  • Anonymous

     Not only are these flyboys and girls young and good looking, but to represent Pan Am they also have to be educated, cultured and refined. 

    It’s the twenty-first century, and someone was paid money to write that.

  •  Pan Am seems interesting. I might look into that, but the Playboy Club sounds awful. It’s just another way to sell sex, literally. 
    Also, these shows just make me miss Mad Men. A lot. 

  •  I love Christina Ricci but would Pan Am really employ a woman who couldn’t reach the overhead lockers?

    Both these shows and their sexy hijinks would have worked better as comedies.

  • Anonymous

    Pan Am seems like it could have some potential; I’d be interested to see how they handled any international travel or experiences, and I think there is some possibility for some interesting gender nuances in looking at the flyboy pilot archetype. Playboy Club makes me want to throw up in my mouth. It sounds like a bunch of sniggering, grab-ass dudes found an excuse to make the show of their dreams, and I have no faith at all, from the way the studio’s describing it, that it will do anything but retread the same tired crap. I mean, “the epitome of beauty and service?” Gag.

  • Annegret


  • If any of those Playboy Bunnies have defined biceps or triceps I WILL NOT be able to watch.

  • Alexis Keller

    Playboy actually will have a signifcant amount of gay content, one of the bunnies (a lesbian) and her (gay) husband are both in the closet, and are actively involved in the Mattachine Society an early gay rights group.  They will both two of the central chracters in the show so it will actually more inclusive than it seems at first glance.  I’m REALLY excited for it!

  • Alexis Keller

    It seems like a lot of people are judging the show because of the name PLAYBOY in the title, it actually does explore issues like Civil Rights, gay rights, exploitation, etc. Apprarently it had one of the strongest pilot scripts

  • Anonymous

     Is it just me, or is it pretty weird that Lane Price’s bunny girlfriend is also a bunny here?

  • Katherine Throckmorton

    Voluptuous might have been the mid-century ideal, but flight attendants were supposed to be tiny

    “”The girls who qualify for hostesses must be petite; weight 100 to 118
    pounds; height 5 feet to 5 feet 4 inches; age 20 to 26 years. Add to
    that the rigid physical examination each must undergo four times every
    year, and you are assured of the bloom that goes with perfect health.”

    In fact, the thinness required of flight attendants, along with their job being seen as desirable, modern and glamorous was one of hte things that helped curves go out of fashion, replaced by a super skinny ideal in the ’60s and beyond.

  • Am I crazy, or is that African American actress the SAME PERSON from the Mad Men episodes? 

  • Anonymous

    “It’s kind of interesting that both shows are about women presenting themselves to men.”

    No, I’m sorry, it’s not interesting at all. It’s a harmful gendered stereotype that doesn’t appear to be asking any interesting questions. It’s a poor excuse to put women in skimpy bunny costumes and promote the cliche of the sexy stewardess. I won’t watch any of this bullshit.

  • I look forward to both shows. I love most everything vintage, so it will be fun to see the costumes, props, sets. I think Christina Ricci is a doll so it should be good. I hope for her!

    I’m not sure what to make of the Playboy Club show since it will be on a basic cable channel. I hope it has some sizzle. I’m disappointed to see skeevy Eddie Cibrian is in it actually. That’s too bad.

    Either way — if it’s highlighting the 60s and vintage clothing, I’m there – I sell vintage clothing! .. so it can only be a boon for us! 🙂

    My heart of course, always with Mad Men.

  • Anonymous

     Playboy looks awful. Pan Am looks like it could be better. And you are wrong about Joan’s body type being coveted in the ’60’s. Her figure was out of fashion by 1963.

  •  I will probably watch the pilot’s of  both, but I’m paying more attention to the Playboy Club and here’s why. 

    *********SPOILER ALERT***********
    According to Afterelton, Bunny Alice’s marriage is one of convenience. She’s a lesbian and her husband is gay. Both are involved in the Mattachine society and nascent gay rights movement.

  • The Pan Am one looks interesting. The Playboy one – hell, as soon as I saw whats-his-face I said out loud, “Oh hell no.” It such a blatant Don Draper rip off. I think Mad Men sets the bar pretty high for research, writing, acting, art direction – everything. And you TLo and us the fans love it. It’s what we feed off of, it’s what we love to discuss to death. These networks seem to be saying “Hell, we really screwed up when we turned down Weiner. Quick, crank out something mid-century-y.”

    However, I could totally be wrong. We’ll see.

  • I will try out Pan Am.  Unless it grabs me, I probably won’t watch much more than the pilot.  

  • Morning Waters

    My ex-husband was general manager for the LA Playboy club in the 60’s.  Boy the stories!!!  I have never thought of bunnies the same since… and I use to steal the magazine from our mailbox to “read” before my father got it.

  • Anonymous

    oh my god, you stole my thoughts. As a Mad Men fanatic since Season 1, I have thought that the networks would finally come around to the attention and then proceed to rip it off with some type of similar show. NBC basically took a portion of an episode from Season 4, when Lane Pryce was dating the black Playboy bunny and used that to create a whole series.  Ciprian is definitely just a Don Draper wannabe, stand-in, etc. Both shows seem desitined to fail, but I’d give more of a bet that Pan Am lasts for more than a season. You are absolutely right about Mad Men’s feminist subversive nature.  Mad Men is brilliant because it tells a story with the setting being an accent, a part of the story but not the story. These ripoffs seem over-stylized, trite, caricatures. Just trying to cash in on the style of the ’60s that Mad Men brought renewed attention to.

  • “a woman that skinny in the early ’60s would have been hospitalized rather than getting a job as a stewardess.”
    Thats really not true. Even in the 30s people liked slim figures. They also liked voluptuous figures but people seem to only think of things in extremes. Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn were obvoiusly both considered attractive and were stick thin. I saw a 1932 movie and the female lead was described as attractive and she had a very modern thin figure. So yeah someone like Christina Ricci would not have been ‘hospitalized”.