'Pan Am: The Complete Series'
(Margot Robbie, Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Annabelle Wallis, David Harbour, Mike Vogel, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: The Jet Age just hit full swing and leading the way are Pan Am's elite stewardesses who can navigate any culture and overcome any challenge.
From New York City to the edge of the world, they will discover romance, natural dangers and exotic intrigue in a lush recreation of 1963 that will take your breath away.
Christina Ricci (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) leads an accomplished cast including Karine Vanasse (Midnight in Paris), Kelli Garner (The Aviator), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Mike Vogel (The Help) and Michael Mosley (The Proposal).
Join the journey in all 14 exciting episodes collected in this complete edition of the original series 'Pan Am'.
DVD Verdict: It's 1963. Laura Cameron (Margot Robbie) is a runaway bride following her black sheep sister Kate (Kelli Garner) to be a Pan Am stewardess.
Kate is recruited by government agent Richard Parks (Jeremy Davidson) to be a secret courier. Maggie Ryan (Christina Ricci) is the sassy wild one.
Colette Valois (Karine Vanasse) is the worldly French one. Ted Vanderway (Michael Mosley) and Dean Lowrey (Mike Vogel) are pilots.
Simply put, 'Pan Am' is a glossy mix of disparate and clashing story styles. The family drama of Kate and Laura is probably the most compelling and starts the show on the right foot.
The cold war espionage drama is probably the most clashing which means what you are getting is a tonally and completely different show to the "flighty" one you believe you might be seeing from the cover art and such.
To my mind, Annabelle Wallis haunts the show like a ghost. Colette is probably the darkest where, again, her dark tones clash with the bright shiny show.
That said, Christina Ricci is probably the most disappointing because the show struggles to find a long term stable story for her. Dean is weakly written or weakly performed for even after just the series run of 14 episodes I still cannot figure out which!
Ted has some fun daddy issues, but he gets annoying way too quickly in most scenes. But, 'Pan Am' is still a delightfully glossy shiny recreation of an era that may well have gone, but still lingers in the minds of all who lived through it.
All that in mind, I actually really enjoyed 'Pan Am's attention to period detail, loving the costumes and the sets. The flight attendant uniforms are slightly different from the originals and they are missing their in-flight smocks, but this is a TV series not a documentary.
Actually a lot of thought and research went into bringing the early '60s back to life and this was most evident in the first episode. Subsequent episodes have brought increasing disappointment; hence the cancellation after just this first season.
What could have been a great show has turned into a melodrama that has little to do with the airline industry with the story lines quickly becoming far fetched; leaving 'Pan Am' bordering on becoming a weak soap opera.
I mean, sure, the individual episodes continually provide different examples of the international relations of the time as well as the way it felt to be an American in the 1960s.
But as much as these story lines developed with each episode and subsequently become overlapped, they never quite gel successfully. Otherwise it's a pretty compelling, beautiful and accurate depiction of the 1960s! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.