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post #61 of 237 Old 09-30-2011, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rajmarie View Post

I cant believe the spaceios seats on that new plane....even in economy....compared to present space & seats design.

Also what types of enginies were on those plane?

Liked the 1st episode so far. Wife also gave a thums-up....Timer stays on for the moment.

I don't think there was an "economy" section on the Pan Am intercontinental flights during the dawn of the jet age, not as we know it today at least. Flying in general back then was still a rather exclusive activity, not the cattle-car business it is today, and international flights especially were the domain of the wealthy and elite. Those 707s were pretty special, note that each carried a name from Pan Am's old flying-boat clipper routes.
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post #62 of 237 Old 09-30-2011, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by vfxproducer View Post

For those who are interested, here's an interesting 'behind the scenes' on the making of Pan-Am, and the various visual effects: http://vimeo.com/25483317.

Password?
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post #63 of 237 Old 09-30-2011, 10:30 AM
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We had an active space program and it still didn't require an environmental impact report to improve a road or build a needed power plant (you actually saw billboards along the highway encouraging people to buy new kinds of appliances without regard to energy savings). Gas and electric bills were negligible, fuel economy didn't sell cars and nobody cared about crash test results when they bought a car.

It saddens me to see China going the similar route. But at least the Chinese build bullet trains, while the good ol' USA keeps driving them good ol' cars and trucks.
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post #64 of 237 Old 09-30-2011, 11:33 AM
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Password?

Interesting...it wasn't password protected when I posted the link.
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post #65 of 237 Old 09-30-2011, 01:55 PM
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It wasn't password protected Wednesday either.

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post #66 of 237 Old 09-30-2011, 03:22 PM
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It is interesting how the major Russian air carrier changed uniforms for air hostesses about a year or so ago. Looks quite similar, although I like Pan-Am's hats better, the Russian ones look too military for my taste. But... skirt instead of pants, high heels and white gloves. Also, if Pan-Am the series catches on, maybe women will return to short hairdos from modern universal long straight hair which I cannot stand anymore.

Aeroflot to revamp 'revolting' uniforms
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Vitaly Savelyev, the company's new CEO, said all new stewardesses would be "very striking, very eye-catching girls", who would not exceed Russian size 48 - roughly a British size 12, the Independent reports.

Proud Aeroflot not content with best of the rest' label
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For nearly 70 years, Aeroflot was the only airline in the Soviet Union and the company still maintains its status as a national leader. There were airlines in the US with a similar scope and history, like Pan American. But Pan American went bankrupt long ago while Aeroflot still flies.

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post #67 of 237 Old 09-30-2011, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vfxproducer View Post

For those who are interested, here's an interesting 'behind the scenes' on the making of Pan-Am, and the various visual effects: http://vimeo.com/25483317.

No need for a password now...it's fixed.
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post #68 of 237 Old 10-01-2011, 11:26 PM
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I finally watched the pilot and I have to say that CG is horrible. Backplates are not that bad, they do have some flair of non-realism, but overall not immediately obvious. But every single airport/airplane shot is as cartoonish as 3D wireframe animation can be. Bad, bad, bad. I wish they did not show the airport and take-off and landing at all if they could not do it properly. I believe if they used mechanical models it would look better than this third-rate animation.

Also, I don't like shooting over green-screen, not in this series, nor in other movies. Movies are fake by nature, but shooting over green-screen is double-fake. I can only imagine additional effort the actors had to make to play in this green studio as if it were a real airport. Actors with no imagination should not apply.

The crew is way too young. Also, a dude named Sanjeev in the crew? In the cockpit? On Pan Am in 1963? I don't think so.

The phrase "we invaded his country" was so incomprehensible (for a reason?) that I had to watch the same scene five times or so.
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post #69 of 237 Old 10-02-2011, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

I finally watched the pilot and I have to say that CG is horrible. Backplates are not that bad, they do have some flair of non-realism, but overall not immediately obvious. But every single airport/airplane shot is as cartoonish as 3D wireframe animation can be. Bad, bad, bad. I wish they did not show the airport and take-off and landing at all if they could not do it properly. I believe if they used mechanical models it would look better than this third-rate animation..

I'd love to know your expertise in this area.

First of all, nobody uses physical models for this kind of work anymore, outside of a few big budget tent pole VFX movies, and certainly not on an episodic television schedule. It's just not possible. Too cost and time prohibitive. The last episodic series to use miniatures to any great extent that I can recall was Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Secondly, to say it is as cartoonish as wireframe animation can be is pure hyperbole, and not at all a true assessment of the work. The VFX done on the pilot is among the best work done for an episodic television series I've seen in recent years, and I say that as somebody who has served as a Governor of the Special Visual Effects branch of the Television Academy. Nobody is more familiar with state of the art television effects than I am. Was it the best work I've seen recently? No. Personally, I'm kind of partial to the work on Boardwalk Empire and The Borgias. Was it up to par with $100 million VFX blockbusters? No, of course not. No television series is. But was it among the top 5 examples of episodic television effects so far this year? Yes. Clearly. It is pretty disingenuous when you call the work third rate'.

I don't disagree with your general assessment of green screen shots. Every VFX supervisor will tell a client that if they can shoot a scene for real, they should do it. Don't use green or blue screen unless you have to. In the case of Pan Am, that terminal doesn't exist as such anymore, so the show had the choice of creating it with CG, or having a show about an airline where you never see the terminal. Given that choice, you'd have to go with green screen.

For the record, I did not work on Pan Am and was not involved in any of the effects that you were critiquing. But those guys are friends of mine and they deserve a little more credit than you were giving them.

I am interested in seeing how episode 2 looks, because the show switched VFX teams after the pilot to save money. I'm not sure how that gamble will pay off.
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post #70 of 237 Old 10-03-2011, 08:20 AM
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Lost interest after last night's show. First episode showed promise, but writing and plot line began to stink in episode 2. There is too much good tv on other channels or netflix to put up with this sorry writing. Comparing this to Mad Men is night/day.
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post #71 of 237 Old 10-03-2011, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

Also, a dude named Sanjeev in the crew? In the cockpit? On Pan Am in 1963? I don't think so.

That's exactly what I was thinking too.

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post #72 of 237 Old 10-03-2011, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vfxproducer View Post

I'd love to know your expertise in this area.

I am a human who knows how real airplanes look like, and how an object rolling on a hard surface would behave in real life.

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Originally Posted by vfxproducer View Post

First of all, nobody uses physical models for this kind of work anymore

If everyone marches in the same direction, this does not automatically make them right, so please allow me to disregard this note of yours.

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The VFX done on the pilot is among the best work done for an episodic television series I've seen in recent years

This may be true, but as I said all the scenes that include airplanes do not look real, most importantly the motion, but sometimes details as well. As a viewer I don't care that this digital cartoon is the best the industry has. It does not look real, period. It pulls me out of the suspension of disbelief and instead I start feeling as if I am watching someone playing a computer game, not a TV show. I wish they did not put these shots in at all. There are tons of movies that depict air travel without showing airplane taxiing or taking off.

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Originally Posted by vfxproducer View Post

In the case of Pan Am, that terminal doesn't exist as such anymore, so the show had the choice of creating it with CG, or having a show about an airline where you never see the terminal. Given that choice, you'd have to go with green screen.

Right, the green screen shots look ok to me. I just mentioned that it would be sad if location shots were eliminated altogether. Paris with Eiffel tower shaped like a Coca-Cola bottle with Chryslers and Chevys driving around, imagine the possibilities for creative product placement. Sometimes I wonder that some "news" are already produced this way, and what one might think happens in Libya or Egypt in fact happens on a VX lot.

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I am interested in seeing how episode 2 looks, because the show switched VFX teams after the pilot to save money. I'm not sure how that gamble will pay off.

I haven't watched the second episode yet, but if they wanted to save money they just should have thrown out all scenes that show airplanes, cars and other moving objects, they just don't look realistic. On the other hand, I don't think that these shots will ever be reused, after all how many shots of a plane taking off or landing one needs? Maybe that's why they made them quick and dirty only to be discarded after the "locations" are established. Maybe these flaws will be forgotten if the series takes off, so to speak.

P.S. Someone said that this show does not look authentic because almost no one smokes. I watched three episodes of Mad Men yesterday and I have to say I am sick of seeing them pulling a cigarette every 20 seconds. I get it - everyone smoked back then, but I am tired of seeing a cigarette in every shot. So Pan Am is actually a breath of fresh air.

Mad Men looks very lush, superb production value, but I have no interest in watching it. Pan Am looks less expensive, but if there is a decent plot I might continue watching.
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post #73 of 237 Old 10-03-2011, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

I haven't watched the second episode yet...

Why would you if all your comments about the first episode are negative?

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...but if there is a decent plot I might continue watching.

The plot is unrealistic, just like every other aspect of this show. The whole premise of the show is that of an "escapist romance soap opera." To apply documentary like inspection to this obviously fantasy show, is silly.
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post #74 of 237 Old 10-03-2011, 01:07 PM
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The plot will is unrealistic, just like every other aspect of this show. The whole premise of the show is that of an "escapist romance soap opera." To apply documentary like inspection to this obviously fantasy show, is silly.

Having viewed TV in the 60's and 70's I think this series captures the period's approach to TV. Such as Love, American Style and The Love Boat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love,_American_Style

In many ways, the show initiated the "mini comedic soap opera" form used and "perfected" later on by Aaron Spelling for The Love Boat. While it lacked the connective threads that The Love Boat used, it generally told the same sort of "cotton candy" light, emotional stories about underlying aspects of love, romance, and human relationships.
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post #75 of 237 Old 10-03-2011, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Shedrock View Post

The plot will is unrealistic, just like every other aspect of this show. The whole premise of the show is that of an "escapist romance soap opera." To apply documentary like inspection to this obviously fantasy show, is silly.

The plot may be realistic, but the characters are humans acting in a physical world, so I expect the things around them to look like realistic physical objects, and the airplanes are not. They do not look much better than recordings from the Flight Simulator.

I watched the pilot and will watch a couple more episodes because of pretty girls with short hairdos. I hate long straight hair. I did not like Monica in Friends for her hair, and Kathy (Paget Brewster) was a welcome change, both in her appearance and personality. In Pan Am most if not all women wear short hair, I wonder how soon this uniformity will start to bother me again ;-) As for the plot... I cannot hope for it to get either technical or political, although mentioning and even sort of condemning of the American invasion to Cuba was rather surprising. On a technical side, wiki reads: "Although it was not the first commercial jet in service, the 707 was among the first to be commercially successful." So some technicalities about the fleet, the issues, the gotchas - all this would be interesting. I hope they shoot real airplane parts, not computer-generated ones.

If this show grows into something like Arthur Hailey's "Airport", where personal life intertwines with the technical world, I will continue watching it. And by the way, Hailey published his first novels in 1960-ies, so it fits perfectly. From wiki: "He had begun his writing life as a journalist on a transport magazine, but got his break as a fiction writer when, during a flight, he began to ponder what would happen if both pilots fell sick from food poisoning. The storyline led to his first big success."
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post #76 of 237 Old 10-03-2011, 02:48 PM
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They do not look much better than recordings from the Flight Simulator.

Just to clarify. You would suggest that these images have a similar degree of realism?

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post #77 of 237 Old 10-03-2011, 03:57 PM
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Just to clarify. You would suggest that these images have a similar degree of realism?

The helicopter scene actually looks quite good, please excuse me if I said that all CG scenes looked bad. The first one from your images is ok, the third one looks ok on a still, but somewhat unnatural when the airplane flies and makes a turn and clouds move behind it. I'd say it is passable.

I'd say these three shots are the worst offenders: the very first one, which is also an intro to the episode and the whole series, and it really ticked me off. The take-off scene, and the landing scene. Everything else is good enough for not ruining the sense of immersion. The problem is not only in the amount of detail, but also how the objects move. In these three scenes the motion is somewhat unnatural, stilted. Maybe it also is lack of proper lightning and shading, I don't know. Anyway, maybe this is just me.
LL
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post #78 of 237 Old 10-03-2011, 04:27 PM
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Thanks for the detailed explanation. Like I said, I didn't work on Pan Am, but it helps me in my work on other shows, to know what kinds of effects can throw a viewer out of their suspension of disbelief.

I see what you are saying about that first terminal shot. I had kind of the same experience with the first shot of Terra Nova. It looked so CG, that the effect made it more difficult to immerse myself in the live action story. If the Terra Nova pilot had started without that shot, and we got further into the story and character development before seeing CG sets and creatures, it would have been more forgiving.
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post #79 of 237 Old 10-03-2011, 04:48 PM
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I watched the Stargate reel with a couple of friends. (*)

All the shots that impressed us were the green screen composites. All the shots we found somewhat 'out' or 'lacking' appeared to be the 100% CG shots of the planes.

In particular the shots of the plane in the air and landing. Not sure what it is - but something just doesn't look 'real'. Not enough dirt? Too perfect? Something about the motion?

We also all left the reel feeling it was amazingly accomplished, and very impressed at actors abilities to act in a green room with no reality around them.

Watching other Stargate reels made us feel a bit depressed though - doing everything green screen, when some stuff could be done practically, felt a bit sad.

However good compositing is - there are sometimes effects (often differential focus, keying around window edges etc.) which give things away.

(*) Full disclosure - we all work in the TV industry - though not in fictional production.
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post #80 of 237 Old 10-03-2011, 05:12 PM
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Watching any real landing video on YouTube, like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLMm4ZEZ-RE one can notice that the plane goes up/down, left/right, its wing flexes, its landing gear sometimes shakes, when it touches down the body also flexes a bit along with the wing. There are puffs of smoke, etc. The whole lot of things going on. Some of those movements are tiny, but we still register them, just like we register the difference between 24p and say 60p.

The landing in the Pan Am pilot was as if the plane was a solid piece of brick, going down an imaginary slide first in the air than on landing strip. I don't know what would be simpler: to have a mechanical mockup, to have a mechanical model that actually flies and to land it, or to do CG properly.

Check this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxLuShpaKrQ or this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BUQcaQyH8g or this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urtrGa3R8O0 Sure, they take off and land too fast for a real plane, but this can be remedied by slowing the video down. I am sure that these guys would be happy to help a TV production. As a viewer I would prefer a mechanical model over CG any day. Actually landing an RC model at night would be a feat. Here where FX can help to turn day into night ;-)
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post #81 of 237 Old 10-03-2011, 05:35 PM
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Damn I missed this last episode, will they repeat or is there anywhere I can watch an hd version of it?
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post #82 of 237 Old 10-03-2011, 07:49 PM
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Having flown on a DC-7C (along with the Lockheed Constellation Starliner the ultimate 4 engine prop-driven airliner) from coast to coast I can honestly say I've never seen a movie or tv depiction that was halfway accurate.

For one thing there were actual trails of black oil streaming down the upper surfaces of the wings from the engines, and at night there were constant scary blue flames shooting from the exhausts. The inflight magazine advised that the blue flames were normal but didn't mention the oil trails. It was my first flight on one of these and nobody else seemed concerned about the oil. The noise and vibration is also an order of magnitude worse than ever seen on tv or the movies.

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post #83 of 237 Old 10-04-2011, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

I am a human who knows how real airplanes look like, and how an object rolling on a hard surface would behave in real life.

If everyone marches in the same direction, this does not automatically make them right, so please allow me to disregard this note of yours.

This may be true, but as I said all the scenes that include airplanes do not look real, most importantly the motion, but sometimes details as well. As a viewer I don't care that this digital cartoon is the best the industry has. It does not look real, period. It pulls me out of the suspension of disbelief and instead I start feeling as if I am watching someone playing a computer game, not a TV show. I wish they did not put these shots in at all. There are tons of movies that depict air travel without showing airplane taxiing or taking off.

Right, the green screen shots look ok to me. I just mentioned that it would be sad if location shots were eliminated altogether. Paris with Eiffel tower shaped like a Coca-Cola bottle with Chryslers and Chevys driving around, imagine the possibilities for creative product placement. Sometimes I wonder that some "news" are already produced this way, and what one might think happens in Libya or Egypt in fact happens on a VX lot.

I haven't watched the second episode yet, but if they wanted to save money they just should have thrown out all scenes that show airplanes, cars and other moving objects, they just don't look realistic. On the other hand, I don't think that these shots will ever be reused, after all how many shots of a plane taking off or landing one needs? Maybe that's why they made them quick and dirty only to be discarded after the "locations" are established. Maybe these flaws will be forgotten if the series takes off, so to speak.

P.S. Someone said that this show does not look authentic because almost no one smokes. I watched three episodes of Mad Men yesterday and I have to say I am sick of seeing them pulling a cigarette every 20 seconds. I get it - everyone smoked back then, but I am tired of seeing a cigarette in every shot. So Pan Am is actually a breath of fresh air.

Mad Men looks very lush, superb production value, but I have no interest in watching it. Pan Am looks less expensive, but if there is a decent plot I might continue watching.

If these details bother you so much, perhaps this show is not your cup of tea? Perhaps there are other shows better suited to occupy your time?
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post #84 of 237 Old 10-04-2011, 06:34 AM
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liked the 2nd episode.......although still dont know how can a drunk passenger come on like that & still manage to threaten for pressing charges for assault. I could have thrown him off the plane
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post #85 of 237 Old 10-04-2011, 07:05 AM
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The history of film is closely related to the history of special effects in film. As a monster movie fan I have seen most things from Méliès to Weta. Nothing ever looks totally real. I still get a thrill out of King Kong and The Lady Vanishes and Quo Vadis with their dated stop-motion, miniatures and matte paintings.

You have to do something. You have to have something for long shots. You could not do this series without special effects. It's part of the disbelief you have to suspend along with how all the cars are in perfect shape, and how all of the foreign cities really look like high-end hotels minimally dressed up. The show is sort of a dream vision of how things kinda were, along the lines of Scorcese's vision of The Gangs of New York.

It's the vapidity of the writing that annoys me. I think there is a tension between, on the one hand, the need for women to be able to have working lives and careers and liberation, and, on the other hand, the career depicted on the show actually being flying waitresses and sex objects and girlfriends to keep pilots happy and not really true liberation at all. We saw a little bit of this with Christina Ricci's character Maggie and the jerk on the airplane.

It's certainly best watched on a DVR, because the commercials come thick and fast.

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post #86 of 237 Old 10-04-2011, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajmarie View Post

liked the 2nd episode.......although still dont know how can a drunk passenger come on like that & still manage to threaten for pressing charges for assault. I could have thrown him off the plane

It was a different time and people did get away with stuff like that (ie like Mad Men depict). Even 30 years ago, things like that happened with about the same results. America was not as PC conscience as it is today.

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post #87 of 237 Old 10-04-2011, 09:35 AM
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Two episodes of this was enough for me. I really don't care about the quality of the FX and I suspect the target audience don't even realize they are FX shots.

This is a daytime soap dressed in nicer production quality. I couldn't find anything here that appeals to me. It seemed to be aiming straight for the female demo moreso than any show I can remember of late.


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post #88 of 237 Old 10-04-2011, 04:13 PM
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Both episodes of Pan Am are up on ABC.com
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post #89 of 237 Old 10-05-2011, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

Two episodes of this was enough for me. I really don't care about the quality of the FX and I suspect the target audience don't even realize they are FX shots.

This is a daytime soap dressed in nicer production quality. I couldn't find anything here that appeals to me. It seemed to be aiming straight for the female demo moreso than any show I can remember of late.

Me too. I'm done. Very boring 2nd episode.
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post #90 of 237 Old 10-05-2011, 09:23 AM
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Both episodes of Pan Am are up on ABC.com

Thanks, is there any way to make the videos full screen?
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