Kaley Cuoco has finally ditched the know-it-all nerds of Big Bang Theory and swapped them out for a glamorous new friendship group made up of fellow flight attendants. But she might be regretting it, as even with their banging on about physics at least she didn’t suspect Sheldon and Leonard of murder…
Because this lot, we’re not so sure about. In The Flight Attendant, Cuoco is a functioning (yet deeply unhinged) alcoholic air stewardess, Cassie. Whilst some in her line of work are content dishing out peanuts and glaring at the stag parties, Cassie goes above and beyond her role and helps herself to a bevvy every time a passenger orders one, and makes sure to flirt with every eligible bachelor on board. Is that included in the British Airways Executive Club?
One such bachelor is billionaire Alex Sokolov, and such is her dedication to customer satisfaction, that she helps him to join the mile-high club with a quicky in the bathroom. Clearly not ready to clock off, when they land in Bangkok the pair set off on a massive, expensive bender, after which Cassie wakes up blurry eyed, only to find Alex lying next to her, dead, with his throat slit. Not the ideal ending to a one night stand. After a bout of panic, fear and loathing, Cassie does her best to piece together the previous night, helped along by the sardonic voice of the deceased Sokolov.
Though it may put you off a post-pandemic liaison, this is a brilliant watch. We admit the premise is a bit mad, but it works. Alex’s post-mortem wise-cracks and Cassie’s booze-fogged brain compliment each other perfectly, building a gripping and entertaining whodunit storyline. And in classic crime telly style, you suspect everyone: is it her neurotic lawyer friend, one of her equally dysfunctional colleagues, her weird and tense brother…or was it actually Cassie all along?
It’s worth mentioning that the whole thing looks gorgeous, and there’s a quiet thrill in watching this lot jet about the world whilst we ourselves have been trapped on our own fair isles for a year. And Kaley Cuoco does a brilliant job of keeping us interested. Her comic timing is faultless, and she’s completely believable as a flawed, quick witted woman whose life is as turbulent as the flights she stewards.
And the critics are on board with this show. The Telegraph’s Chris Bennion thinks Cuoco is a “hoot,” and that The Flight Attendant’s “eight episodes slip down as easily as a round of transatlantic gin and tonics.” Caroline Framke of Variety calls it “pulpy and surreal,” saying it “feels like reading a page-turner you’d pick up in an airport for a flight and accidentally tear through in the first couple hours.” Lucy Mangan in The Guardian agrees, awarding it five stars and saying “the script is a thing of wonder: propulsive and credible despite its fundamentally incredible premise.” It’s not just the script that Mangan praises either: she says Cuoco “gives charm, wit and true confidence to a character who would otherwise be a hot mess we would neither care about nor believe in.”
First shown March 2021. You can watch the trailer here: