The Flight Attendant (2020)

"You saw a man you slept with, bleeding from the throat, dead today. Very, very dead.""You saw a man you slept with, bleeding from the throat, dead today. Very, very dead."

“You saw a man you slept with, bleeding from the throat, dead today. Very, very dead.”

Imagine yourself in Cassie Bowden’s (Kaley Cuoco) shoes. A normal person would call the police immediately upon waking up next to a dead body with no memory of what happened at all during the previous evening. A normal person wouldn’t contaminate the now crime scene, get fingerprints everywhere and then check out of the hotel and go about their business. If The Flight Attendant’s main character was normal, then the book of the same name by author Chris Bohjalian and the adapted limited series that it is based on would start and end in one chapter. 

Lucky for us, Cassie is a train wreck wrapped around a hot mess. She does the opposite of what a person would do, but to be fair waking up to the person you spent the entire previous night with dead with his throat cut – the panic is understandable. It’s also understandable how this situation would look to your friends, family and employer so when Cassie retunes from Bangkok on her flight home, wanting to act like nothing happened is a risk she is willing to take.  Cassie quickly learns that this story cannot be buried or forgotten about – the FBI takes her in for questioning. Because Cassie cannot remember anything (she was blackout drunk) leading her and everyone else to suspect she may be the killer. 

Coming off a sitcom may be difficult for an actor. They can either be forgotten or be typecast in future roles. That’s not the case for Kaley Cuoco. Coming off of portraying Penny in The Big Bang Theory which ended in 2019, the question has to be raised. What will she do next? The answer: break the mold of being typecast by voicing Harley Quinn in an animated series and bring an adapted work to the same streaming service in the same year. Kaley is perfect in her role as Cassie. 

“I’ve been keeping so many secrets, its good to talk to somebody about other things. Ya know?”

Though there are some similarities between Cassie and Penny, the two characters are vastly different, but Kaley takes each character and makes it her own. She fully becomes Cassie with her infectious personality while giving small but frequent peaks at the skeletons in her closet. The Flight Attendant is a step out of the sitcom stigma that is a blend of many different genres that when meshed together create a jigsaw puzzle of a series. Part comedy, thriller, mystery and spy narrative, each genre is highlighted throughout the eight episodes that don’t overdo the tone or shift the series in one direction more than the other. 

There are times when the different genres feel overpowering especially when the screen breaks up into 4 different views of each character, but it’s not enough of a nuisance to form any type of grudge against. In her mission to uncover the truth about Alex (Michiel Huisman) she becomes reckless especially when her best friend and attorney Annie (Zosia Mamet) decides to assist. Even when Cassie’s life is in a downward spiral, she is still likeable enough to root for as an underdog; Credit that to Cuoco’s charm.  

What The Flight Attendant does well Is present a cut and dry murder drama but mixes in an intricate plot that keeps you guessing every step of the way from episode one to the finale. Just when things are becoming a little clearer, turbulence comes in to shake things up. The best thing for this project is a series on a streaming service, the creators are then able to fully develop all characters – main and supporting, giving enough time to let the story unfold. Cassie’s relationship with her coworkers is quite exciting as some play surprising roles in the overall story. Becoming fully invested in Megan’s (Rosie Perez) story is easy to latch on to because it’s developed well enough for it to make sense in the show as a whole. 

Are you okay? Because I need to know before you are around my girls.”

The Flight Attendant highlights toxic behavior in a teachable way. It’s clear Cassie is an alcoholic who is inept to admitting the fact. Whenever it gets brought up, she instantly denies it. Her drinking is so bad that it affects her relationship with her brother Davey (T.R. Knight) who just wants what’s best for her. Cassie blames herself for her father’s death and the guilt has stayed with her causing the disease. What The Flight Attendant does right is expose the destructive behavior a person who struggles with alcohol has and makes them see the error in their ways. 

Mystery thrillers can be tricky in adapting from book to screen. Steven Yockey, who developed the project into the series we see today makes certain that all layers to the story are accounted for. Using the out of body experience for Cassie to recount the night while piecing together her own life and discover who Alex is as a human in Bangkok is set up in an effective manner to have the audience discover everything with Cassie simultaneously.

As much as The Flight Attendant is Kaley’s show, the supporting cast all give stellar performances. Their connections with one another are felt immediately with the comedic and more serious banter that friends and co-workers would have. Another thing mystery thriller must establish right away is the pacing. Sometimes its lagging but overall, the series moves quickly but at a steady pace for the story to not feel too anxious. 

The Flight Attendant is intricately layered and is a home run of a series to get lost in during uncertain times. Each character is developed well making their individual and combined stories compelling enough to get invested in. Kaley Cuoco is the clear standout as the alcoholic hot mess as she delivers an unforgettable performance. If I were to rate The Flight Attendant, I’d rate it a 4.5 out of 5.     

The Flight Attendant premiered in 2020 and can be streamed on HBO Max. The Flight Attendant has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 98%. The Flight Attendant was created for TV by Steven Yockey, and stars Kaley Cuoco, Rosie Perez, T.R. Knight, Zosia Mamet, Michiel Huisman, Michelle Gomez and Colin Woodell.

So, tell me guys, have you seen The Flight Attendant and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.

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