One Night Layover

Away from books briefly. LOL! I have not had a good experience with some new television drama in recent years. I keep running across programs that OTHERS declare are GREAT… but which upon viewing I did NOT think were “great” in the slightest.

That is not a good feeling for a writer.

Succession was, I thought, a horror.

Before begging for mercy, I watched most of the first year of Schitt’s Creek… and I don’t think I laughed once. I also thought all of the characters were awful.

Most recently, I got through all of one episode (I could not wait for it to end) of Bridgertona huge disappointment because I had high hopes for it. Watching it, I could not shake the feeling that I was being conned; that its creators were not actually paying homage to Jane Austen nearly so much as making fun of the subject matter and were therefore sneakily laughing up their sleeves at us all for being gullible enough to watch it.

Further back I have also detailed this sort of thing, you may recall, with The Affair and Big Little Lies.

Now, there’s this one:

“You’re not going to want to miss this show!” we are told. Well, I wish I had missed it. We got through two episodes (at nearly an hour each) on Wednesday night, and then decided life is too short to devote any more time to it.

The Flight Attendant is apparently based on a novel. (God no, really?) Right from the start, I was wondering: How this flight attendant, “Cassie,” is still employed by a global carrier is anyone’s guess. She would almost certainly have been fired before the series even began for her apparently commonplace lateness and on-board misbehaviors.

My wife worked for an airline for a time. While cabin crew (and pilots) do socialize on long-haul overnight hotel layovers, and often with crew from other airlines (she told me some of the “socializing” among international crews at Heathrow hotels had become all too well-known – including cheating “casually” on partners who are back at home), the airline companies do NOT tolerate nonsense ON THE JOB. Customers’ safety, indeed their very lives, are at risk in flight.

Maybe “Cassie’s” employer has just not gotten around yet to firing her. Also she is not sharply enough done up to be entirely believable as cabin crew – and particularly not for business/first class. On duty, her hair is hanging all over the place, especially in her face.

Her boozing and partying also leave no real physical consequences. She is never visibly nearly outwardly as worse for wear as she should look afterward given the amounts she is imbibing seemingly every ten minutes. And airlines are not exactly big on cabin crew turning up hungover for a flight either.

Assuming we will suspend concerns about all of that given this is fiction, the point apparently is she is a blackout drunk who cannot remember much from the night before, including why there is a butchered man – whom she had served on the plane and with whom she became “involved” aboard and “socialized” with after landing – in her hotel room bed in Bangkok.

Her flight the next day is to Seoul and eventually a subsequent flight gets her and the rest of the crew home to New York. By then of course the Thais had discovered the body and contacted US authorities. The FBI interview one by one the entire flight crew on their JFK arrival, and she had tried to slip through the airport to avoid the interview, but was located (which certainly does not look good); and on top of that, when it is her turn, wow, does she speak and act suspiciously – to say the least.

[Luggage tag. Photo by me, September 29, 2019.]

As her drunken blackout memories come back unpredictably and gradually, she is also given often it feels the same lines to repeat over and over (“I didn’t. But I didn’t. I didn’t…”) and flails around with her eyes regularly bulging out of her head. When she confides in her lawyer friend (and she is definitely lucky she has a lawyer friend) what happened in Bangkok, and the lawyer tells her not to be late for a subsequent FBI interview and she will accompany her, you cannot help but suspect she will be late. (They want to talk to her again formally because it does not require Sherlock Holmes to discern she sure as hell looks and acts and talks like she at least knows something about this.) You also suspect she will be hungover for the interview. And, eh, whaddaya know, of course she is both late and hungover.

Regardless, she WAS in fact at the scene of that murder, but had reported it to NO ONE and even tried to clear up evidence and then fled. Her reasoning for all that? In a hangover haze she remembers a certain real-life American woman abroad picked up for murder, who is mentioned in the first episode by name twice and as I recall at least once referred to as “innocent,” and fears a similar fate at the hands of these Thai foreigners whose legal system is undoubtedly not as “advanced” as that of the United States. (I never wanted to hear that real-life idiot’s name ever again, so that even got me more offsides, I suppose, too, if she is any inspiration for this.)

However, that real-life woman was a genius and indeed even likeable compared to this fictional liver disease candidate. You may have heard of the tale of The Fugitive; and in it we know “Dr. Richard Kimble” is innocent and we are rooting for him to clear his name and we feel sorry for him. Here I am not sure why we are supposed to care at all about what happens to “Cassie,” because she is so obnoxious, stupid, and annoying that by the end of the second episode I was frankly rooting for the FBI to arrest her.

[A British Airways plane outside Heathrow Terminal 5. Photo by me, September 6, 2019.]

The unpredictable flashbacks to the dead guy talking to her are apparently thought to be innovative television, a way of showing us her “thinking,” I guess, but they are really just aggravating.

I always also consider excessive timeline jumping around, and rehashed albeit slightly different views of scenes we already saw, to be efforts to make it appear lots of profound stuff is going on when in fact nothing much really is.

Most importantly, aside from the first episode’s murder little really happens in the two episodes and you get the distinct impression by the end of the second of lots of draaaaaaaaaaaawing things out; that there is not nearly enough “story” here for EIGHT episodes (I think there are eight), although it *might* have made for an interesting 90 minute film IF THEY EDITED OUT ALL OF THE FILLER.

I also read that series is winning lots of “awards” too.

[Sigh.]

I give up… again.

Have a good weekend of viewing, whatever you are viewing, wherever you are. 🙂

3 thoughts on “One Night Layover

  1. This is some of the most entertaining stuff I’ve read all week:

    “she is so obnoxious, stupid, and annoying that by the end of the second episode I was frankly rooting for the FBI to arrest her.”

    “flails around with her eyes regularly bulging out of her head.”

    I’m crying. 😂

    Must say, as often is the case, I’m agreeing with you. I could not stand Schitt’s Creek. I too find myself disagreeing with so many opinions of these so-called popular shows. And I love stupid humor—I mean Monty Python, after all!—but I haven’t watched too many series lately I would consider truly funny, with the exception of those I love to make fun of—you get that. I watched Unbelievable, Bodyguard, and The Fall in quick succession, all of which were so dark, I was forced to start watching Chuck all over again. 😁 Sometimes I can’t get past the title, The Tick??? Really? Sigh . . .  I’ll continue to get my weekly fix of James Spader on The Blacklist while I wait for the new seasons of Jack Ryan and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Have a great weekend, my friend. 😊

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    1. Flight Attendant was like watching a train wreck. (To mix things up a bit.) I know you like Python. I do too. (My wife, though, thinks Python is stupid school-boy stuff.) I don’t dislike dark and well-done – like The Blacklist or The Fall. Sometimes I just don’t get what others seem to see that is so fantastic. Schitt’s Creek and Succession were too. And Veep was another one. LOL!

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