The Flight Attendant: How To Watch Kaley Cuoco’s New Hit Drama

The Big Bang Theory star is back in an award-nominated series.

Flight Attendant Kaley Cuoco

by Paul Flynn |
Updated on

On a routine long-haul New York to Bangkok flight, first class cabin crew Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) is heavily diverted by the passenger in seat 3C, Alex Sakalov. Mysterious name, dreamy guy. He’s reading Dostoevsky’s Crime And Punishment and fancies a Scotch. ‘I’m more of a Doctor Zhivago girl,’ she flirts aimlessly. The clues to what happens next have already been planted. Before long, Cassie and Alex are making out in the toilets. That’s how she rolls. Cassie is essentially J-Lo in Hustlers without the hustle and with an added drink problem.

Cassie is the protagonist in The Flight Attendant, a fresh and frantic new addition to the growing screen canon of women – and the occasional man – who wake up and can’t remember what happened the night before. Like Natasha Lyonne in Russian Doll, Michaela Coel in I May Destroy You and, most pertinently, Riz Ahmed in The Night Of, she enters the story as one thing, only to have morphed into quite another by the end of the first hour. One minute she’s in the classic flight crew lineage of Jackie Brown or Britney’s Toxic, the next having to excuse herself for murder. Her job is to piece together what happened during a potentially homicidal blackout. The transformation during a thrilling first episode for Mr Sakalov is less forgiving.

I loved this show, which runs on the same kinetic, zany algorithms as the very brilliant Search Party. It treats its serious main plot with a kind of curt, shaky, fast-and-loose abandon. Underneath, Cuoco, best known to British audiences from geek sitcom The Big Bang Theory, plays a great drunk. She might have murdered a one-night stand under its influence but, as she slugs back another remorseful airline vodka miniature, stashed away in her in-flight handbag, there’s something curiously likeable about her.

The story catches exactly that 30- something moment where booze is either going to be a problem for someone or not,

a life payoff curve few have nailed. When Cassie communes with Sakalov’s corpse, his apparition is another empty chasm to fill the same void as her drinking. There’s smart, snappy, elliptical writing going on here, smashed up into split-screen visual tricks. It’s an addictive drama. Its double-bluff is to make you fancy a drink.

How can I watch The Flight Attendant?

The Flight Attendant arrives on Sky Atlantic on 19 March at 9pm

What else has Kaley Cuoco been in?

If you're in your thirties, your first sighting of Kaley - who is 35, was born in California and ia married to Karl Cook - probably came via 8 Simple Rules. She played Bridget, the slightly bratty eldest sister in the family sitcom that aired in the UK on The Disney Channel.

When that show's run ended, Kaley joined the cast for the final season of supernatural drama Charmed, before winning the role of Penny, the actress/waitress in monster hit The Big Bang Theory.

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