Pan Am, Hart of Dixie, and the not so happy Playboy Club

Hallu, dear readers! How's everybody doing today? My cold is finally seeing its final stages, which is something I've very, very thankful for. I really need to get a cracking on my editing, and since my head is clearer now, I can actually start. Full speed ahead.

Anyway, for today, I decided to dole out a TV viewing update. Lots of new shows this Fall Season. Some I like and some I don't ever want to see again. We'll focus on three so far.

First up, Hart of Dixie. Here's a little summary of the show:

Fast-talking New Yorker and brand new doctor Zoe Hart has it all figured out - after graduating top of her class from medical school, she'll follow in her father's footsteps and become a cardio-thoracic surgeon. But when her dreams fall apart, Zoe decides to accept an offer from a stranger, Dr. Harley Wilkes, to work with him at his small practice in Bluebell, Alabama. Zoe arrives in this small Gulf Coast town only to find that Harley has passed away and left his half of the medical practice to her in his will. She quickly finds that Southern hospitality isn't always so hospitable - the other doctor in town, Brick Breeland, is less than pleased to be sharing the practice with this young outsider, and his daughter, Lemon, is a Southern belle whose sweet disposition turns sour when she meets Zoe. Zoe's only allies are the mayor, former football star Lavon Hayes, her bad-boy neighbor Wade Kinsella, and handsome lawyer George Tucker - who just happens to be Lemon's fiance. Zoe is out of her element and ready to pack her bags, but a surprise visit by her snobby New York mother leads to Zoe's decision to stay in Bluebell for a while, discovering small-town life and a side of herself she hadn't known was there.

The series stars Rachel Bilson as Dr. Zoe Hart, Jamie King as Lemon Breeland, Wilson Bethel as Wade Kinsella, Cress Williams as Lavon Hayes, McKaley Miller as Rose and Scott Porter as George Tucker. HART OF DIXIE is from Bonanza Productions Inc., in association with Fake Empire, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, with executive producers Leila Gerstein ("Gossip Girl," "Eli Stone"), Josh Schwartz ("Gossip Girl," "Chuck," "The O.C."), Stephanie Savage ("Gossip Girl," "The O.C."), Len Goldstein and Jason Ensler ("Gossip Girl," "Chuck"). The pilot was directed by Jason Ensler.

My mother is the culprit of this TV viewing endeavor. Since her favorite Brothers and Sisters has been cancelled, she'd been looking for an alternative, and since she was a fan of Summer from the OC, it seemed only natural that she gravitate toward Hart of Dixie. We've watched the first episode, and I would have to say that I can't wait for the second. I love the shots in this series. It's reminiscent of the way Stars Hollow was depicted in Gilmore Girls. Bluebell is such a beautiful town. I think it's fictional, but I love seeing the place. Might even want to live there. So, if anything, I'm watching this series for how beautifully shot it is. And it doesn't hurt that it's funny. Of course, Rachel Bilson still reminds me of Summer, just with a medical degree and not an activist from Brown.

The second show on my list today is Pan Am:

Pan Am is a television series centered around the iconic airline Pan American World Airways during the 1960s. The period drama, from writer Jack Orman (ER) and director Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing), focuses on the pilots and flight attendants working for the world-famous airline in 1963.

The series, produced by Sony Pictures Television, was picked up by ABC in May 2011 for the 2011–2012 television season.[1] Sony licensed the rights to the Pan Am name and logo from Pan Am Systems, a New Hampshire–based railroad company that acquired the Pan Am brand in 1998.

The series premiered on September 25, 2011.

I quite enjoyed Pan Am. I guess this stems from me wanting to be a flight attendant years ago. It seems to be such a wonderful and glamorous job. In Pan Am, it's made even more glamorous because it's set in the 60's, where everyone dressed up when traveling. No tourist shorts on this flight. Again, this is one of those beautifully shot dramas. And I have a feeling there's lots of intrigue in store. I also can't wait to watch the second episode. Hopefully, the ratings are good enough to keep this show going.

Speaking of ratings, I turn to my third show of the bunch. The Playboy Club didn't do so well during it's premier, only racking up over a million viewers. In the TV world, that might as well spell a death sentence. Here's what the show is about:

From Academy Award-winning Executive Producer Brian Grazer, "The Playboy Club" is a provocative new NBC drama about a time and place that challenged the existing social mores and transformed American culture forever. It's the early 1960s, and at the center of Chicago lies the legendary and seductive Playboy Club, a living, breathing fantasy world filled with $1.50 cocktails, music, glitter and of course, beautiful Bunnies. The key to the club, which offers the ultimate in beauty, is the most sought-after status symbol of its time. But all that glitters isn't gold, and in the back rooms and alleys behind the club, life happens - both good and bad.

Nick Dalton (Eddie Cibrian, "CSI: Miami," "Third Watch") is the ultimate playboy and one of the city's top attorneys, rubbing elbows with everyone in the Windy City's power structure. With mysterious and complicated ties to the mob, he comes to the aid of Maureen (Amber Heard, "Zombieland," "Pineapple Express"), the stunning and innocent new Bunny at the club, who accidentally kills the patriarch of the Bianchi crime family. Dating Nick is Carol-Lynne (Laura Benanti, "Take the Lead," "Eli Stone"), a bombshell of a beauty and an established star at the Playboy Club who's ready to be more than a Bunny. As she seeks an opportunity to elevate her stature even higher at the club, she can't help but notice that something is developing between Nick and Maureen. Adding to the charm of the club is Janie (Jenna Dewan Tatum, "American Virgin," "Step Up"), the foxy and carefree life of the party who is dating Max (Wes Ramsey, "CSI: Miami," "Dracula's Guest"), a sweet and romantic bartender. Brenda (Naturi Naughton, "Lottery Ticket," "Fame"), a stunning beauty with a dry wit, has big aspirations. Bunny Alice (Leah Renee, "True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet") manages to take care of everyone but herself, and while married, is hiding a huge secret from everyone. Pearl (Jenifer Lewis, "Strong Medicine," "What's Love Got To Do With It") is the club's seamstress who's been there since day one and knows more about what it takes to survive than anyone. Running the club and answering only to the top is general manager Billy Morton (David Krumholtz, "Numb3rs," "Superbad"), who also shares a close friendship with Nick. With all of these larger-than-life ambitions, there are even greater secrets. It's a good thing Hef's Playboy Mansion is open after hours for a little R&R - and burying your past.

I honestly didn't connect with the characters of this show. I thought it would be beautifully shot, but I'm disappointed. The 60's seems like such a glamorous decade. I just wished the show's producers played that up more since it's The Playboy Club for crying out loud. I guess, the bottom line here is, I expected more but was given way less. The story telling leaves little to be excited about, too. So, I'd have to say bye-bye to The Playboy Club. Even if they manage to turn things around, I don't think I'll be coming back for a second look.

Okay, that's it for now. My many other commitments are calling for me to make an appearance. I hope you have a great day, dear reader. And if it's not going so good, take a deep breath and know that tomorrow you can start all over again. :-)

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