ow’s this for hangxiety? In the opening episode of The Flight Attendant, Cassie Bowden (played by Kaley Cuoco) wakes up in a Bangkok resort space subsequent to a man’s bloodied corpse – with exactly zero recollection of what occurred the night time in advance of.
The male is (was?) Alex Sokolov (Michiel Huisman), the charming to start with class passenger she’d strike it off with on her most recent extended-haul flight. Alcohol-induced blackouts aren’t particularly a new sensation for Cassie, who exists in a permanent point out of semi-inebriation fuelled by a regular stream of these airline-welcoming mini vodka bottles, but she’s usually far more of a “public nudity, yelling on the subway drunk,” as she later on puts it.
Worry sets in, and she sets off on a haphazard thoroughly clean-up procedure that will, of study course, search deeply suspicious to any sober exterior observer. She manically scrubs blood from the resort room flooring, phones her attorney very best mate back again in the US with a string of semi-coherent, semi-hysterical concerns about the Amanda Knox case, then leaves the criminal offense scene putting on an previous-timey scarf wrapped all-around her head (“Why do you search like Norma Desmond?” asks her colleague-slash-confidante Megan, played by an exasperated Rosie Perez).
As quickly as she touches down on US soil, she and the relaxation of the flight crew are satisfied by a pair of FBI brokers, eager to unravel any interactions they may have had with passenger 3C, now deceased. Jetlag, the hangover from hell and PTSD make a powerful cocktail, fuelling nonetheless far more bad decisions: certain she’s now a primary suspect, Cassie embarks on a slapdash investigation of her have, hoping to fill in the blanks from that evening in Bangkok and clear her identify in the approach.
Are you fatigued still? Zipping together at breakneck rate and normally unfolding in a series of comedian ebook-style break up monitor shots, The Flight Attendant, which debuted in the US on HBO Max last wintertime, manages to be a lot of matters at the moment. It is an stress-inducing thriller with the sort of snappy, knowing dialogue that would be proper at household in a millennial sitcom, but – hold out, don’t go! – is significantly a lot more captivating than that appears. It is a relentlessly significant thought, large camp (Voulez Vous by Abba characteristics prominently in one particular montage sequence) murder secret where the victim keeps coming again to lifestyle in Cassie’s brain for a collection of explanatory tête-à-têtes. Imagine of it as the shiny, uptown cousin to HBO stablemate Look for Party, the mordant comedy-thriller about a group of self-absorbed twenty-somethings seeking to remedy a missing individual situation.
These fast transitions from genre to genre can be a tiny turbulent, and the hyper-stylised, self-aware come to feel won’t be to everyone’s taste, nevertheless I loved bravura prospers like the episode just one interrogation scene, when the digital camera pans out on the interview area and a curtain opens. Powering it are a cringing Cassie and hallucination-Sokolov, again in the Thai resort home and seeing the FBI brokers watching her – a intelligent way of capturing her disassociation.
Most remarkable of all, however, is Cuoco’s overall performance. Following paying out 12 sequence participating in token sweet female Penny on The Massive Bang Principle, a function that appeared to mostly involve saying ‘Huh?’ as guys in knitted vests bantered about string concept and Schrödinger’s cat, this is her output company’s first dwell action project. She optioned the Chris Bohjalian novel on which the sequence is dependent back in 2017 as a possible star car (“The very first matter I asked was, ‘has Reese Witherspoon gotten the rights to this e book?’” she said in an interview) and navigates the show’s tonal shifts with simplicity.
All all those a long time of sitcom work indicate that she’s particularly adept at actual physical comedy and can tackle the ricocheting dialogue like an Old Hollywood screwball queen, but she’s just as powerful in Cassie’s darker moments much too, flicking from “fun in a sorority variety of way,” as just one character describes her, to an anxiety-ridden, paranoid female on the verge of a anxious breakdown and all the way again yet again in the blink of a smudgily lined eye.
Cassie may possibly be a hot mess express with zero judgement, but Cuoco’s general performance will make it difficult to look absent even when she’s blundering her way into a large-stakes conspiracy. Her scenes with Ladies alum Zosia Mamet, who plays Cassie’s a lot more grounded very best pal Annie, are a address, with both actresses lobbing razor-sharp strains again and forth, their jaded vocal fry only heightening the affect. “I was so f**ked up that I got back again into mattress with a lifeless guy!” Cassie laments, only for Annie to convey to her, in fluent Insta-quotation: “It’s a factor that took place and it doesn’t define you.”
Prestige Television set has begun using itself ponderously seriously, but The Flight Attendant does precisely the reverse and is all the additional pleasant for it. Expertly teetering among black comedy and pulpy thriller, this is a hell of a experience – continue to keep your seat belts mounted, and thank the telly gods that Cuoco and co are previously cooking up a 2nd collection.
The Flight Attendant is on Sky A single and NOW on March 19 at 9pm, with all episodes out there to stream on-line