“The Flight Attendant” is a new miniseries premiering this Thursday November 26th on HBO Max. Should you celebrate Thanksgiving by diving into this murder mystery starring “The Big Bang Theory”’s Kaley Cuoco?
I’ve screened the first episode (one of three you can watch while having Turkey on the couch). It’s not awful, but you can tell that this show is based on a novel… in fact, a recent one (published in 2018). Will twenty and thirtysomethings get sucked into this story and want to hang on for eight 45 minute episodes? Maybe. But the trip may not be entirely worth it.
Cuoco plays Cassie, a flight attendant who drinks, parties and hooks up with a different guy in every city she and her fellow crew members land in. On this particular day, she meets Alex (Michiel Huisman) while heading to Bangkok. When they get there, Cassie and Alex spend the night together. And when she wakes up the next morning, Cassie looks over and sees that Alex is covered in blood and very much dead.
It’s a startling moment that’s well-staged by director Susanna Fogel (“The Spy Who Dumped Me”). However, we then venture into familiar territory. There are several “Don’t Come In Here!” hotel room scenes, as well as intentionally placed characters, such as the new Air Marshall on Cassie’s next flight and Cassie’s friend Annie who just happens to be a lawyer.
One of the “hooks” of “The Flight Attendant” is a little odd: Cassie keeps having flashbacks to the night in question, but it’s not just her trying to remember what happened. In these visions, Alex wakes-up and talks to her. I suspect this is going to continue over the course of the series. The execution’s a tad hokey. Blake Neely’s score is bouncy and Rosie Perez adds some flare as co-flight attendant and “friend” Megan.
If we weren’t stuck at home in the middle of a pandemic, I’d say you could allow “The Flight Attendant” to pass on by. It’s not juicy or unique enough to keep your interest. But HBO Max may have another bingeworthy show on its hands over the holidays (once the eighth episode is released on Dec. 17). Though it certainly won’t be the most popular viewing option on the streaming service at the end of 2020 thanks to a certain superhero sequel.