The Flight Attendant (Season 1)

HBO Max

Season 1 Air Date: November 26th – December 17th 2020

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

The Flight Attendant (Season 1)

Starring: Kaley Cuoco, Michiel Huisman, Zosia Mamet, T.R. Knight, Michelle Gomez, Colin Woodell, Merle Dandridge, Griffin Matthews, Nolan Gerard Funk, Rosie Perez

Have you ever had any repressed memories or things you remember differently about your past or the world you live in? don’t you wish that there was a way to dive deep and go back into the past to see the truth of what you thought was right and what you previously believed that may not have been true? What if there was a completely unrelated but traumatic event which forced you to confront your demons and shake the foundations of what you believe, but into something more solid and real? Confused? Well, this is the premise of the dark comedy/action hour long series The Flight Attendant. Starring former Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco, the show, which was recently renewed for season 2, and which was nominated for a Golden Globe (best actress in a TV musical or comedy), is one insane episode after another- and is fun for a binge. But is the show helpful and inspiring to us, or is it just mindless entertainment?

The Flight Attendant is about a flight attendant named Cassie Bowden. Based on the novel of the same name by Chris Bohjalian, the energetic and smartly-paced show depicts Cassie as living the high life and flying from city to city, partying really hard with no regard for her future, due to the perks of her job. When Alex Sokolov, a passenger she has just met (Michiel Huisman) asks her out in Bangkok, Thailand, and the two of them go out on a date and then sleep together; the next day she wakes up to find Alex dead in her hotel bed, throat slit with oodles of blood. Cassie remember nothing, and hence begins the season long arc and mystery as to who killed Alex, why, and whether Cassie is in their sights next.

With every episode being a very fun ride, with plenty of twists and turns, Cassie acts shifty towards the police, but ultimately confides everything to her best friend Annie (Zosia Mamet), and together they piece the puzzle of what actually occurred that night. As I do not want to tell you all any spoilers (because this show to too good to be spoiled, but perhaps if you’ve read the book, then you may have been spoiled already!), let me just say that Cassie goes on a journey like no other here. She embarks on a journey in her mind to try to solve the case with a ‘dead’ Alex, a figment of her imagination manifesting as Alex; but truly the most satisfying journey Carrie undertakes is when she is ‘transported’ back to various points in her past whereby she idolised her father, but now Cassie is forced to confront certain behaviours of her father that she just can’t ignore. The narrative that she so badly believed about the good and idealised nature of her father while he was alive, essentially fractured her relationship with her brother- and thus this secondary story that flows throughout all eight episodes, is just as interesting as the main storyline of the murder mystery. With Kaley playing the crazy quite well, as well as the distraught and the apologetic; we are met with a show with layers, and a twist at the end that sets the show up nicely for season 2.

It was a shock that The Flight Attendant was renewed for season 2, as it was originally meant to be a mini-series- however my enjoyment of the show wasn’t hindered while I was thinking it was a mini-series; the supposed finite number of episodes (8) gives this series purpose and kick, as the pilot isn’t a filler episode, and the rest of the episodes weren’t filler either. Kaley is extremely relatable (and likeable at times) in the role of the girl who doesn’t have her life together, and the rest of the relatively unknown cast backs her up quite well. It’s been a long while since a TV show has had me on the edge of my seat this much (maybe some early episodes of The Blacklist in 2012)- so it’s been a long time coming. There’s not much more for me to say about this show, except for… go watch it, by any means possible! And let me tell you- I am definitely going to watch season 2 whenever it arises. No doubts about it. So are you? Well done Kaley, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you next.

Did the first season of The Flight Attendant leave a lasting impression on you? Did any themes in the episodes speak to you, and which was it? What elements of the show are you enjoying- Cassie’s eventual reconciliation with her brother, her banter with ‘Fake’ Alex, the twist of Shane being an CIA agent or Cassie and Miranda’s tenuous alliance? Will you be tuning in for season 2 now that the show has been surprisingly renewed? Let us know in the comments.

Well, [the show] is funny. I mean, I feel that we created a tone that you don’t see very often —  it wasn’t a drama, it wasn’t a comedy, it wasn’t sad, it wasn’t happy. It was such a range of stuff, and to be able to make you laugh through some horrors that we shot, I feel that’s why it was a comedy. There were moments that were lighthearted, really crazy comedic moments that we felt were very, very special, and that it lent itself to comedy.

We just literally got our writers’ room together [for Season 2], so as far as story, there’s nothing there quite yet. But as far as the emotional arc with Cassie, she is going to be trying to live a sober life. But as we know, she’s very impatient, so she thinks that things are going to be super-easy, that this is going to be no big deal, and she’s going to realize really fast that this is going to be a lifelong struggle for her.

What are my wants [about season 2]? You know, it’s so early to know…. We had such a great Season 1, but I want it to even be better, even though that’s hard to do. And I want to come out swinging. What I appreciate with the show, with Steve and our writers, is they really let me go ballistic. I mean, you saw it on-screen. I would like to go ballistic again and keep spreading my wings, because it just became its own entity and I don’t even know what I did half the time. I kind of just left it on the field and walked away, like, “Well, f–k, I hope that worked!”

RIYL: 24, The Blacklist, White Collar, Prison Break, Little Fires Everywhere, Dead To Me, You, Sharp Objects, The Sinner

Rating: 4.5/5 (based 1 season aka 8 episodes)

The Flight Attendant debuted its first season from November til December on HBO Max.

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