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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Say Hello to a Brand-New World

Shrove Tuesday

To distract myself from thinking about how I wish I was in New Orleans right now, I thought it was as good an opportunity as ever to ponder the creation of a new television series. It's funny enough that I am even talking about television, as anybody who knows me can tell you I literally don't know how to turn our current setup on, let alone wrest the remote away from A Certain Party long enough to have my own viewing schedule.  The remoteS, that is; there are five of them of various shapes and sizes and apparently if not activated in a precise order, it will release a chain reaction of plot twists and ratings dips from which humankind dare not hope to recover.  Truth be told, I wouldn't watch much TV even if I could.  The Internet is my vice of choice, and I have been trying with mixed results to limit my exposure to that, let alone take up a new sedentary habit.

But -- despite the odds -- there IS a new show coming out this fall with which I am intrigued in spite of myself.  I have had an illogical obsession since I was a kid with the now-defunct airline Pan Am.  I only actually flew them once, since they were already on the wane by the time I was old enough to make my own travel choices, and the various attempts (there were one, two, three of them) to resurrect the brand, which -- while nice in a nostalgic sense -- fell increasingly short of the mark when it came to recreating the experience of the airline in its heyday.  A fourth was recently announced; this one not even using the original livery or carrying passengers.

However, if you can't do it for real, you can do it on television.  ABC is launching a new series in the fall which will attempt to portray the intrigue and romance of international air crews during jet-setting's golden age.  Called simply Pan Am, it will star Christina Ricci among other names which I would call "lesser-known" at the risk of revealing my complete ignorance of current popular culture.

Coincidentally, a friend that used to attend my church, Bob Gaynor, is currently in the cast of the Broadway musical version of another Pan Am story, Catch Me If You Can.  A stylized biography of  young con artist Frank Abagnale Jr., who managed to fool the airline among others about his credentials in order to commit check fraud.  He was so successful that the FBI later employed him to catch others at the same game.

I'm not sure how many episodes I will actually be able to see, or will want to sit through.  The period backdrop is likely to be the only aspect of the story that interests me, but it is still nice to see that the good guys still wear white hats, at least on stage and screen.

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