Koch Vision // 2004 // 596 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Chief Counsel Rob Lineberger (Retired) // July 25th, 2007
Fasten your seatbelt for the ride of a lifetime!
If you took trashy TV to its logical conclusion, you'd get a nonstop indulgence in sex, drugs, skin, and irresponsible behavior with no conscience whatsoever. There would be spurts of nudity, pill-popping, skirt-chasing (and slacks-chasing too) interspersed with just enough plot and character development to hold everything together.
If you took trashy TV to its logical conclusion and set it on a British budget airline, you'd get Mile High. Paul Mavis of DVD Talk summarized Season One this way: "Look, if you want an empty calorie hour of simulated sex, amoral drug use, thievery, full frontal nudity of men and women, bad dialogue, and worse acting, Mile High just may be your high-flying tonic. All others -- beware." He says that like it is a bad thing. Our own Brett Cullum got towards the same basic conclusion with a slightly different spin: "The show revolves around the sexual antics of the flight crews of a fictional airline, and it does so with a light, fluffy touch accompanied by plenty of flesh. There's nothing that stands out as 'great television,' but it is refreshing to see a show so unapologetic about sexuality. Mile High is fun, and that's all it ever shoots for." Two different viewpoints, one conclusion: Mile High is exceptionally trashy even by the standards of modern television.
Perhaps the creators of Mile High responded to such reviews and gave Season Two the veneer of actual drama, but the first episode on this set was disappointingly non-trashy. Aside from a simulated (but very clear) shag in the loo, it was more about pinched brows and glowering looks than nudity and partying. The episode was still vacant of ambition, mind you, which is a requirement for good trash TV. But it didn't seem fun or fluffy, which is another requirement. Without the illicit thrill of flesh and drugs, it seemed like Mile High was on a crash course.
Almost before their foray into respectability had begun, the writers of Mile High remembered what they were there to do. Suddenly there was a campy romance, oral sex under the table in a bar room, a 17-year-old stealing a passport and forging an identity to travel the world on Fresh! Airlines's shilling, queen infighting, and other campy, delightfully trashy, morally bankrupt antics. It boggled my mind while tickling my Id: Mile High was off.
But the nudity angle in Season One must have been blown out of proportion, because Season Two of Mile High featured staged, generic bodies plastered together in such a way as to hide naughty parts -- scenes you'd see on almost any American show. But suddenly, with a stopover in a Nordic New Age resort, breasts and buttocks and floppy things were everywhere. Not just for a second or two, either, but long enough to fully absorb the glamour lighting and carefully accentuated curves of each supermodel-quality extra. Fresh! stewardesses were dropping their blouses everywhere, from pool parties to nude sunbathing on the runway.
What of the language? "Bugger off" is the least offensive epithet uttered in the course of this show. It's no Deadwood, but it's no Leave It To Beaver either.
As the bar dropped ever lower, so did the actions of the crew, from drug smuggling to jewel theft to old-fashioned sexual harassment. Just when you think the bar is low enough, there's a stewardess bending even lower -- and showing you her tits in the process. Want blackmail? Forgery? Adultery? Violating International airspace laws in the name of a quickie? It's all here and more.
And as dull as I found the first episode or two, once I got sucked in the time couldn't have flown by faster. I admire Mile High for sticking to its guns (or better yet, sticking to its seat) and never letting up with its campy diatribe of mindless rutting, snorting, and money grubbing. There may never be a show as glossy and wretched as this one, so enjoy these precious moments while you can.
For fans of the show, I should spare some words for the comings and goings of the crew. I'd rather not spoil the twists, but can reveal that two new crew members join up. One is Poppy Fields (get it?), a fresh-faced, blue-eyed, perky blonde who is Jack's younger sis (Stacey Cadman, Blessed). She represents a much needed soul of innocence, a fluffy, unspoiled lamb that Will and the others can rally behind -- or corrupt at will. The second addition is another blonde named Charlotte (Sarah Farooqui, coming soon in The Mirror), but this one is a tall, curly-haired, brown-eyed dose of trouble. She can knick your wallet with the best of 'em and diffuse any anger with a longing glance at your crotch. Adam Sinclair, Naomi Ryan, Jo-Anne Knowles, and Tom Wisdom reprise their roles as the series core of Will, Lehann, Janis, and Marco. Standout subplots include a merger/war with another airline, Will's reconciliation with Kevin, and Lehann's drug smuggling scandal. Naturally, her lawyer wears a glittery polyester shirt and pink pom-poms. One episode is completely serious and deals with a "ripped from the headlines" tragedy; this unwelcome foray into topical social commentary is mercifully brief.
Mile High: Season 2 -- Part 1 is technically the first half of Season Two, but features the same number of discs and episodes as the first set. There are no extras. PAL to NTSC conversion has left plenty of annoying streaks and scan lines in the transfer; that's the price you pay for differing international TV standards.
If Crime Scene Investigators are all brooding, intellectual supermodels worn down by crime and violence, it stands to reason that stewards and stewardesses must be vapid, sun-loving, coke-snorting supermodels who travel the world high as a kite and keep a boy toy in every port. This is the world of Mile High. The captain has turned on the party sign.
Review content copyright © 2007 Rob Lineberger; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Koch Vision
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 596 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* DVD Verdict: Season One
* DVD Verdict: Season Two, Volume Two