3. Pan Am
Stars: Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Michael Mosley, Mike Vogel, Karine Vanasse, Margot Robbie, Annabelle Wallis
Out of nowhere, Mad Men became the new Lost, the popular and unique show that other networks’ executive desperately try to emulate. The heads at NBC debuted The Playboy Club, a series that everyone knew would suck, and, alas, sucked the big one. But ABC’s Pan Am was an entirely different situation; the early word was positive, and the 1960s-set drama’s first two episodes moved with enough vibrancy and narrative focus that we gladly checked our pessimistic luggage and hopped aboard.
The subsequent crash-and-burn, unfortunately, happened with the quickness. Actors with no chemistry were paired as love interests, Christina Ricci’s zany performance alongside her more nuanced cast-mates continually made it seem like she was on a totally different show, and Pan Am’s once-intriguing CIA subplot kept getting sidelined for episode-long scenic diversions. Now, the only reason to ever use the words “mad” and “men” when discussing Pan Am are to describe disappointed viewers like us.