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The Flight Attendant
The Flight Attendant is an eight-episode series streaming on HBOMAX. A prestige, high budget project produced by Kaley Cuoco and her production company, it’s a genre bending thrill ride. It is billed as a comedy, drama, mystery thriller, but classifying it or labeling it, isn’t so easy. Call it what you want, it’s fantastic.
After 12 years on the rating juggernaut The Big Bang Theory, Cuoco takes a risk as she sheds her light comic, girl next door image. As the protagonist Cassie Bowden, she is a quintessential hot mess. A carefree party girl who lives the high life, hooking up with First Class, rich passengers for decadent, alcohol fueled weekends. Most of Cassie’s life is alcohol-fueled, because she’s an alcoholic. She isn’t a very good sister, or friend either; much to the disappointment of Davey, her brother (T.R. Knight) and her put upon lawyer best friend Ani (Zosia Mamet). A history of making bad decisions, doesn’t stop her from continuing to make them. But somehow, Cassie is likeable—we root for her.
Cuoco’s performance is startlingly good. She can play comic natural lightness with ease, but she can just as easily play bewilderment, pathos, and desperation, as her world collapses all around her. Cuoco never overacts and remains grounded, throughout. This performance is leaps and bounds anything she has done in the past. A terrific, credible balancing act. All of the cast is knocking it out of the park, including Rosie Perez as Megan, Cassie’s supportive co-worker. Perez is an Oscar nominee who just doesn’t get cast often enough. Michele Gomez, as the shady, mysterious Miranda is also superb. Sporting a funky accent and looking glamorous, she is ruthless one minute and completely sympathetic the next. Michiel Huiseman (Game of Thrones) is also excellent as rich and mysterious party guy, Alex Sokolov. Huiseman’s character serves many purposes, but in the interest of avoiding spoilers, I won’t say anymore. Merle Dandridge (Kim) and Noel Gerard Funk (Van White) are also great a mismatched pair of FBI agents.
Adapted from a best-selling novel by Christopher A. Bohjalian and developed and created for television by Steve Yokey, the creative team also boasts some very talented directors, who consistently maintain the dazzling style of the series. Split screen storytelling, sharp editing, a terrific sound design and jazzy soundtrack, The Flight Attendant has cinematic, modern look and feel. The inventive techniques work effectively with the genre blending and the twisty plot-what is real, what isn’t? Icing on the top of this stylish cake is the brilliant credit sequence, I never once hit skip intro while streaming this show.
All eight episodes available on HBO MAX