Gay Girl’s Goggles: “Pan Am” SnapCap (1.05)


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?”

Hey, Captain Dean! Yeah, you, with the pilot’s hat and that one self-congratulatory facial expression. Did you happen to see the note I wrote to Co-captain Ted last week? The one where I talked about how he should give the show back to the ladies due to my boredom? Well, I was going to write you a similar note this week, but by the second scene you were supposed to be carrying — ZZZzzzzz.

Oh, look at that: Just talking about your scenes triggers a narcoleptic reaction inside my brain. Weird.


You guys, what the hell? Pan Am is suddenly doing the opposite of the thing I said it was doing! I was like, “Blah blah blah 100 percent Bechdel Test success rate!” And then — BOOM! — Laura spends the whole episode talking about her ex-fiance, and Maggie spends the whole episode pushing Kate out of a plane at 30,000 feet for stealing her man, and Collette is relegated to to the role of staring forlornly at Dean/glowering at his lady friend. This whole episode was like a Cosmo double issue. Just, “Boys, boys, boys” BORING.


I can tell I care about these four female leads because of the way I’m getting so frustrated at the writers for not giving me consistent reasons to care about these four female leads. I know it’s an ensemble show and everything, and also all four women are (theoretically) living out their lives in different directions, so we can’t focus on everyone every week, but these little nibblets of character development aren’t sustaining me! Maybe they’re trying to work the Mad Men model where, say, Peggy Olsen has an episode full of stellar growth and then we don’t see her very much for two episodes or whatever — but the thing that makes that model successful for Mad Men is that Peggy actually has an episode of stellar growth. After 42 minutes, we really, really know her more. But Pan Am‘s like, “Collette’s family was murdered by Nazis! What an interesting career choice to be an international stewardess or whatever!” And then Collete just totally disappears from the show. You know? I want to feeeeeel it, Pan Am. Make me feeeeeeel it!


I usually use this space to talk about whatever ’60s throwback, but this episode sent me into a reminiscing tailspin of Doomsday proportions because the rest of the world might look at Scott Cohen and think about his little run on Gilmore Girls, but I look at Scott Cohen and think about how he stole Jessica away from Helen in Kissing Jessica Stein. Am I meant to feel sympathy for this cat because Dean is cheating with his wife/mistress/secretary? Too bad! Because guess what? He stole Jessica away from Helen! Die in a fire, Josh Meyers!


In addition to the annoying Tiger Beat girl squabbles this week, my major beef with the episode is the way it handled Laura’s closure with her fiance. She left the dude at the altar without a penny to her name and the way she financed her first few months in the city was by pawning her engagement ring, right? She saved up her paychecks and went to buy it back to return it to him to give them both a new beginning. And what a life-altering, super-freeing moment that would have been for her character. But nope! Why, Laura is such a damsel in distress she can barely read a subway map! So Ted pawn-bombed her and then bought back the ring with his own Rolex, and so not only did she not earn her independence by being independent, but now she’s also kind of indebted to Ted. Sloppy and gross, man.

I grumble because I care, Pan Am. Really. Now, FIX IT.

How are you feeling about Pan Am? Am I overreacting to the dude stuff, or are you as grossed out as me about Laura and Ted/Maggie and Kate?

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