Friday, July 30, 2021

The Flight Attendant – A Riveting Thrilling TV Series

The Flight Attendant, an adaptation of Chris Bohjalian’s 2018 novel of the same name, is an unusual but extremely entertaining TV show from HBO Max. The biggest question all through is, how does this petite flight attendant stay on top of her game? Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) lives with her feet off the ground, literally and metaphorically speaking.

She comes off as a party girl, train wreck and a hot mess. Extremely inconsiderate towards most, if not to all the people within her circles. At some point, I kept wondering how they are all able to accommodate her. How she is even able to keep her job in the midst of all the drama in her life! But then again The Flight Attendant is a TV show and anything is possible on TV!

Cassie swoons over a guy on the unforgettable flight to Bangkok, Alex Sokolov (Michiel Huisman.) A tall, dark, handsome reasonable rich guy! They bond over a lot upon landing in Bangkok. From the food, drinks and to just anything you could possibly imagine. A few hours later, she wakes next to the lifeless of this rich guy she had met on the plane. With no recollection whatsoever of what could have happened. Why? Because she had indulged in the alcohol excessively.

Immediately, we are made aware of Cassie`s poor judgement and poor decision making. She tries to clean up the scene. In the process, she cuts herself. After which Cassie flees with the intent of not getting caught in Thailand. This is where all the tension starts to build up. From here on Cassie makes a string of the worst decisions imaginable!

The show confronts us to think about the different ways we would act if we woke up covered in someone else’s blood in a luxury Bangkok hotel. This is what makes The Flight Attendant somehow becomes a shared experience. However, just when we start to consider our actions, instead, we see Cassie doing the exact opposite. She is easy to love but who also causes the audience to scream in frustration as a result of her odd choices.

Cassie’s “daydreams” pause the narrative action, which can be annoying to the impatient viewer. Since they happen suddenly during particularly tense moments. Yet, these pauses are utilised effectively. For one, they create an additional mystery, one that slowly reveals a lot of underlying issues from Cassie’s childhood. They also project Cassie’s conscience, guilt, delusions and rationale. These are all realized through these dreams. It leaves us with a protagonist who is much more riveting and complicated than she might have been otherwise.

Along with Cassie is a cast of characters who round out this murder-mystery dramedy. Zosia Mamet and T.R. Knight play Cassie’s lawyer, best friend, and brother respectively; both characters stand as Cassie’s voices of reason as her life spirals out of control. Rosie Perez plays Megan Briscoe, a flight attendant that works with Cassie who entangles herself in a treasonous plot against the government. Perez brings so much heart and vulnerability as a character who is kind-hearted but is also desperately trying to be seen and acknowledged that she is willing to commit a serious crime. Then there is Michelle Gomez as Miranda, a mysterious assassin-like character who poses a real threat to Cassie.

The ending, while not perfect, is a fitting one and ultimately earned its emotional payoff. The Flight Attendant will surely keep you glued to your screen for the most part.

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