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Do you recall the first ever time you watched The Travel Channel? We do. It was a special moment where we went from being stuck in a Sedona, AZ hotel on an uncharacteristically rainy day to being obsessed with watching the room TV for hours and hours. Nothing has changed; the Travel Channel still produces some of the most inspiring programming as far as armchair traveling goes (once they got over that summer where it was like, Las Vegas show after Las Vegas show).
For 2012, the outlook for addictive series looks very good. Of a slew of leaked shows to debut next year, we're mostly salivating over two:
“Baggage Battles” (six half-hour episodes)
This half hour series follows three teams of savvy “auction specialists,” who travel the world looking to snatch up unclaimed and lost personal property in an attempt to turn huge profits. Follow these specialists as they travel to some of the most important and unknown auctions, where pickers and resale experts bid on everything from lost luggage to abandoned personal property to seized goods of unusual merchandise.
“Miami International Airport” (working title) (six half-hour episodes)
Go behind the scenes at one of the busiest airports in the country. “Miami International Airport” features an unprecedented cross section of an exciting airport staff as they deal with the stresses of getting over 100,000 strangers through its airport safely, every day.
A ha! So it looks like BWI won't be the only airport to have their own show in 2012. And if you're into hotel shows as well, HotelChatter has the hot goss on another of Travel Channel's upcoming offerings: "Hotel Impossible."
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Tonight's the night.
Anthony Bourdain is back. And instead of being in the kitchen or in the middle of a meal, he's on airplanes and on streets around the world, sharing the places he thinks are cool and worthy of a visit when you're on a limited time and limited budget. That's the entire gist of his new Travel Channel series The Layover, which premieres this evening at 9pm EST/8pm CST.
His first stop is Singapore, where he'll be drinking (duh) and eating (duh x 2), but also stopping in the red-light district and at the Thieves Market. Will we see a whole new side of the lovable curmudgeon? It's likely, but there still seems to be quite a bit of eating going on in The Layover, which could just as easily feature in his other series, No Reservations.
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If you're passing through concourse A or B at Baltimore/Washington International Airport this week, you may find yourself in front of a camera crew.
TLC is expected to begin filming a new untitled TV show about the inner workings of BWI's largest carrier, Southwest, today. The new series will follow BWI's expansion and the day-to-day drama that happens behind the scenes at Southwest.
"It's a good opportunity to showcase BWI and the region," said Jonathan Dean, airport spokesman. "With BWI as one of Southwest's largest markets, it makes sense to shoot it here," he added.
Episode 7 recap here.
Wow. What a change of pace from last episode's relationship issues left and right to this episode's getting down to business. Serious aviation geeks no doubt enjoyed it with all the pilot-talk, but there's no doubt that last night's plotline of an emergency landing in politically unstable Haiti, complete with death and guns and near mutiny of the plane, was edge-of-the-seat stuff. Here's how it all went down:
It's a normal morning at the Pan Am Worldport as the crew prepares for a flight to Caracas, Venezuela, but there's a new guy on the scene. His name is Charles Moore and he's to be the crew's navigator while their regular Indian guy is on vacation. Like every other redblooded male in the show so far, he's immediately drooling over blonde Laura's booty. But speaking o blonde Laura, anyone else notice she's not so platinum blonde anymore?
Laura and Joe in the midst of sexual tension
As promised in the last episode of Pan Am, there's plenty more CIA spy drama and romance to go around, but as it is with people constantly on the go (and potentially wrapped up in everything from Communism to racism), the ending is bittersweet.
This episode sees the gang heading first from Madrid to New York on a special chartered flight to bring servicemen (sailors!) home to the US. Next, they're all off on Pan Am Flight 2, one of the airline's infamous around-the-world flights. But firstMadrid.
What would you say if we told you that the History Channelnot the Travel Channel has an excellent new reality travel TV show? We know, it's weird, especially considering that flipping channels usually finishes with some History Channel documentary on the weapons of World War I or how the NYC subway was constructed.
This season, however, the History Channel has introduced Around the World in 80 Ways, starring Survivor and Amazing Race alum "Boston Rob" and monster truck driver Dennis Anderson. Yeah, we don't give a crap about Boston Rob either, but we do give a crap about airplanes, trains, boats, cars, rickshaws, camels and hot air balloons.
Last week on Pan Am: Seduction in the South of France
If you haven't watched Pan Am yet and you happened to be flipping channels last night, the very beginning of this most recent episode would've caused you to stop and pay attention. Deanthe pilot and golden boywas in bed, naked to his waist. In saunters Ginnythe two-timing brunette temptresswearing nothing but part of Dean's oversized Pan Am pilot's uniform. It was, by far, the sauciest moment of the show, but not the most dramatic. No, we'll save that to be had by little miss Maggie (Christina Ricci) as she's faced with losing her job.
In what was a minor scene in a preview episode, Maggie mouthed off to a senior PAA staff woman in charge of the flight attendant grooming. This, combined with previous infractions, means Maggie is grounded for insubordination. Somehow she secures one final flightto Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Ginny and Dean take PAA guy's car for a spin 'round Monaco
Last week on Pan Am: somebody gets a black eye in Hong Kong.
Alright. It's officialwe're into the show. This episode, with all its "will she/won't she" and almost getting caught did it for us. And we think Pan Am is getting more confident with their plots and characters now as well, since a few more good looking folk entered the scene and will likely stay on it for the rest of the season.
Jet service isn't the wonderment it was during the premiere episode; now passengers have entered the "jet-setting" period and the stewardesses are flirting with a more international set. First stop on this episode is London, but for Maggie (Christina Ricci), it's really the dashing stranger in row 12. Meet Nico Lanza, involved somehow in car racing and also about to be involved in the lives of one of the Pan Am girls.
Speaking of cars, pilots Ted and Dean are back to being buddies after the tension in Hong Kong, and with a final destination of Monte Carlo, Monaco on the map, they fall into regular guy stuff like talking about cool cars.
Last Week on Pan Am: Presidential drama in Berlin.
Dare we admit it, but this most recent episode of Pan Am has us beginning to genuinely like the show. They went more than one place! There was serious tension between characters! They didn't try to pass off as Berlin what was obviously the West Village! We began to want to be one of the characters! Needless to say, it was our favorite episode and it comes at a good time, half-way through the season when viewers are deciding whether or not to continue giving up their Sunday nights to this.
The story begins in New York when the best character on the showRichard the CIA agentbriefly appears to drop a hint to flight attendant/CIA girlie Kate that their planned Reykjavik "and on to Scandinavia" routing will be switched up for Rangoon, Burma. Additionally, Richard drops that it's 1963, so we finally have a definite date here.
Laura, Village Voice man and Maggie walk through
the Village Berlin
It's already the third episode of ABC's Pan Am and despite all the glamor shots of Boeing 707s, retro flight attendants and vintage airplane interiors, we're still not sold on the series. This episode inched us closer however, as we finally saw some on-the-ground drama, serious political intrigue and a stab at historical relevance.
THe episode, fittingly named "Ich Bin Ein Berliner," follows the usual flight crew of Maggie, Laura, Kate, Colette, Dean and Ted as they zip off from New York-Idlewild for Berlin, on a flight filled with journalists heading over to catch President John F. Kennedy's famous speech. While in Berlin, everyone pursues their own agenda in a flashback: Maggie is determined to meet JFK, Kate is determined to complete another CIA assignment, Laura is set on having a good time despite co-pilot Ted's advances, Dean is representing Pan Am at JFK's Berlin after-party while Colette has come to Germany "to forgive," as it's later revealed that her family was killed during the Nazi occupation of France when she was three years old. Whew.
WhewABC's Pan Am made it beyond its premiere to get a real series and now we see the beginnings of that, as everyone takes off to Paris on Pan Am's jet service and, as in the first episode, most of the major action happens while still onboard. This time around, however, we have the introduction of an angrypossibly vindictivemother of the two sister stewardess, Kate and Laura, and the continuation of the Bridget-the-missing-CIA-agent-slash-stewardess plotline.
First let's talk about the elephant in the room. When did Laura get so blonde? Her hair has totally changed, and the show keeps this new look even in her wedding flashbacks when she had an obvious different look last episode. Details! In general though, we're liking the evil mother drama because it brings about actual surprises like the ex-fiance popping up, and great lines like this, yelled by Kate:
I rode an elephant in Bangkok last week! I watched the sun rise in Patagonia the week before that! You don't even have a passport.
Pan Am / Travel TV Shows / Miami Travel / Retro Travel / Vintage Travel / Flight Attendants / Pilots / → All Tags
Pan Am is back
in on the air and the real-life pilots and flight attendants who inspired the ABC show are coming out of the woodwork... er, retirement.
In this Miami Herald rundown of the airline's ties to the city, we learn that there is a group of former Pan Am-ers who stay in touch via the Pan Amigo newsletter. And it's not restricted to former employees either'industry friends' who'd like to stay in touch can also become Pan Amigos.
The group of old-timers are having a 'Worldwide Family Reunion' October 20-23 in Coconut Groveto celebrate Pan Am and the centennial of aviation in Miami. According to the Herald, they're expecting members to come from Norway, London, Australia and Germany. (Reckon they'll spend the first hour comparing notes on the abysmal state of flying today? Or will it be all: "I'm Christina Ricci," "No, I am!"?)