Released April 27 on Warner TV, The Flight Attendant stars Kaley Cuoco (The Big Band Theory) in a thrilling thriller about a flight attendant embroiled in a crime. Between comedy and film noir, focus on the winks of the series.
Launched late last year on HBO Max in the United States, The Flight Attendant, adapted from the eponymous novel by Chris Bohjalian, has been broadcast in France on Warner TV since April 27. Created by showrunner Steve Yockey and co-produced by prolific Greg Berlanti (You), the series follows Cassandra, a party-loving, carefree flight attendant who wakes up one morning with the corpse of a man by her side.
Worn by Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory), Michiel Huisman (The Haunting of Hill House), Zosia Mamet (Girls), Michelle Rodriguez (Les Nouvelles Aventures de Sabrina) and Rosie Perez (Birds of Prey), the series, thriller savament dosed in comedy, full of cinematographic nods to film noir.
On a jazzy and nervous soundtrack composed by Blake Neely (also at work on Riverdale and You by Greg Berlanti), its Hitchcockian credits to perfection, pay homage to the animations of Saul Bass in Cold Sueurs and La Mort aux Trousses, showing the heroine on the run as she is assaulted by threatening beings.
We can also see a little nod to the credits of Mad Men, with this silhouette that falls to infinity in a dizzying decor with a retro and chic sixties aesthetic, which illustrates the infernal spiral in which Cassandra finds herself immersed.
In the pilot of the series, the character played by Rosie Perez also refers to the character of Gloria Swanson in the famous film noir Twilight Boulevard, when she compares Cassandra to Norma Desmond, former Hollywood glory in perdition who will lead a young screenwriter at his loss.
Finally, a more direct literary reference is implanted in the series from the first episode. When Cassie meets a passenger named Alex Sokolov on a flight to Bangkok, he, played by Michiel Huisman, reads the novel. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
In general, the plot of the series has several similarities to that of the famous Russian novel whose hero, Rodia, gradually sinks into madness after being involved in a murder. His desperate flight, his feeling of guilt, but also the growing paranoia of the hero, convinced that all the people who cross his path suspect him, echo Cassandra’s trajectory.
Like Rodia in Dostoevsky’s novel, the flight attendant has a serious problem with alcohol, which will get her into a lot of trouble as she tries to escape the FBI and the suspicions of her entourage. Finally, the mysterious individual found dead alongside Cassandra, Alex Sokolov, has a Russian surname.
To illustrate the shift into the heroine’s madness as she loses her footing, scenes of interior dialogue with the dead constantly bring her back to the hotel room where the drama took place. Sokolov then makes her feel guilty for not having called the police but also for having cleaned up the crime scene, which makes her a first-rate accomplice in murder. A moral punishment that the heroine will inflict on herself throughout the series, unable to remember what may have happened on the evening of the murder.
This clever mix of artful thriller and dark comedy makes The Flight Attendant a highly addictive series, served by an astonishing Kaley Cuoco who surprises in a more dramatic role that fits her like a glove.
Find our interview with Kaley Cuoco and showrunner Steve Yockey in partnership with CANNESERIES: