Kimberly (kimberly_a) wrote,

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"Pan Am" and "Glee"

TV for the day:

The "Pan Am" pilot

Wow. I very nearly got up and walked away before the episode had ended. Here's why:
  1. Way boring.
  2. Way sexist. Yes, I understand that women in that era were beset by very different expectations than those of today, but "Mad Men" manages to approach those same historical/cultural gender-related issues, but does it without alienating today's women by presenting the female characters as helpless, affected, Barbie- (or Jackie-)-clone bimbos. "Mad Men"'s Peggy, Joan, Faye, Anna, Rachel Menken (the department store chick), and even Trudy, Megan, and Suzanne (Sally's teacher and Don's mistress) are all strong female characters in their own ways. Okay, so Betty is a man-obsessed, passive-aggressive caricature of a 1950s throw-back, but she isn't really presented as an image to which women of her day should aspire. The women in the "Pan Am" pilot didn't seem to have much to offer except carefully coifed hair, nice legs (of which there were several camera shots), and complimentary beverages. Nothing interesting to say, nothing interesting to do, nothing interesting full stop.
  3. Way ridiculous. One of the bubble-headed stewardesses is a CIA spy, for god's sake!
  4. Way ridiculous. Yeah, I already said it, but did you know that every single character on the show happened to be on a plane together in Cuba when people were being evacuated during the Bay of Pigs? Okay, ridiculous, right? I mean, do all these same people end up on the same planes all that often? How many people were employed by Pan Am? 10? And, given the number of places Pan Am flew, even back then, what were the chances all those same employees would be in Cuba at that precise, historically notable time? Shannon joked that JFK's assassination wouldn't be too long after the start of the series -- which was some time *after* the Bay of Pigs -- and so the assassination would probably happen on their plane, also.
We deleted our TiVo "Season Pass" when we'd finished watching the pilot, and we don't plan to suffer through any more episodes.


Last week I complained about not getting enough of the characters I like, and so the producers of the show (who obviously read my journal) clearly wanted to oblige me, and this week we had plenty of Kurt, Brittany, Blaine, and even a bit of Burt and Santana. But the episode still bored me, because I'm a picky picky bitch. (My reaction to this episode probably wasn't helped by the overwhelming amount of Quinniness. God I hate her. I think she may be even more self-absorbed than Rachel, and once upon a time I would have considered that impossible.) Well, the Kurt/Burt conversation and the Brittany/Santana conversations rocked, but everything else fell flat for me.

Sadly, even the music wasn't very exciting, but that's been the case for the last year or more. What happened to all the great 1970s and 1980s pop tunes they used to sing? Now it's all crappy show tunes I've never heard before. *snore* It may be marginally preferably to listening to Mr. Shue try to rap, but it's a close call.

"Glee" has aaaalmost lost me entirely. Aaaaaalmost. But Shannon will most likely keep watching it, and historically I have proven that I am a social tv watcher (Yes, one of my college roommates actually even got me addicted to "Days of Our Lives" at one point, because she kept watching it when I was around. Gah!), so I will probably keep watching "Glee" as long as he does. That's what happened with "Dawson's Creek": I became disgusted with it and tried to stop watching, but then I would walk through the living room and it would be on the tv, and I would end up sitting down, and it was just ... it's like being addicted to drugs. It's ridiculous! (Not as ridiculous as "Pan Am," but still ridiculous.)

Edited to Add: "Glee" should do some songs from musicals that I actually *know* reasonably well. I grew up with Hair, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, The Sound of Music, and A Chorus Line. Hear me, "Glee" producers? Let's see some fake teenagers dressed up like hippies, singing about masturbation!
Tags: characterization, feminism, gender, history, lgbt, music, plot, tv, writing

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