Gay Girl’s Goggles: “Pan Am” SnapCap (1.04)


When only four percent of scripted TV shows feature LGBT characters, what’s a gay girl to do? Why, strap on your gay goggles and watch TV along with us, of course! Our handy appraisal scale is better than any old letter grade. Other sites A+. We say, “What about our lezzy-lady feelings?”

Dear co-pilot Ted, I don’t care. No, seriously, bro: I do not care. You’re like, “I’m a smarmy dude who flies planes for sexy Pan Am in the Age of Adventure! JUST KIDDING! I wanted to be an astronaut until my dad and my bar tab caused me to crash into the Pacific Ocean and ruin my life!” I know what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to do, “I’m a philandering ad man with a perfect wife and a perfect house and two perfect kids and a perfect dog. JUST KIDDING! I’m an identity-thievin’ son of whore!” But Ted, you are no Don Draper. And Michael Mosley, you are no Jon Hamm. And Pan Am, you are no Mad Men. So cut it out.


You know how I’m always banging on about how the women drive this show? Not so true in “Eastern Europe” — and oh, how the episode suffered for it. Pan Am‘s lezzer bait is empowered women and their relationships with one another, but this week we were treated to Laura and Maggie hopping on chairs and squealing like ’50s cartoon ladies about, “A mouse! A mouse!” While Ted and Dean whipped out their d—s and sword fought their way across southeast Asia. I mean, you guys, there was actual cock fighting with roosters, and then there was actual cock fighting with pilots. Are you interested in either one of those things? Yeah, me neither. (And it’s not like I’m anti-fella. You don’t even know how I cried over Don Draper earlier in the day.)


My number one feeling last night was, “Is it just me, or is Christina Ricci opening her eyes quadruple-wider than usual? No, seriously, why is she trying to steal my soul through the screen?!” Love that girl, but squinting a little isn’t the worst idea I’ve ever heard. My other feelings were sister feelings, and because I have my very own sister whom I adore, sad sister stories always feel like a punch to the heart. Kate’s mad at Laura for riding her coattails and borrowing her stuff without asking and not tidying up their hotel room and losing her mittens and wearing those godd–n bunny slippers all over the globe. But really, that’s not true. Kate’s just mad about how it’s hard out here for a covert CIA plebe in the Cold War. By the time she sorts through her crap — with the help of her CIA contact promising to, like, off Laura — Laura has moved in with Maggie in her bohemian flat in Dumbo or wherever. It’s no “My family was murdered by Nazis while I was learning the German national anthem,” but it’s still sad. (Which, by the way, is another reason I’m hating on Ted in this SnapCap. He ate up Collette’s screen time. The bastard.)


We’re so space-complacent these days. Blah blah blah, a hundred dudes in outer-space probing Mars and stuff. It’s weird to me that we forget what an enormous frikkin deal it is to LEAVE THE EARTH. So even though Ted was making me nutso-bananas this week, I did love his earnest excitement over the launch of Mercury-Atlas 9. And I liked him and Dean taking about the Space Race in real-time. As for the girls, the only nostalgia for them this week was Kate waiting for a telegram for six hours. And that cocoa butter sun tan lotion. (Collette’s protecting herself from UV rays, though. Collette knows what’s up.)


Even though they were compelled to leave their hotel room because of rodents, Maggie and Laura did share some nice scenes out and about in Jakarta. Laura squeals at Kate later that “Maggie knows … everything about … everything.” And that does seem true. She’s a woman in the ’60s navigating her way through southeast Asia without any help from any blokes. From girdles to gambling, Maggie knows her stuff. And in Laura, she’s got a willing apprentice. Maggie actually reminds me a little bit of the first girl I ever fell in love with. Holy s–t, you know what I just realized? That girl had enormous eyes too! And she could go from whisper to shrill in a nanosecond just like Maggie! No wonder I’m suddenly terrified of Christina Ricci!

All in all, it wasn’t my favorite episode of Pan Am, but I still really like this show and I’m still really bummed that it’s falling off in the ratings department. ABC has tossed a lot of cash at it, so they probably won’t be as quick to pull the plug on it as they were with Charlie’s Angels. But still: Be your best, Pan Am! We haven’t even gotten to see Kate discover that she’s a lesbian yet!

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