You know, we've been on the fence about Pan Am since it premiered a month ago, but last night's fifth episode, "One Coin in a Fountain," finally made us want to root for the series to stick around awhile. It was certainly the show's strongest outing to date, offering up a pleasurable mix of humor and intrigue and giving every member of the show's large cast something to do. Well, almost everyone -- for the second week in a row, Colette got the shaft, reduced to shooting longing/knowing glances at Dean while he shamelessly pursued Ginny Sadler, hot-to-trot mistress of top Pan Am exec Everett Henson (played by Scott Cohen, who will forever be Max Medina, Chilton Academy's finest English teacher, to us). And, as always, the program continued to teach us all sorts of things we didn't know about the '60s, such as...
In the '60s... Jujubes Were a Flirtation Device
Originally developed sometime in the late 19th century, these "chewy gum drops" were first manufactured and sold under the name "Jujubes" by the Heide Candy Company (Hershey bought the rights to the brand in the '90s before selling it to current owner Farley & Sathers Candy Co. in 2002). Ginny's a big fan, preferring their fruity flavor to the "pasty" taste of pâté (also counting in their favor, according to her: no geese are harmed in the making of a Jujube). Sensing a spark between Ginny and Dean, Ted lends him a box of Jujubes (still in the classic Heide box!) from his private stash and sends him back to Economy to give the lady what she wants. Ginny laughs with glee like a girl on Christmas morning. And with that, Ted is in like Flynn. Ginny may want to check her teeth before contemplating any kissing action though -- Jujubes have a bad habit of getting stuck in the ol' chompers.
In the '60s... Irish Blokes Said Things Like "There's a Word from the Bird"
Rhyming slang is a lost art these days, but back in the '60s it was one of the U.K.'s chief exports ("bread and honey" = "money"; "apples and pears" = "stairs"; "Duke of Kent" = "rent"... you get the idea). So it was nice to hear Maggie's Irish suitor spit out the above little rhyme in response to her insistence that darts, not pool, is a "proper pub game." And with that, they moseyed back up to the bar, maybe to drop a Lady Godiva (a five-pound note) on a pair of pigs ears (we'll let you figure that one out).
In the '60s... Guys Assumed Gals Needed an Escort to Go to Harlem
Manhattan in general has changed dramatically since the '60s and one of the neighborhoods that's undergone the biggest facelift is Harlem. After decades of being treated as if it were almost on a different planet from the rest of the borough, the area is thriving, with new restaurants, attractions and an increasingly diverse population (crime levels are down as well, though it's still an issue). Heck, even Bill Clinton keeps an office at 125th Street, though we're betting he orders less takeout from the local eateries now that he's on a vegan diet and everything. So these days, if Ted tried to insinuate that Laura shouldn't be headed to Harlem by herself, she (and the rest of us) would just laugh him off. And honestly, we're pretty sure she would have been just fine back then, too, as the neighborhood didn't really hit rock bottom until the '70s. Of course, we'd be a bit more confidant of that if she could tell the difference between uptown and downtown on the subway map.
In the '60s... Jazz Musicians Had Names Like Shootman
We dug Ted and Mr. "Shootman" Bodine bonding over their mutual love of the Chet Baker tune "Tasty Pudding" -- Track 2, Side B ("Side B" refers to the flip side of a vinyl record for all of you folks born in the iTunes era) off the album I Get Chet.
(Historical Accuracy Alert: a quick Google and Amazon search suggests that no such record by that name exists, though the song itself definitely does. We're willing to believe that we either didn't do enough creative Googling or that I Get Chet has maybe been lost to history, but if any jazz aficionados reading this happen know the album "Tasty Pudding" debuted on, please share.) [Note: We've determined that I Get Chet does exist, although sites like this indicate that it was recorded in Europe and published in England, not America, at least in the version that was shown on the episode last night. Perhaps that's why it's not listed as part of Baker's discography on AllMusic.com, a usually thorough source for album information. This does beg the question as to how the Harlem-based Shootman got his hands on the record, but an experienced jazz hand like him probably had some good connections across the pond. -- Ethan.] This scene got us thinking that it would be nice to hear more jazz interspersed with all the '60s pop standards on the Pan Am soundtrack. Get on that, ABC music licensing department!
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