Welcome to another edition of The Scotch-Soaked 60s, where the Mad Men comparisons come fast and frequently.
This week’s episodes:
Pan Am – “We’ll Always Have Paris” (OK, they need to work on their titles)
The Playboy Club – “A Matter of Simple Duplicity” (alternatively titled “We’s Cancelled, Y’all”)
Now boarding for Pan Am…
As far as we know, Pan Am is still on the air. YAY! My roommate and I might be the only ones watching and actually enjoying what’s happening but I don’t care, I want this one to succeed. The biggest downfall for me is the green-screen airport. Y’all just demolished your budget on location shoots, didn’t you? Any airport would have done just fine but, every time I see the girls in the terminal, I’m waiting for some kind of superpowered throwdown with lens flares galore.
Also pretty unbelievable is the apartment Kate and Laura share. A gorgeous walkup in the vein of Carrie Bradshaw? How do small town girls with average jobs score these sick apartments? I’m under the impression that mumsy and daddy cut them off. Unless the 1960s really was a money orgy decade, I find it hard to believe these flight attendants could manage the rent. Remember Maggie’s pad in the first episode? Bloody hippies everywhere!
Whatever, at least half of every episode will take place on the plane. So, I’m thinking that, right now, I love Colette. She’s sweet, she’s pretty, she’s French – all good things. What I do not love is how they’ve written her as a total washcloth of a woman. First it was the married man with the undercover bitch for a wife (who was totally justified), and now it’s Dean. I hope this isn’t a pattern because they’re wasting the potentially sassy French girl. Unless she turns to alcohol and drugs and its gets all 90210 up in here, I have a feeling Colette will get as stale as a two-day old baguette. That’s not a French joke, my bread goes concrete within two days.
The head scarf? Adorbz9000. It’s so chic and glamourous; very fitting of a 1960s French fashionista. At least they’re getting her personal style right. Colette’s sophisticated and fun, but has an appetite for the men, which is all captured in her wardrobe.
Speaking of Dean, I’m impressed with his fashion choices. The polo/blazer combination is really awesome, although I might just be into the colours. They’re bold yet stylish, and they work so well together. A lesson for the dudes out there reading: yeah, you can dress down a suit with a polo but it better not have an alligator on it, and it better be fashion forward. Of course, if he drove around every episode in his sweet ass car wearing the pilot’s uniform, I’d be OK with that.
Compared to Dean, most of the guys in this show are creep sensations. I mean, look at these fellas: one’s a man whore, the other is a molesting maniac (but I love his camel suit) and the last one went to Paris on a whim to steal back his bride that ditched him at the altar. Hey Greg, listen for a minute – LAURA DOESN’T WANT TO BE WITH YOU. The whole Kilimanjaro story was cute but your character didn’t need be developed, nor did he have to give Laura permission to run away. No wonder girlfriend was having a total anxiety meltdown.
Actually, I shouldn’t be so hard on Greg because he’s not stirring the pot of dramz back on solid ground. No, that honour goes to Overbearing Mom Judith. If she was an action figure, her accessories would be a rocks glass with a 7&7, and full on Disapproving Glower Action. That being said, girl knows how to dress. It’s total conservative 60s housewife but I’ll be damned if she doesn’t look fantastic. I could do without the limp excuse for a scarf, but we can’t win them all. And I’m afraid if I criticize her clothes too much she’ll put her cigarette out in my eye.
Oh, you think I’m overreacting? Well, check out Judith as she deals with her daughters. TWO SIDES.
Sidebar: Laura’s 22? Twenty-two human years? I mean, she’s not some old hag but she definitely does not look any younger than 27. I’m 26 and some days I frighten myself.
Why can’t she get along with Kate, who I seem to be latching onto as a poor substitute for Joan Holloway? The chi-chis are not nearly as pronounced like her Mad Men counterpart’s, but Diet Joan certainly has sass to spare.
Personally, I think she should stick to richer colours like the golden dress; pastels on gingers totally wash them out. Do we love the dress detailing? The darting on the top with the belt? Usually, I can’t stand a belt but since this one blends in, I seem to be alright.
I don’t think Kate will ever be as effortlessly stylish as her spy predecessor, Bridget, but she’ll do just fine. It’s kind of hard to live up to Bridget’s standards while she is killing this silk dress. I can’t tell if those are sunflowers or autumnal leaves patterned on her frock but damn sister, you work that out.
Ugh, just look at her and Dean in the Parisian nightclub – why can’t they be together?! Oh right, the whole international espionage deal.
Am I right, Madge?
But as much as we love the girls, you know we’re all secretly watching for Christina “Woman of 1000 Faces” Ricci. Let’s take a look at some of her hits, shall we?
We’ve got Sarcastic Sally, Classic Bitchface and, a personal favourite, Leopard Print Disdain. Does she get paid extra because she’s part facial contortionist, part seasoned actress?
All in all, another good episode. There’s a lot of story to be set up here but you know that with Kate going all James Bond there’s bound to be some serious dramz and some serious sex scenes. Danger = sex. All the time, every time. I know it’s no Mad Men, but it’s not supposed to be. Sure, Christina Hendrick’s breasts could act circles around some of these characters but the show is filled with fashion and location shoots. Next week is Berlin – I’ll see you there, bitches.
Meanwhile, in Chicago…
Friends, I would ask for a moment of silence for the dearly departed. The Playboy Club, we hardly knew ye. Success would not be found on your path in life, for you were destined to live out the life of a one-night stand who couldn’t get the hint. You overstayed your welcome and finally, when we just said “Oh, get the hell out already!”, you crept slowly back into the shadows. Seriously, whoever took credit for this Ambien disguised as television should be sent to a gulag. Although, if I was one of the actors on the losing end of a job, I’d be blaming it all on Eddie “Squint Eyes” Cibrian. Come on man, just open your eyes and hold your head up straight. It’s like… Acting 101 or something.
However, there will be things I’ll miss, such as:
Carol-Lynne: because that bitch was fabulous.
OK, so maybe she hooch’d it up a little too much, but when you’re a Bunny Mother you have a certain image to maintain. In this episode, I loved every piece of fabric that draped across her body. Her clothes were fitted, fashionable and fun; that’s Three F’s of Fashion, y’all! I never quite got the musical interlude thing (especially since the recording was so poor) but I appreciated getting to see Carol-Lynne work the crowd. Hopefully, if the character was to live on after this show, she’d make the bold leap from silken dresses to something with substance. Maybe, dare I say… cotton? I know, I know, it’s a radical departure but I think she could make it work.
You see, again, here’s a huge problem with “Eddie Squint Eyes” – no toplessness. Dude, you just scored with a fine piece, show off your chest at least.
As much as I love me some retro television, the male fashion is always frustrating.
The only program I’ve seen tackle it well is, of course, Mad Men. Although, I will say that “Pan Am” this week had a few surprises. We get it Nick, you live in more conservative times and you’re trying to be a politician thingy but, if the mob guy is dressing better than you, it’s time to rethink your identity.
So, not that it matters anymore, but the Bunnies were infiltrated by Reporter/Bunny Doris. Poor girl, she survives the cattle call, is accepted into the Club, learns some shit, turns into a total Smuggy McSassypants, only to learn a lesson in humility.
Basically, this episode was a cross between She’s All That, Never Been Kissed and All The President’s Men. I’m guessing Doris is Woodward, her editor is Bernstein, and Deep Throat is… well…
Alright, sorry Pearl. Save your side eye for someone else.
I guess I should take Doris’ lesson to heart as well. She went in there under the impression that The Playboy Club was nothing but a brothel dressed up in mod lighting schemes only to find out that “these are hard working girls”… who should stop singing.
You know, I don’t doubt their work ethic or morals for a second. Honestly, serving is hell on the most basic level but, to take on the extra pressure of being a Bunny? Yeah, no thanks. However, is the lesson as syrupy sweet as presented by Carol-Lynne? Hell no! She should have just slapped Doris but it all worked out in the end because Doris went from a Bunny with a pronounced pair to dowdy reporter because journalists and artistic women have to be shrews in a cardigan. Seriously, Gloria Steinem should be pissed.
My other favourite “realness” moment was when Bunnies Maureen and Janie were both fleeing because they’ve killed people (even longer story, yo). The only thing Janie killed was a few cans of hairspray. Girl, let the manslaughter thing go and let’s knock a Bump-It or two off the scalp, OK? Also, another moment of silence for Janie’s pants. May they rest in peace… and never see the light of day unless she becomes a rodeo clown.
Since the show has been cancelled only three episodes into the series, we’re left with a lot of cliffhangers! Including, but not limited to:
Frances: Will she come out of the closet? Will Nick ever find out she probably hooked up with more broads than him? Who will wear all the fur in the costume department?
Frances & Alice: I’m sorry, this is wasted on me.
Nick: Could he become the next mayor? Will he have to betray his gangster buddies? When will he open his eyes and not talk with that weird condescending tone that clearly makes his girlfriends (fictional and real life) feel like shit and stop eating?
The Bunnies: Will these extras get paid?
Pearl: I think I’ll miss you most of all. Is it just me or does anyone else scream “DIVA!” when they see Aunt Helen outside of “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”?
Unfortunately, all of these questions will go unanswered. Forever. But you know, that might not be such a terrible thing. I mean, it leaves us open to speculate, write fan fiction, or simply erase the memory from our minds until we’re drunk at a party and start bitching about how the writing was more flat than an Arizona mesa. My theory is that NBC was pressured by a consortium of frat boys dating sorority chicks who planned to be Sexy Bunnies for Halloween. If there is a body of people out there who can out-sex a Playboy Bunny, it’s a bunch of college girls on Halloween.
So next week, you’ll have Pan Am to look forward to. I know writer Ann F. is pretty jazzed she’ll never have to watch an episode of The Playboy Club. And congratulations to Pan Am, The Scotch-Soaked 60s Screening Room Champion!
The jury’s still out on whether or not Pan Am gets added to the regular YKYLF line-up. VOTE!
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