Programming Review: ‘The Flight Attendant’

The Flight Attendant
Rosie Perez (l.) and Kaley Cuoco in ‘The Flight Attendant.’ (Image credit: HBO Max)

HBO Max takes off with the dark comedy/thriller The Flight Attendant from executive producer Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory).

The series, based on Chris Bohjalian’s novel of the same name, stars Cuoco as Cassie Bowden, a free-spirited flight attendant who makes the most out of her various trips around the world. On a flight to Bangkok she meets up with passenger Alex Sokolov (Michiel Huisman), who entices Cassie to spend a night on the town with him.

The fun and games end for Cassie when she wakes up the next morning next to Alex’s corpse, unable to remember the events of the previous night. The startling revelation leads Cassie down a cascading road of lies, unforced errors — she mistakenly cleans up the hotel room in a foolish attempt to clear any evidence of her at the crime scene, for example — and potentially dangerous sleuthing in an effort to clear her name and find out who killed her paramour.

Cuoco and fellow executive producers Greg Berlanti, Steve Yockey, Marcie Ulin, Meredith Lavender and Sarah Schechter effectively employ split-screen visuals through the initial episodes to successfully illustrate the entanglement that Cassie finds herself in while skillfully allowing viewers to watch the mystery unfold. The Flight Attendant is aided by a strong supporting cast that includes fellow flight attendants Megan (Rosie Perez) and Shane (Griffin Matthews), as well as Cassie’s lawyer and friend Annie (Zosia Mamet) and mysterious businesswoman Miranda Croft (Michelle Gomez).

HBO Max will roll out the first three episodes of The Flight Attendant on Thanksgiving (Nov. 26), followed by two new episodes on Dec. 3, two episodes on Dec. 10, and the finale on Dec. 17. 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.