Pan Am vs Playboy Club

I can't help but compare these two. Both take place in the 1960s, both involve crime (Pan Am's CIA subplot, Playboy's mob ties); both involve girls in costumes...

So if I have to declare a winner after just one episode, it is going to be Playboy Club.

Pan Am was just fine. I know it was only a pilot episode, but it just fell flat for me. The characters were all a bore. And the plots lacked intrigue. Even the biggest storyline of the night - the stewardess' CIA involvement - failed because the actress is just so bright-eyed that it's annoying. It seemed more like, 'Oh look at our amazing sets! Look at this 60s fashion! And great music!' It was just a lot of people walking around.

Christina Ricci's character may be the saving grace of the show. She's (seems to be) this modern, forward-thinking girl immersed in the big culture changes going on.... yet every day she puts on the prim and proper uniform to play the role of perfect, perky stewardess. She even got in trouble for not wearing her girdle! What a rebel! Is it her acting chops? Or just better character development? I don't know.

I'll give it a few more episodes before I decide if I should cut it completely...

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