A reality series focusing on the daily pitfalls of a crew of airline workers trying to keep a major airport running smoothly. From lost baggage to delayed flights to unruly passengers these...
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A reality series focusing on the daily pitfalls of a crew of airline workers trying to keep a major airport running smoothly. From lost baggage to delayed flights to unruly passengers these tireless workers face each problem with cool heads and common sense even as the pressure keeps mounting.Written by
On paper 'Airline' might have seemed like a funny and interesting idea for a reality series. The boardroom at A&E probably brook out into applause when somebody proposed it. It's also a reasonable excuse to get a lot of mileage out of corny airplane puns for the show's promotion. We've all been there. Passengers on airplanes having to deal with crowds, delays, racing from one ridiculously far apart terminal to the next and, of course, a favorite living joke, snotty flight attendants. On the show cameras document the other side, going behind the scenes with the customer service, boarding and flight attendants of Houston based Southwest Airlines. Because the show's a documentary, on A&E and not another dating contest we're all supposed to look at it with a belief that it is automatically good. It's a nice attempt, but the show doesn't work in nearly every aspect.
The people in the show are often running frantically through the airport and the show (mistakenly, I think) wants to give that discombobulating sense to the viewers, bouncing frantically from each story. There is enough high-tension stress here to make NBC's occupational documentary 'The Restaurant' look like a stay at the Betty Ford Clinic. The problems the poor Southwest employees encounter range from so mundane to so realistically annoying we'd hate to deal with in real life so much it's hard to fathom watching it as entertainment for 30 minutes on TV. We see people missing their connections, people marooned in the terminal with lost tickets or heavy plane delays, passengers complaining so rudely over this stuff it is hard to imagine these people function in their everyday life, and a cavalcade of crazy people walking around in short kilts, diapers and massive BO. The show opened its first scene in the first episode with the most entertaining bit in which a women blames her ticket trouble on all the white people behind the counter and in management who are trying to oppress her.
None of it is particularly funny and the show is slingshoting between the vignettes so quickly we aren't given a chance to be wrapped up in any of the personal drama. More concern is put into the show's presentation than allowing us to languish in a sense of actually being there. An ideal quality in a reality show. The regulars being documented might be interesting personally, but outside of following home a gay flight attendant who doesn't care what anyone thinks, the show is edited so heavily we never get to know them personally. Most curious, and distracting, is the inclusion of an omnipresent narrator telling us what we are seeing or about to see on the screen. If you really dig the flight service profession or your TV with a little trauma, than this is the place to be.
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