FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE YET TO SEE “THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT” SEASON 2, THIS IS A NON-SPOILER REVIEW
The Flight Attendant was one of my most anticipated series of 2020, but as it came to a close, I couldn’t help, but be extremely disappointed. While the first couple of episodes started off strong, really setting up an intriguing mystery, the season began to crumble beneath the weight of its own storytelling… until the mess that was the season finale. And the excessive flashbacks and scenes of Cassie talking to a dead guy didn’t help the issues that plagued the series. I do know that that is a divisive opinion, as I have friends who loved it… but, I also know many others who thought The Flight Attendant was garbage… so, I digress.
I must admit that I fell in between those two opinions… though I did feel disappointed, I thought the representation of alcoholism in all of its ugly truths was well handled. And that Kaley Cuoco and Zosia Mamet absolutely killed it in their prospective roles. So, I was interested in giving The Flight Attendant another shot… To see if the showrunners were able to mend some of its many problems. So, what is the verdict? After watching the first six episodes provided for Early review by HBO, I can safely say, that… unfortunately, this sophomore season pretty much suffers from everything that the original one did. Though I did enjoy my time with this one, a bit more.
WHAT IS THE SECOND SEASON ALL ABOUT?
In this go-around, Cassie has moved from New York to L.A. and is approaching a complete year of sobriety. She has met an incredible man in AA and is juggling being a Flight Attendant, whilst moonlighting as a civilian CIA operative. On a trip to Berlin to track down a target, the man she was meant to follow is murdered by a woman impersonating Cassie. She is then thrust into another international mystery, trying to clear her name from any wrongdoing… all while trying to stay as far away from the bottle, as she can.
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY CHARACTERS IN THIS SHOW!?
I’ll get the cons out of the way first, so then we can talk about what I enjoyed in The Flight Attendant’s second season. As I said before, pretty much all of the issues that plagued season one, are alive and well here. The mystery starts off interesting in the first two episodes… Only to get lost and muddled with the obnoxious amount of subplots and supporting characters. Speaking of which, these six episodes are filled with so many characters that I couldn’t even keep them straight or remember why they were important to the story (and honestly, it feels like the writers forgot while penning these scripts too.)
NO REALLY… HOW MANY CHARACTERS ARE THERE?!
We pretty much have all of the leads and supporting characters from season one returning… But, on top of all of those players who were introduced there is a horde of newbies who are basically just fighting for scraps of screen time. We have Alanna Ubach as another Flight Attendant nicknamed “Black Market Carol”, Margaret Cho as Megan’s new bartender lover in Iceland, Santiago Cabrera as Cassie’s new boyfriend, Sharon Stone as her long-lost mother, Mo McCrae as her CIA handler and driver, Cheryl Hines as a CIA bigwig, Mae Martin as another Flight Attendant who befriends Cassie and is selling sadly lollipops as a side gig, J.J. Soria and Callie Hernandez as a romantic couple who are also unhinged hitmen… honestly, the list goes on and on.
And the rough part is, is that the writers attempt to give ALL of these characters a fully-formed storyline, but there is just no way that that is at all possible. So, in the end, each of these players gets the short end of the stick, with no one ever feeling fleshed out (minus Cassie)…and an overwhelming sensation pervades that this show is just way too overstuffed, for its own good.
IS THE MYSTERY INTRIGUING, AT LEAST?
This all affects the mystery at hand, which becomes more and more ham-fisted as the episodes progress. The writers lose sight of moving the main plot along, to make room for all of these meandering subplots. That is, right up until the end of each episode, so they can shoehorn in a cliffhanger to keep the audience wanting more. By the time the sixth episode concluded, leaving only two more installments left of the season… I was so “meh…” about this so-called mystery, that I could honestly just have done without it completely.
HOW GREAT ARE KALEY CUOCO AND ZOSIA MAMET IN THE SECOND SEASON!?
Now, that thought leads me to my positives… starting with Kaley Cuoco as Cassie. I found this character interesting in season one, but in these episodes… I ended up falling in love with her. Her journey of sobriety I can relate to on a very deep level. And getting to see her be less of a hot mess and more of a flawed human trying to get her shit together, was a welcome change in the character. Cuoco is endlessly charming and charismatic… And Cassie’s trials and tribulations in real life are far more captivating, than any of the espionage nonsense. Zosia Mamet also has wonderful chemistry with Cuoco… Almost as if they have been best friends in real life for decades. Their back-and-forth banter provides the series’ most effective comedy and hard-hitting emotional notes.
DOES THE SERIES HAVE ANY DEPTH AT ALL?
Another one of my problems (and honestly, I would say it was my biggest annoyance) with season one were the damn scenes in Cassie’s mind where she was figuring out the mystery along with Michael Huisman’s dead man… that seemed to pop up every five minutes and lay on the exposition so thick, that it completely took you out of the story. These scenes remain in season two, but Huisman has been booted, and instead, we get different versions of Cassie as an alcoholic. This surprisingly works extremely well, giving us more insight and understanding into our lead’s consciousness and struggle with addiction. It also adds a layer of real depth, to a show that mostly equates to a breezy beach read…
SO, IS IT WORTH CHECKING OUT?
All in all, if you enjoyed season one of The Flight Attendant, then I think you will like this one even more. And if you weren’t a fan, you’re not going to be won over this time around either.
The first two episodes of The Flight Attendant Season 2 will be streaming on HBO Max, Thursday, April 21st, 2022.
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