Pan Am: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Posted on December 05, 2011

One thing kept running through our minds (and therefore, out our mouths) as we watched Dean and Colette drive; Dean and Colette buy apples; Dean and Colette have a supremely uncomfortable moment with his parents; Dean and Colette argue; Dean and Colette kiss; and Dean and Colette have a literal roll in the hay: “Did NO ONE think to put a stop to this?!?”

Throughout all the plotting and scripting and story meetings and rewrites, through all the run-throughs and shooting days and even once the footage got passed on to the editor, can it really be true that no one involved in the making of this episode stopped and said, “Wait. Why are we spending so damn much time on these two? They’re boring as hell.” And what a shame that is, because Colette was a bright spot on this show when she wasn’t furrowing her brow at Dean all the time. Now she’s as dull as dishwater. We don’t know a thing about the actor who plays Dean, but he’s like watching a bowl of oatmeal slowly come to room temperature. You couldn’t find a blander person if you tried. He’s so bland his blandness is communicable, turning the former Deutschland Uber Alles-singing mystery girl into The Girlfriend.

And can we just talk about how ludicrous it is that in the middle of the day, they just disrobed and had sex in the barn knowing his parents were there?

In other news, half the cast got laid this week. Ted with his former childhood sweetheart, but oh no! Laura realized she let a good one get away from her! Complications! Truth be told, we wouldn’t actually mind this plotline further explored. If they absolutely have to have flight crew sleeping with stewardesses – and we’re not arguing that it’s dramatically unlikely. Quite the opposite; it’s too expected – then Ted and Laura playing the “Will they or won’t they?” game isn’t the worst idea in the world. He’s grown on us as a character and she desperately needs something to do. We wanted to see her define herself without looking to a man, but there’s probably only so much feminist self-empowerment you can plausibly inject into a story about Pan Am stewardesses and right now, Maggie’s got the empowerment storyline locked up.

But we can put that alongside Dean and Colette as a development that fails to excite us. No matter what they do with Maggie, unless it’s astonishing somehow, it’s probably too late at this point. They waited too long to figure out a way to define this character and now it seems they’ve settled on “reckless and gaining a political awareness.” That’s not exactly as scintillating as the writers seem to think. Besides, much like feminism, it’s kind of hard to plausibly inject leftist politics into this setting. She’s lucky the congressman likes her so much, because she can’t keep going around burning down hotels because of her principles.

In other news, the Kate story had us mostly bored throughout the episode until the last couple of seconds. Soapy? Sure, but we’ll take a development like that to fuel the storyline. It was the most interesting thing to happen the entire episode and we’re more convinced than ever that they missed an opportunity to do a fun escapist show that was all about Pan Am stewardesses working as spies. Sure, it would have been pretty silly, but pretty silly sounds like a lot more fun than plodding and boring.

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