After reading an extensive, glowing review in the latest New Yorker (Double Issue Jan 4 and 11) and urged on by my Esparto pals, Susan and Randy, I indulged in a weeklong binge of this eight part HBO series. Kaley Cuoco plays Cassie, a flight attendant whose wayward ways have gotten her into a lot of trouble. Her ability to function as an alcoholic and her predilection for casual sex sets the stage for this fast paced (The New Yorker likens it to a Bug Bunny movie) madcap caper, dark comedy, psychodrama, 2021 ” Perils of Pauline”. We keep hoping that she will start to “make better choices”. And I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler alert to say that ultimately she does–with the aid of an Italian friend’s grandmother but not until she has encounters with lots of very dangerous characters. It has some compelling subplots: gender tensions between two FBI agents, an inscrutable best friend, Annie working for a high end firm specializing in gangsters. Rosie Perez plays a happily married co-worker whose need for self-fulfillment leads to major nefarious doings unrelated to Cassie’s. I expect that these will continue to be developed in the next season. Of course there are a few weak spots and the nycynic side of me urges a deeper look at the subtext. But for now I’m perfectly happy with a bowl of popcorn and sitting on the edge of my seat, anticipating the next plot turn in a fairly tight piece of fiction–as opposed to doing the same thing with the very untidy piece of non-fiction unfolding on the news every day.
“The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)