One of the best shows of the 90's, "Wings" enjoyed a solid run on NBC from 1990-1997, enjoying critical acclaim and respectable ratings, despite increasing competition. The series took place in Nantucket and focused on Joe Hackett (Tim Daly), who ran a small local airline out of the small airport. The opening episode sees Joe reunited with long-lost brother Brian (Steven Weber), a smart screw-up who has just suffered a break-up and lost his job.
After a puzzle left by their recently departed father eventually leads them back to where they currently are, the two brothers decide to work together. Joining them are attendant Faye Cochran (Rebecca Schull), dim (but always interesting) mechanic Lowell Mather (Thomas Haden Church) and lunch counter owner and childhood friend of the Hacketts, Helen Chapel (Crystal Bernard). There's also competition in Roy Biggins (David Schramm), the owner of the rival local airline.
The series had a terrific cast from the beginning, but it really got going full steam ahead in later seasons once Farrah Forke (as romantic interest Alex Lambert), Amy Yasbeck (as Casey Chapel, who first appeared the season after this one) and Tony Shaloub (as local cabbie Antonio) became regulars, as the three characters filled out the ensemble cast nicely. As for the remainder of the cast, Bernard is spunky and enjoyable as a romantic interest and Church gets great lines and offers a terrific deadpan delivery. Schramm is also entertaining as the "villain" of the show.
Some highlights of the fifth season include: "Terminal Jealousy" (when Brian is injured, Alex takes his place in the air and spends a bit too much time with Joe), "Business or Pleasure" (Joe courts an investor who tries to court Helen), "Joe Blows" (a 2-parter where Joe walks off the job after being confronted with an angry customer and everyone's problems), "2 Good 2 B 4 Gotten" (Joe can't convince anyone that a female ex-classmate is stalking him), "The Faygitive" (a private detective comes looking for Fay, but won't tell her why); "Moonlighting" (when Alex is forced to take an off-season job in a theme restaurant, the gang recall their job-related horror stories) and finally, "A Decent Proposal" (Brian regrets breaking up with Alex and tries to win her back, while Davis proposes to Helen.)
73. 5- 1 16 Sep 93 Stop in the Name of Love
74. 5- 2 23 Sep 93 Terminal Jealousy
75. 5- 3 30 Sep 93 Bye-Bye, Bunny
76. 5- 4 7 Oct 93 Business or Pleasure
77. 5- 5 14 Oct 93 An Affair to Forget
78. 5- 6 28 Oct 93 Black Eye Affair
79. 5- 7 4 Nov 93 Joe Blows (1)
80. 5- 8 11 Nov 93 Joe Blows (2)
81. 5- 9 18 Nov 93 2 Good 2 B 4 Gotten
82. 5-10 2 Dec 93 Come Fly with Me
83. 5-11 16 Dec 93 Happy Holidays
84. 5-12 6 Jan 94 Ready, Teddy, Go
85. 5-13 20 Jan 94 Oh, Give Me a Home Where the Mathers Don't Roam
86. 5-14 27 Jan 94 The Faygitive
87. 5-15 3 Feb 94 Say Uncle, Carlton
88. 5-16 10 Feb 94 Hey, Nineteen
89. 5-17 14 Feb 94 Exclusively Yours
90. 5-18 17 Feb 94 Moonlighting
91. 5-19 10 Mar 94 Sleepless in Nantucket
92. 5-20 7 Apr 94 Boys Will Be Girls
93. 5-21 14 Apr 94 Roy Crazy
94. 5-22 28 Apr 94 Long Distance Lament
95. 5-23 5 May 94 Call of the Wild
96. 5-24 12 May 94 A Decent Proposal
Note: As the back of the box notes, "Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions."
VIDEO: "Wings" is presented by Paramount in 1.33:1 full-frame, the show's original aspect ratio. Sharpness and detail are pretty standard throughout, as while the picture never looked crystal clear, it at least mostly appeared moderately crisp and well-defined.
Flaws were spotted at times, but never really took away from the presentation. Some minor shimmering and artifacts were spotted, but the source elements looked to be clean. Colors remained bright and nicely saturated, with no smearing or other issues. Overall, the DVD presentations of the show remain just satisfactory.
SOUND: The series is presented here with a clean, clear stereo soundtrack. Dialogue, music and other elements sound crisp and never distorted or otherwise problematic.
Final Thoughts: "Wings" continues to take flight in season 5, as the series does surprisingly well coming up with amusing situations for the workers at the little Nantucket, MA airport. The DVD set provides no extras, but fine audio/video quality. Recommended for fans.