From 'Terra Nova' to 'New Girl' to 'Suburgatory,' here are some OK new shows
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No. 1 Best - ABC's 'Pan Am'
Airs Sundays at 10 p.m. [Premieres September 25.]
There's a lot happening in Jack Orman's "Pan Am" pilot, with its globe-trotting period setting, its retro-nostalgic aviation backdrop and its intriguing espionage undertones. With gifted Tommy Schlamme directing, "Pan Am" jumps around in time, introduced a slew of regular characters and establishes a world that straddles several genres all in 44 gorgeously photographed minutes. It's a lot to take in and some elements work better than others, but with winning lead performances by Kelli Garner, Margot Robbie, Christina Ricci and Karine Vanasse at its center, "Pan Am" works surprisingly well. Of the fall's two 1960s dramas that attempt to meld empowerment messages onto worlds contemporary audiences might find exploitative, "Pan Am" sells its point with far more authority and, unlike NBC's "The Playboy Club," it doesn't force its leading ladies into supporting roles behind Eddie Cibrian. It remains to be seen how well "Pan Am" can keep up this high-flying act on a weekly basis, but this was my favorite network pilot of the fall.
Photo Credit: ABC