The Flight Attendant Overview: Kaley Cuoco leaves Penny behind for homicide and mayhem

If you tune in to watch HBO Max’s new, darkly comical crime thriller, The Flight Attendant, and you should, you might be surprised to find Kaley Cuoco playing a role that is very different from Penny in The Big Bang Theory . Cuoco’s decision to play Cassie Bowden, the titular flight attendant who travels and celebrates internationally, is a clever and unexpected sequel to the broad comedy that catapulted her to star.

Based on Chris Bohjalian’s bestseller of the same name, the miniseries quickly draws the viewer in while Cuoco takes a flight to Bangkok and meets an attractive businessman, Alex Sokolov (Michiel Huisman), with whom she chats throughout the flight. Once they land in Bangkok, Cassie tells her crewmate Megan (Rosie Perez) that she will be staying that evening, but she meets up with Alex for a date night that includes dinner, drinking, sex, drinking, showering together, and more drinking . When Cassie wakes up the next morning in Alex’s luxury hotel suite, hungover and injured, she looks over at the man next to her and well, he’s dead (no spoiler, he’s in the trailer and it’s the maddening incident that starts the story).

Kaley Cuoco explains why the flight attendant was the best continuation of the Big Bang Theory

Not just dead, but murdered. A shocked and scared Cassie tries to piece together what happened the night before, but the excessive drinking makes it nearly impossible for her to remember details. And as we quickly find out, this isn’t the first time Cassie has been so drunk she blacks out and forgets what happened, but it’s never been a death and Cassie is so freaked out she starts making one Series of bad decisions. Without revealing all of these decisions – because it’s just too much fun to watch them meet them – it’s strangely compelling and horrible to see Cassie react from the core of panic and fear of being charged with or being charged with murder possibly finding Alex’s killer and being killed himself.

At home in New York City, Cassie confides in her high-profile attorney Annie (Zosia Mamet), and while Annie is outwardly cool and composed, she knows that Cassie is completely overwhelmed with FBI interviews and being a murder suspect. Mamet’s performance is dry, snappy, and a smart balance to Cassie’s frenzied energy. In the four episodes HBO prematurely released for Max review, Cassie tries to find out who killed Alex, and the search takes her to all sorts of unexpected places. While doing these things, Cassie has flashbacks too, and a creative storytelling device traces some of her steps and takes us back to her childhood.

Kaley Cuoco, the flight attendant

Steve Yockey (Supernatural) developed the series for television, and he did a smart job of choosing what to show viewers on each episode. The episodes are also structured so that the viewer will want more as the mystery deepens. The series also features a strong cast, including TR Knight as Cuoco’s brother, Bebe Neuwirth as Mamet’s boss, and Rosie Perez as Cassie’s collaborator, who tells her own juicy story.

If you come to The Flight Attendant to see Penny’s further adventures, you won’t get it. Instead, you find an energetic, dark comedy that doubles as a murder thriller. And it works in four episodes.

TV Guide rating: 4/5

The Flight Attendant premieres on November 26th on HBO Max with the first three episodes. Two new episodes will be published on each of the following Thursdays. The finale will air on December 17th.

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