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'The Flight Attendant' serves up a fun trip

November 25, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

"The Flight Attendant" feels like the TV equivalent of summer beach reading, in mostly good ways. Kaley Cuoco stars as the globetrotting party gal of the title, who has the unfortunate experience of waking up next to a dead guy. What happens thereafter plays like a Hitchock-ian thriller, punctuated by the comedy of a protagonist who greets each new development by nearly hyperventilating.

(CNN)"The Flight Attendant" feels like the TV equivalent of summer beach reading, in mostly good ways.

Adapted from a novel by Chris Bohjalian, the limited series introduces Cuoco's Cassandra drinking her way through various cities, in one of many montages -- set to a jazzy score by Blake Neely that really sets the mood -- that actually do a lot of work in moving the story along.

Soon enough, she's working a flight, flirting with a handsome first-class passenger ("Game of Thrones'" Michiel Huisman) and getting together with him when they land, which, as noted, does not end well.

A panicky Cassandra flees the scene, but she's far from a master in covering her tracks despite telling herself,"You did nothing wrong. " The booze-filled haze begins giving way to periodic snippets of clarity, gradually (over the four episodes previewed) filling in snapshots of what transpired, while simultaneously unearthing uncomfortable childhood memories she had long since buried.

Messy as all that sounds, it mostly works thanks largely to Cuoco, "The Big Bang Theory" star who doubles as a producer (along with writer Steve Yockey and the prolific Greg Berlanti), and manages to convey the darkly comic aspects of Cassandra's plight without undermining the thriller-like foundation.

The wrinkle of putting Cuoco in that role -- and her character being so completely flummoxed by it -- mildly freshens up the mix, adding amusing complications like running away in heels.

Most of all, "The Flight Attendant" is mindless fun, a quality often in too-short supply in the world of premium TV.

"The Flight Attendant" premieres Nov. 26 on HBO Max, which, like CNN, is a unit of WarnerMedia.

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