Last year, Fox put out a series called, "The Loop", about the mis-adventures of the youngest airline executive trying to balance a personal life with his friends and a demanding job. The series was smart, funny and - aside from "Arrested Development" - probably one of the best things that Fox has done in a while. So, what did Fox do? They changed the timeslot a bunch of times and then waited over a year before putting the show on again in the Summer. When the show comes back, it's been retooled to oblivion, with two main characters gone without explanation. The series was gotten rid of, as it was run as many as three times during its regular night.
The BBC series "Mile High" (2003-2005) is sort of like a little bit of the "The Loop" crossed with a lot the Gwyneth Paltrow movie "View From the Top", but British and naughty. The series takes a look at the workers (who all look like models) of British airline Fresh! (don't forget the !), who spend their time trying to get into each other's pants and occasionally, into those of the passengers. And, when they're not trying to fool around with other people, they're partying whereever the flights take them.
The characters consist of newer attendant Marco Bailey (Tom Wisdom), gay attendant Will (Adam Sinclair, very funny), who is quick with a scheme but whose broken engagement to a wealthy older woman costs him; Lehann (Naomi Ryan), who is taking care of a child; Jack Fields (John Pickard), who screws things up with his friends and girl and digs a deeper hole; Janis (Jo-Anne Knowles, who looks like the British version of Jane Kaczmarek, from "Malcolm in the Middle"), as the bitchy head attendant; Jack's sister, Poppy (Stacey Cadman), new attendant Charlotte (Sarah Farooqui), adorably loopy attendant Lorna (Katy Edwards), attendant Rachel (Emma-Jane Portch), Captain Nigel Croker (Christopher Villiers), Captain Dan Peterson (Luke Roberts), evil new airline head Stella Lightfoot (Lorelei King) and others. The series has what seems like about twenty-five characters, but manages to integrate them into each episode well.
While the series is generally a flight of fantasy (in one episode, while a plane is being fixed, the female flight attendants decide to sun topless on the wing), there's the occasional bit of drama to bring things back down to Earth. In this second half of the second and final season, Will returns in a management position, only to get on the wrong side of his former co-workers, resulting in an entertaining battle that lasts through the first part of the second season's second half. Job cuts still loom over the crew, passengers crash the employee area when the airport is shut down in an episode and it all leads up to a finale that's equal parts sweet and sad.
"Mile High" is a fast-paced (episodes are 45 minutes, but feel like about half that) series that mixes a bit of mild drama with breezy, sexy comedy. The series is light overall, but the series does a nice job of not making things so light that things threaten to float off. The series isn't highbrow BBC fare; it's lowbrow, sleazy at times (the characters cheat, double cross, scheme and try various plots to make extra cash on their flight) and rather shallow, but it's mostly well-done trashy fun. Just to keep things from becoming too sleazy or soapy, there's occasionally a moving moment or plotline.
The performances are mostly good, although Cadman makes a particularly good impression as Poppy, who joins the airline to follow after Marco, then finds herself enjoying the work and the people. Edwards is sweetly ditzy and sympathetic and The only actor who I didn't care for was Wisdom, who's the only one without any sort of personality. Some characters do depart during this second and last season, as well.
This volume includes the second half of the second season:
28. 2-14 17 Oct 04 Episode 14
29. 2-15 24 Oct 04 Episode 15
30. 2-16 31 Oct 04 Episode 16
31. 2-17 7 Nov 04 Episode 17
32. 2-18 14 Nov 04 Episode 18
33. 2-19 1 Jun 05 Episode 19
34. 2-20 8 Jun 05 Episode 20
35. 2-21 15 Jun 05 Episode 21
36. 2-22 22 Jun 05 Episode 22
37. 2-23 29 Jun 05 Episode 23
38. 2-24 6 Jul 05 Episode 24
39. 2-25 13 Jul 05 Episode 25
40. 2-26 20 Jul 05 Episode 26
VIDEO: "Mile High" is presented by Koch Vision in 1.33:1 full-frame. Presentation quality is fine, if nothing to write home about. Sharpness and detail vary, with the picture looking rather soft at worst and mildly crisp at best. Some minor artifacting is spotted at times, as is some slight edge enhancement. However, the elements look to be in fine shape, aside from what looks to be some stock footage that doesn't look as smooth and crisp as the rest. Colors look bright and vibrant throughout, with nice saturation and only a few minor instances of smearing.
SOUND: The show's stereo soundtrack remained crisp and clear throughout, with no distortion or other issues. The accents may be a bit tough here-and-there, but most should have no trouble.
Final Thoughts: A set of flawed characters trying themselves through the daily grind (both personally and professionally), "Mile High" is trashy fun. The DVD presentation doesn't offer particularly great audio/video quality or extras, but it's still recommended for fans and a recommended rental for those new to the show.