Cuoco was the girl in The Big Bang Theory who gave all the nerds and dweebs hope and now she’s The Flight Attendant (Sky 1). This is a comedy-thriller, which means it willingly makes life difficult for itself. Indeed if it was a passenger on a plane it would request the worst seat, in the middle of the back row.
What should be our reaction when Cuoco’s character Cassie wakes up in a hotel bed and her one-night stand has had his throat cut? Not laugh, surely. In the confusion of how this happened - Cassie is clueless - and the confusion caused to our responses, the show has an easy get-out: another close-up of the star, maybe attempting to blot out her panic with one of the in-flight miniatures of vodka she always carries in her bag.
The victim isn’t Cassie’s first hook-up although this one - right after the title sequence that’s a homage to Saul Bass - lives to tell the tale, even if our girl can’t quite remember his name.
Usefully, her next conquest hands her his business card after they attempt to join the mile-high club - though Cassie probably has black-card membership already - on a flight to Bangkok. This is where the poor sap meets his fate.
Not the best place for, at the very least, fleeing the scene of a murder. Drop litter in Thailand, a friend tells Cassie, and you’ll get five years. On the flight back to New York she hallucinates about the dead man asking her if she killed him. “Wait a minute,” she says, “I’m not that kind of drunk. I’m a public nudity yelling in the subway kind of drunk, okay?” Fair enough.
If I’m going to watch any more of The Flight Attendant it will have to broaden its scope beyond just Cuoco and her sexy confusion, though next week brings the introduction of Scottish actress Michelle Gomez. Is it really 14 years since the brilliant Green Wing?
What was the first TV show to scare the living daylights out of you? Mine was Final Escape, Alfred Hitchcock at his most unapologetically terrifying, about a conman who hid in a coffin six foot under only to discover that the accomplice who should have been digging him out of the ground so they could claim their booty was in fact potted heid alongside him. The screams have never left me.
They’re similar to the screams in Grace (ITV) when the nails are hammered into the wooden box and the groom-to-be probably reckons he’s the victim of the worst stag-weekend prank of all time. His friends don’t intend to leave him there and have left him with a walkie-talkie only this is how he hears their laughing stop as the van crashes, killing them all.
Beginning with a missing person case - though it gets much darker - DS Roy Grace (John Simm) may be TV’s newest crimefighter but he still must patrol a beachfront - all ITV crime dramas have to be set by the sea, it’s the law - and pine for a missing wife, just like Tom Brannick who recently departed Sunday nights.
But out of such familiar material Simm makes his character interesting. He has a quirk - belief in the occult - but it doesn’t seem contrived. This is a feature-length introduction so there’s plenty of time for the plot to twist and turn and to build up a dislike of the man in the coffin’s best friend and business partner - for no other reason than he’s a property developer who wears tasseled loafers without socks.
Early on Grace tries internet dating, none too successfully, but his personal life is not a big part of this. There’s a moment when he looks like he wants to punch a journalist who scoffs at him for consulting a psychic but he stops himself. Grace is the unflashy, undemonstrative, soulful sort, so this show may go nowhere, but I like it. These scenes shot from inside the coffin, though …
Caroline Flack: Her Life and Death (Channel 4) is a lovely, sensitive, sad tribute to a lovely, sensitive, sad woman. The TV presenter took her own life at the height of her fame, though it was losing her job on Love Island after her arrest for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend which was all too quickly followed by the shocking end.
If Lorraine Kelly and Graham Norton watch the documentary they must surely wince at clips of them laughing and making jokes about Flack’s humiliating exit from Love Island and, earlier, The X Factor, though her vulnerabilities may not have been known to them. Worse, much worse, was the abuse she took on social media, a disgusting pile-on she couldn’t stop poring over.
The vulnerabilities are described by those who knew her best. Twin sister Jody remembers the drama of the break-up with her very first boyfriend - older, worked at a fairground - and teenaged Caroline running away from home to hammer on his door: “She really did find heartbreak impossible.” The film is tough to watch when Jody reveals how Caroline was “always fascinated” by suicide. “I’d prepared for this happening,” she says.