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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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In this image released by ABC, the cast of "Pan Am," from left, Karine Vanasse as Colette, Michael Mosley as Ted, Margot Robbie as Laura, Mike Vogel as Dean, Christina Ricci as Maggie and Kelli Garner as Kate, are shown. Debuting Sunday at 10 p.m. EDT, "Pan Am" is a globe-spanning melodrama set in the Kennedy presidency. (AP Photo/ABC, Bob D'Amico)
Review: "Pan Am" looks like it's going to be fun

The new series "Pan Am" (Sunday, 9 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4) is about another time - the 1960s.

But more than that, it's about another era. An era that's almost impossible to reconcile with our 2011 mindset.

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An era when international air travel was glamorous and cool and fun, not tedious and annoying and a general pain in the butt.

"It almost feels like science fiction right now," said executive producer Jack Orman. "You go through no security. There's a lounge. They are having martinis. It's a lot a lot of fun, and it was real.

"Our show is sweeping and epic and wish fulfilling."

"There's that sense of excitement and freedom that goes with this sense of travel and everything being new," said Christina Ricci, who stars as one of the stewardesses.

In "Pan Am," it's 1963 and the airline is flying to fantastic destinations around the world. Pan Am stewardesses are college educated, beautiful and have about the coolest job a woman can have at the time. Pan Am pilots are rock stars.

The series revolves around Dean (Mike Vogel), a young pilot just promoted to captain. His co-pilot, Ted (Michael Mosely), is hiding a secret.

The stewardesses are Maggie (Ricci), who tries to play by her own rules; Colette (Karine Vanesse), who flirts too much for her own good; and sisters Kate (Kelli Garner) and Lara (Margot Robbie), a runaway bride.

"The show could be called 'The Best Years of Our Lives' for that group of people at that moment," said executive producer/director Thomas Schlamme ("The West Wing"). "They're just having an incredible adventure."

What the series boils down to is beautiful people having fabulous (and not-so-fabulous) adventures around the world.

"Part of the fun of the show is we just grab the audience by the hand and say, 'We're taking you somewhere,'" Orman said. "So we land in the Far East in one episode and then Berlin the next episode. In Paris the next episode after that."

There's also a bit of a twist that I won't give away here ... and we'll have to see how that plays out.

But overall, "Pan Am" is sort of a big, flying soap opera. And that's not criticism.

"Pan Am" looks like it's going to be a lot of fun.



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