‘Pan Am’: Short flight

September 23, 2011

Pan Am(Sunday at 10 p.m., ABC) Groaning under the weight of takeoff, “Pan Am” sparkles at first with a meticulously art-directed, honey-glazed nostalgia for 1963’s Jet Age glory of girdles, globetrotting and, most of all, ample leg room in coach. Save for some obvious “Mad Men” envy, there’s nothing really wrong with the show, which quickly becomes a handsome study in perfect mediocrity as it introduces us to the trials and travails of four stewardesses who work the transatlantic shift. The coffee-tea-or-me stuff has been replaced with a watered-down proto-feminist ideal, which I suppose is better than no feminism at all. Grade: C

Hank Stuever

For reviews of all the new fall shows, go to wapost/falltv2011.

Hank Stuever has been The Post's TV critic since 2009. He joined the paper in 1999 as a writer for the Style section, where he has covered an array of popular (and unpopular) culture across the nation.
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