The Flight Attendant

TV review by
Marina Gordon, Common Sense Media
The Flight Attendant TV Poster Image
Frenetic, fun murder-mystery is bloody and boozy.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

This is a soapy crime drama intended to entertain. 

Positive Role Models

Cassie is a mess. Sure, partying is fun, but running from a murder, lying about knowing the victim, and drinking herself into a stupor doesn't set her up for success. 

Violence

A murder is central to this series -- not only do viewers see Alex's extremely dead and bloody body on the bed, we see his slashed throat up close many times and we see him talking (while "dead") in Cassie's mind. In flashbacks, we see that Cassie hunted deer in her teens, and we occasionally see a dead deer's body and eye in closeup.

Sex

We're aware that sex is happening (in a plane restroom, in a posh hotel room) but we don't see significant nudity. The first five minutes of the show signal that Cassie has a very active, casual sex life with men around the world.

Language

Expect variations on "f--k," "s--t," and other strong language.

Consumerism

Cassie is a flght attendant for a commercial airline. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cassie is an alcoholic. She's shown drinking excessively to enjoy herself, to numb herself, and to block out disturbing memories and thoughts. We see her father give her a beer when she's a young teen, presumably as congratulations for shooting a deer. Many other adult characters are shown drinking as well.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Flight Attendant stars Kaley Cuoco from The Big Bang Theory, though this role is world's away from her star-making turn on the CBS superhit. In The Flight Attendant Cuoco plays Cassie, who makes flying around the world look like a nonstop glamorous party. She drinks a lot, guzzling any alcohol she can find, sometimes until she blacks out. Characters swear (expect "f--k," "s--t," and the like). In her jet-setting around the world, she has sex with random men at every port. At the beginning of the series, she wakes up next to her latest one-nighter, now a very bloody dead man -- we see his slashed throat up close many times, as well as his bloodied torso and blood-soaked sheets. Cassie has no memory of what might have happened, and the story unfolds in part through rapid-cut flashbacks, hallucinations, and other (seeming) tricks of the mind that could be jarring and confusing to tweens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byemarnold15 January 14, 2021

Great thriller show

I really enjoyed this show, it's a great mystery-thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Kaley Cuoco is fantastic, it's nice to see her in... Continue reading
Parent Written byAaron C. December 27, 2020

Interesting & Thrilling

It does have some sexual content & mild nudity. But it has strong language and alcohol consumption. All of these help take the story forward & m... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byHannahhhhh March 27, 2021

Quite violent at times but very gripping and a great show

I really like this show and it is very well-written. It targets modern day problems such as alcoholism and paints it in a negative light. The main character is... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byScottsTots February 10, 2021

Best show ever!!

The worst episode, in terms of content (in my opinion) is the first episode. The main character has made a lot of bad choice. Cassie (main character in question... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT establishes in its first five minutes that Cassie (Kaley Cuoco) loves her job -- she travels the world serving first-class passengers, parties wherever she has an overnight, and hooks up with men at every port. Then she wakes up in Bangkok to find that Alex, her latest bedmate (Michiel Huisman), lies atop blood-soaked sheets and has a gruesome slashed throat. She'd been so drunk the night before that she has no idea what happened, but instead of going to authorities she scrambles to erase any evidence of her presence and hurries to catch her next flight out. Alas, her colleagues (including Rosie Perez as an older, protective friend) recall that she was flirting with Alex (known to them as 3C for his seat number). Could Cassie have done this?

Is it any good?

Kaley Cuoco's ascent into a meatier role after The Big Bang Theory landed on Thanksgiving 2020, when a series about pre-COVID-19 travel feels like a most welcome dream. Though The Flight Attendant's fast-paced story of murder, alcoholism, and sheer panic is nightmarish, the eight-episode series feels soaring and sparkly and fun when you're watching solo in sweatpants. The writing moves at a breakneck pace; in the first 45 minutes we're introduced to Cassie, her partying lifestyle, her cohort of flight attendants, her brother and his family, her drinking problem, traumatic childhood memories, and, of course, that dead body. As both star and executive producer of The Flight Attendant, Cuoco is clearly signaling that she's moving beyond "Bazinga," and HBO has become a favorite network for stars looking to push beyond a PG audience (Euphoria, anyone?). Older teens and adults should strap in, hang on, and brace for whiplash.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how flight attendents are typically portrayed in the media. Does The Flight Attendant support or subvert that tendency? How does it ring true, and how does it depart from expectations?

  • Is drinking glamorized in the series? Are there realistic consequences? Why does that matter?

  • Sex has a strong presence in the series. What might the story have been like without sex as a major motivator for several characters? What did you think about the show's depiction of the characters' sexualities?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love soapy crime dramas

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