Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A tribute to WINGS on its 20th anniversary

Hard to believe but it’s been 20 years since WINGS premiered on NBC. I was with that show for most of its run as a one-night-a-week creative consultant (“We need a Fay joke, hotshot!”). My partner David and I also wrote six or eight episodes (including the one where Frasier and Lilith come to Nantucket), and I got my first directing assignment on WINGS as well.

WINGS was created by Peter Casey, David Lee, and David Angell. They would later go to create FRASIER. For whatever reason WINGS never got the respect it deserved. How much so? The only acting Emmy nominations it received were for Kelsey Grammer and Tyne Daly. None of its actual cast members were recognized. And that was a terrific cast. Steven Weber, Tim Daly, Tony Shaloub, Thomas Hayden Church (who later got an Oscar nomination so I’m not crying for him), Crystal Bernard, Rebecca Schull, Amy Yasbeck, and the hilarious David Schramm.

WINGS was supposed to be a Fall show but the producers had a bitch of a time casting it. They wanted really special people, and faces you hadn’t seen on seventeen other shows. As I recall, the hardest one to cast was Helen. In any event, production of the pilot got pushed and the show premiered very late.

I remember the week of the pilot (beautifully directed by Jim Burrows) our big hurdle was explaining how Helen, who had grown up on Nantucket with the Hackett brothers, had a Texas accent.

Some great comedy writers were involved with WINGS. Dave Hackel who went on to create BECKER, Steve Levitan who later created JUST SHOOT ME and then reunited with another WINGS alum Christopher Lloyd to create MODERN FAMILY. Other WINGS writers went to on become show runners of MURPHY BROWN, THE CLOSER, and one now lives on a boat!

WINGS was shot on Stage 19 at Paramount, which is cavernous. They needed a big stage to accommodate an airport hanger, terminal, and any additional sets. Trivia side note: We shot the pilot of ALMOST PERFECT on that stage and since we had no budget for sets, for Nancy Travis’ house we just repainted Helen’s house set. It was either that or say she lived in a plane.

Ratingswise, WINGS did okay but was never a breakout hit. Ironically, once it went to cable (seen twelve times a day on USA), ratings for the first-run episodes on NBC went way up. More people were discovering the show.

For my money, WINGS holds up better than most sitcoms over the last 20 years. It is a very funny show. The stories are clever, the jokes are sharp, and the performances are top notch. WINGS doesn’t feel dated.

In the final episode all of the writers are used as extras. I’m in one scene sitting in the terminal. My agent says that’s not enough for a full reel but that’s just him being lazy.

I’m as proud to say I worked on WINGS as I am to say I worked on CHEERS and FRASIER. I even still wear the show jacket. Happy 20th!

70 comments:

Gregory said...

Its, not it's.

The Bitter Script Reader said...

How did you guys explain Helen's accent? I know I've seen just about every episode of the series and yet somehow this escapes me.

I'll always enjoy Wings for introducing me to the comic genius that was Phil Leeds. There's a great blooper reel where Steven Weber keeps cracking up at Phil's delivery of "He screwed me blue!"

Bill Hickey was another great guest star as Carlton Blanchard, the elderly guy who tried to cash in his free plane ticket to go to Las Cruces.

Chris Hansen said...

The show really does hold up - watched it all again not too long ago on USA or some cable network that was running in the wee hours, and I enjoyed rediscovering some hilarious episodes and trying to figure out how I'd missed certain ones that weren't familiar at all.

Susan D-L said...

i loved Wings. What a wonderful show. I only discovered it in syndication, back when cable was worthwhile, ; )

Truly a terrific cast and the writers were no slouches either. Thanks!

Rebecca said...

Gregory, if you're referring to his first sentence, he used it's correctly as the contraction for "it has."

As to the point of the article, I have always thoroughly enjoyed Wings - I was young when it first aired, but I remember watching it with my parents almost every week. Going back and watching it now, I'm surprised they let me - although the jokes I find hilarious now probably went right over my head.

I too have always been a little surprised by how little acclaim was given to this show. And I agree with the comment about Bill Hickey as Carlton Blanchard - his performance is so memorable, that I can still hear his voice saying "Las Cruces."

Phil said...

Rebecca, the "it's" in question is in the title.

Anonymous said...

Ken,

I was a regular viewer back in the day. It was everything you say it is (was). Thank you very much for being honest on this blog. That is the ingredient that makes the rest so delicious! Keep it up Please) Art

Gregory said...

Yes, Rebecca, I was referring to the title.

Thom Zahler said...

Friends of mine and I still make jokes about "The Big Sandwich", and I think it's got one of the best finales of all time.

benson said...

And to pick up on a theme from earlier this week (Elizabeth Montgomery's hotness) What about Farrah Forke! And Kim Johnston Ulrich! (loved the scene where the taxi driver delivers her message to the brothers)

wv: preallo The prequel to a famous British sitcom.

Anonymous said...

David Lee here (still not using Google--don't ask). Thanks for the kind words, Ken. The show could not have been what it was without you.
Yes, Helen in the first draft was Helen Trionkis, a dark beauty of Greek descent. Our first choice was---Peri Gilpin. Tartikoff thought she wasn't ready to head a series yet. He pitched Crystal and left it up to us to figure out the accent bit. Can't remember what lame convoluted plotting we came up with to explain the accent, but after convincing no one, it was soon forgotten. I remember she came in to meet Peter David and I the morning after she had almost been killed by a CO2 leak in her dressing room trailer on a movie she was shooting. Now that's a trooper.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Honestly, its no big deal Greg. No one ever won an Emmy for spelling. For being Spelling, maybe. Relax and enjoy Ken's words.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Its, not it's.

Now your just being picky. Dont be so uptight. ;)

Raymond said...

Ah, Wings, such an overlooked show. I believe for years everybody thought Tony Shalhoub was Italian.

One thing that stands out in my memory was the Wings title music, which was even credited to Schubert. Wonder if his got any residuals.

Wendy said...

That was a wonderful comment, Ken. I cherish my six years working on the show. True, we didn't get all the hoopla, but we had a hell of a time making the shows. It's impossible for me to count the number of hours I spent in the writers' room or on the stage, but all I know for sure is that it was a time I will never forget. And I'm still so close to so many of my Wings peeps. Thanks for the tribute!

Tim W. said...

I always liked Wings and had a big crush on Crystal Bernard.

20 years. Thanks for making me feel old.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Helen move to Nantucket at the age of 10 from Texas? I think that's how they explained the accent, though, I could be wrong.

I also remember reading that Lowell wasn't part of the original pilot. Joe and Helen were to be married and divorced twice. The network didn't like this, so they had to explain why she never got with either of the brothers when having growing up with them by saying she was fat and had recently lost weight.

Brian Smith said...

I'm glad for this discussion -- alt.tv.wings was a Usenet hangout of mine in the mid-90s.

To this day, some of my favorite sitcom moments are from "Wings". "My goat knows the bowling score, hallelujah" is still a family joke, and I remember my college roommate losing it when USA started rerunning "Wings" with the pilot episode, and he got to see it for the first time. His two favorite lines (and I hope I remember them correctly) were both from Brian:

To Roy: "Sansabelt slacks! Boy, you miss one issue of GQ and the fashion world just passes you by."

To Joe, who's just said that Helen is like their little sister: "I think it's time I gave li'l sis a bath."

The bit where Antonio had read "Scarlett" with no knowledge of "Gone With the Wind" was cute, as was Lowell's panicky "LA LA LA HAVEN'T SEEN IT HAVEN'T SEEN IT" when "Psycho" was discussed. And I'm fond of the timing and the setup of a gag where Helen, starved for intelligent conversation at the diner, vows that she'll scream if she hears one more monosyllabic grunt, and an oblivious Lowell says, "Mmm! Good soup! Hot!"

Seconded on the Big Sandwich ("Ooh...the Cordoba") and the loveliness of the series finale. And I know I've rambled on too much already, but I loved "Duckman"'s dig when they watch a TV movie on the USA Network and the announcer chimes in with "Wings, Wings, Wings and Wings will not be seen tonight..."

D. McEwan said...

No, it never got respect. Endless "What is that still doing on the air?" comments in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. Yet I think I saw nearly every episode in its (OK Gregory?)original run, as I always enjoyed it.

I read for a small role as a butler in one episode, and didn't get the part. Harrumph! Nonetheless, I still watched. Yes,WINGS rejected me but I didn't reject it. So who's the bigger man? (I'd have been so much better delivering those five lines than the stiff who got the part.)

Anonymous said...

Wings is one of my all-time favorite sitcoms. I don't think it ever got the attention and respect it deserved. It always seemed more popular to bash it and make fun of the show and its fans. (I've had a few people make fun of me for being a fan.) I still love the characters and the writing and will gladly watch it over certain other higher-rated shows any night of the week.

I also think it's ironic that USA at one point was well-known for airing multiple reruns of Wings a day and one of their most popular and successful original series starred a former Wings cast member. :)

A. Buck Short said...

It’s – Schpitz, I’m still trying to get my head around the possible source of this heretofore underreported, and apparently near lethal, Crystal Bernard CARBON DIOXIDE LEAK!

Don’t get me wrong, we loved the show – especially having recently relocated from Boston at the time. But, OK, carbon monoxide (CO) I can understand as a reason for missing a call that might be covered in the completion bond small print, especially if somebody left the trailer generator running -- but CO2?

Look around, it’s almost everywhere. Trees can't help spewing the stuff. There'd have to be some pretty high concentrations for somebody to feel any effect. Was the woman so far ahead of her time, they’d parked her trailer over one o’ them carbon capture storage sites that are only now becoming all the rage? I know those can be kind of dicey, but she’d have to be drinking a boatload of tainted groundwater. Did her contract require craft service to provide a personal keg full of brew daily? The Southern Baptism around us here in Dallas would venture a no on that, but being originally from next door in Garland – still a “dry” zone – maybe enough kegs would qualify the RV as a club where you could get served.

Operating a substandardly-hosed soda fountain? And how would you detect CO2 poisoning in somebody like Crystal Bernard, since the principal side effect is effervescence? Was Lowell actually doing that much welding in the hangar. Or did it just require a hell of a lot of dry ice to replicate that Nantucket fog? Some bizarre clandestine reverse photosynthesis experiment as a passive aggressive response to an offhand remark by Ed Begley? Know a little about the exchange of gases involved with that and breathing, I’m guessing that apart from any of the above, the principal source of C02 in an actress’s trailer would be the actress herself?

David Lee, inquiring minds need to know. Especially since I think I recently read the Walter Scott Personality Parade answer to the alleged question, “I enjoyed the actress who played Helen on the TV sitcom ‘Wings.’ What’s Crystal Bernard been up to lately?” The somewhat cryptic answer, “The 'Wings' series is now celebrating its 20th anniversary, and due to a scare early in her career, you will never find Ms. Bernard any father than 20 feet from foliage.”

(Incidentally, while Ms. Bernard spent her formative years in Houston, Ms. Gilpin was apparently able to “pass” because she remained pretty much up north here in Dallas. Just another one of the hazards of heading too far south.)

Alex Nevil said...

Wings was a fantastic and unbelievably under appreciated show from beginning to end. A standout episode for me was "Taming of the Shrew." Some great bits (Schramm's cutting of his toenails during the intervention was just plain awesome) and some really poignant moments as well.

Kristen said...

I'm a huge "Wings" fan. The comments on this post brought back many of my favorite moments. "Helen's at the store!!" (Casey in the ep. where Brian and Helen had to run away to Mexico so Helen could divorce Antonio.) Or how about Antonio being held at gunpoint over a donut? I can still hear him saying, "Apparently Bob, not a chocolate lover..." Oh, and the ep. w/ Frasier and Lilith is one of my favorites, too! "If we crash and die, we crash and die. This is a vacation for God's sake!"

I could go on all day posting more quotes, but I'll stop now. I'm just glad to know others remember the show!

Sérgio said...

I love Wings. There are episodes that simply are a piece of art. I remember the beautiful end of one episode where you see Brian & Joe as little kids being pilots on the beach. Another great moment is where the mother of Brian&Joe comes and there is that moment of tension in the hangar and Joe tells her in 4 short sentences how his life has been until the moment he sees his mother again. But the sentences/quotes that I can remember the best are the ones from Carlton Blanchard! His questions were simply brilliant.

Paul Duca said...

A. Buck--if you breath in too much of anything that isn't mainly oxygen it's not good. Try having someone set off a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher in your face and breathe that, to see what happens.

Doug--I know you appreciate the show because Brian Hackett is as disdainful of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE as you are...."that Jimmy Stewart was a sap"

WV--bactio....the original first aid disinfectant, used by the Romans.

gih said...

I also like the WINGS. I miss this one.

RolloSuplex said...

Great post. I always enjoy reading the TV stories.
Off topic...I was watching the Reds vs. Dodgers on TV last night (and cursing the final score) when I saw you sitting in front of Reds writer Hal McCoy.
Does that actually count as an on screen TV appearance?

JimBriggs said...

My best line from the show --

Smelliest moment in history: the bubonic plague, high noon, on Throw Out Your Dead Day.

bevo said...

I watched Wings initially because there was nothing better on. At some point, though, the show clicked for me and I saw how wonderfully Tim Daly carried the show.

Without his performance, everything else falls apart. No, I am not his agent.

I also appreciated the Lowell character once I saw past the handymen characterization from Newhart. In fairness, I liked Thomas Hayden Church on Ned and Stacy, where he delivered a comedic tour de force with a dry wit. Hell, a look from THC would send me into a laughing fit.

No, I am not his agent either.

The rest of cast falls into place. I favorably compare Wings to WKRP in Cincinnati, another amazingly funny show that holds up over time.

wv: molin - self-pitying behavior from a sober person.

Will Teullive said...

Ken- You're so right. Very underrated. Wings was a great show and it still holds up much like a Led Zeppelin song! I liked it much better than Friends.

It makes sense that I also like Modern Family since it comes from Wings Alum

PS. What ever happened to Farah Forke?

Tom Quigley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

Just to tie this in to the blog host's other pastime -- baseball -- the episode where Roy faints while singing the National Anthem at Fenway Park remains one of my all-time favorite episodes of any sitcom.

Tom Quigley said...

Back in early 1990 I think, an actress I knew showed me a script for a new show for which she was reading a part, and she was really enthusiastic about the show since it was produced by some people from CHEERS... The script was the "Airplanes and Cellos" pilot episode of WINGS, and I could tell right away the writing was on a par with most of what I'd seen on CHEERS. Unfortunately, she lost out to Crystal Bernard for the role of Helen, but the show did become one of my favorite indulgences... There were some really funny episodes and scenes over the years. Mr. Lee -- Congratulations to you, Peter Casey and the late David Angell for 20 years of laughs and a show worth remembering!

As an aside: Since I was from back east and my father had been a licensed pilot, I queried David Angell one season regarding some story ideas I had and received an answer back fron his assistant Suzanne the next day by phone saying David had read my query and asked me to submit the spec CHEERS I had mentioned in the letter through my agent. And although nothing ever came of it (to be expected actually, with the calibre of writers already on staff at the show!), the few times I had any contact with production staff, they were the most courteous and professional group of people I encountered on any show I ever dealt with; a tribute I guess, to the Charles-Burrows-Charles legacy from which they came.

4/22/2010 8:27 AM

A. Buck said...

Paul D. Paging passenger Paul D. Please pick up the nearest courtesy phone.

Leave it to you to come up with the one CO2 device I hadn’t thought of. Actually I have had somebody set off a fire extinguisher in my face, but they said that qualified as a fetish, and I had to pay extra for that. (Household hint: never leave a fire extinguisher rattling around loose in the back of your sports car. A sharp turn/jolt can trigger that sucker, and, in a confined space, that will scare the bejesus out of you. Trust me on this one.)

As I'm sure you realized, I actually knew about the effect of too much of a good thing and was just wondering what could have been the source of said leak. And correct me if I’m wrong but those guys are all such troopers, Sandpiper Air has yet to be grounded for any extended period by a huge plume of volcanic ash. (That little incident out on the Louisiana oil rig is just our people responding to what we thought was an Icelandic aboriginal smoke signal. And this unexplained interest in all things carbonated stems from the JewIndian name I’ve been given by the Pawnees: Pa-ho-ka-ta-witz -- Meteor that Lands in Seltzer.)

Also of course, having gone all gaseous at 2 a.m. CST, I didn’t mean to say trees can’t help spewing the stuff, but that they couldn’t inhale enough of it. Now all I’m thinking about is why America simply couldn’t use our Dr. Pepper bottling plants for carbon capture recycling. But that might be the thc leak all this talk about the series has me under.

A. Buck coming in for hard landing said...

Finally, to conclude today’s inflight blogjacking…

Dave said...

It's a shame the audience never got to see Phil Merryweather's "eye thing."

And Roy's party-planning tip: "If it's green it's trouble, if it's fried get double."

growler said...

Ken, since I can't find an email address for you, I'm going to post this here and hope you see it.

I'd love to get your reaction to this takedown of "Modern Family."

http://galleyslaves.blogspot.com/2010/04/against-modern-family.html

Anonymous said...

One of my favorit Wings moments - Joe is lecturing Brian about being responsible and not squandering money:
Joe: Yes, Brian I could get a Porsche. But do you know why I don't?
Brian: They don't make them in brown!

And the "big sandwich" - priceless!

Kirk Jusko said...

I watched it quite a bit, and always found it funny.

percy said...

john S from Paramount here. Hard to believe WIngs has hit it's 20th anniversary. Boy do I feel old. I'm proud to say this was one of the first shows I got involved with on the development side. What a great group of people. Casting the Helen role was a bear but we got it right in the end. Crystal was terrific and Peri went on to fame and fortune on FRASIER. Casting Tim and Steven was not so easy either. The guys were not sure Tim was funny and were worried Steven would not stick to the script. After we did film test with other actors, splitting them into different pairs, it was clear the guys were made to be brothers. When Tommy came into read it was for the role of Brian. He was not even close a but his reading was so off the wall and hilarious that I said to the guys maybe we should think about finding a place for him. The guys were so excited about the concept that they went back to their offices and in a day came up with the perfect character for the Tommy, Lowell the mechanic. While Tommy was always good for a huge laugh he never got over the fact that he had read for the lead but ended up a support player. He finally left the show to go do a role in Tombstone and we know what happened next. If my memory serves me correct Rebecca was the first actor cast followed by David. It really was a great cast and the nicest group of actors you'll ever work with.

I'll never forget the guys having to present a model of the set to the NBC honchos to convince them an airport could be funny. Why the model made them laugh I'll never know but we got the go ahead after that meeting. The series never got any respect from NBC and was seen in more time periods than any other show I can remember. I left for MGM after year 3 and remember running into Tim at lunch a few months later. He asked me if I thought the show would get picked up for a 4th year and I said to him "not to worry, you're going to be working on that show for at least 4 more years". I think the show went 8 years but maybe it was 7. Regardless, WINGS was the little engine that could. I met some of the best writers in the business on that show. A better group of talented but down to earth people you could not find. Congrats to all. Miss everybody, and wish all the best. Thanks Kenny. Love your blog.

Frasier Fan said...

Wings has always been one of my favorite shows. I can never say the real name of the certain Broadway show now. It always comes out "Phantom of the Oprah".

The big sandwich, Joey Bear, and one of the best scenes in TV history, Joe and Helen slapping each other with meat!

Excellent television from start to finish.

Mel said...

My absolute favorite episode was the one where Davis was coming to town for a big date with Helen and every possible thing that could go wrong did. Everyone ended up at Helen's house, and every time the doorbell ring, Lowell would pop out of the kitchen and say, "Dinner STILL not ready." We say that at my house all the time ... and then laugh uproariously. LOVED this show!!

jeffen said...

Simpson's quote:

TV Announcer: Tonight, on Wings... Ah, who cares?

Always enjoyed the show but that quote stuck with me.

Anonymous said...

Great show and I agree with many posters, still holds up very well on DVD viewing today. Crystal Bernard was such a hottie! Oh, and that gorgeous Schubert theme music (especially the version from the 1st season) over the aviation footage.....wonderful, tears-to-the-eyes-beautiful stuff.

Bill Peschel said...

Yep, another Wings fan here. That's where Tony S. came on my radar, and he's popped up in some of my favorite things since (GalaxyQuest and Monk). And I suspect a lot of boys crushed on Crystal, too (and some older boys, me included).

lonestarr357 said...

Mel - That's definitely one of my favorite moments. Man, those were good times; sitcoms on USA all morning.

Other fave bits:
- anything with Carlton Blanchard

- the two-parter where Joe flips out on everyone (I especially loved how everyone else was trying to figure out what set him off)

- the one with the hockey goalie who didn't make it to the game because of Antonio

- Alex tricking Brian onto the Mary Pat Lee show ("Roy, I hate to say this, especially since you're the only one who defended me, but she did make you cry.")

Never did like the Sandy Powell (the crazy chick obsessed with Joe) episodes, though.

wv: chili (I swear I'm not kidding)

Edd. said...

I loved Wings. Loved the Fay character... chimed in just right every time.

Favorite episode, though I don't recall and probably didn't see the sandwich one, was the one with the thinly disguised Judds in it. Mother and daughter fighting in the plane... rolling on the floor I was.

Cityslkrz said...

The beauty of Wings was that it had brilliant writing AND brilliant actors who had amazing chemistry. Case in point, the bit stemming from Brian & Joe's plastic surgeon commenting on their noses: where the men were sitting at tables by Helen's counter discussing who was the most handsome actor. That was hilarious, made even better by their working off each other.

Lou H. said...

The Puppetmaster is one of my favorite sitcom episodes ever.

Wings seemed to have been one of the first shows not to have an opening theme song, all the much odder because they did have one for the first couple of seasons. Do you know why it was dropped? I figured that maybe the network wanted to squeeze in a couple more commercials.

The Milner Coupe said...

Just wanted to chime in late that Wings remains one of my favorites. My family long ago tired of me retelling the Las Cruces episode. The bit where Antonio feigns sleep to avoid talking to the old man still makes me laugh just thinking about it ("oh how I hate him"). Funny!

Aloha

Greg said...

Farrah Forke made an 'excellent' movie called Kate's Addiction.

Janice said...

"The big ugly" is used in our household quite often.

And one of my fave bits is when Antonio continues to wear the great looking shoes, even though they're painfully too small.

"Wings", "The Dick Van Dyke Show", and "Freaks and Geeks" are the only complete collections I own. Happy to be a Wings fan!

melew said...

Still love this show. It's kinda like chicken soup for my TV watching soul. Thanks to you and everybody's hard work on it.

patrick said...

Patrick said,

I loved the show. I spotted Helen in Park City on a snowy eve in 2005 for Sundance, she looked great(and trying to be inconspicuous). Cute as all get out. The old bat with her sneaky jabs adn punches, delivered with a grandmotherly smile ...brilliant. The village idiot, also known as the plane mechanic(frightening), maaahvelous.

sherm-5 said...

I to am a die hard Wings fan,watching certain episode over and over.On my facebook page of TV show favs Wings is in the top 5 but only 163 'like this'? Every other series has thousands of 'likes'!I don't get it,everyone was great-Joe,Brian,Helen,Antonio,Casey,Fay and Roy are the absolute best cast.
Numerous lines are still funny--"Drop it on the old Kyle pile!"
"My goat knows the bowling scores"
"She may have a few miles on her but she's got a walk I can feel in my left pocket" "Antwerpio"
"I'm to stupid to kill" and Antonios first reactions to meeting Casey always make me laugh out loud.
Fav episodes have to be the "Love Overboard" with John Ritter;"the Lady Vanishes" mainly because of Anne Francis and "Like a neighbor scorned".

Anonymous said...

Ken:

I loved Wings. I have a ritual of watching a sitcom each night before bed. It's almost always Wings. The scripts were fabulous: Sandy Cooper, Carlton Blanchard -- both were amazing!!! I love too the great writing of brothers loving each other, and then disagreeing. How real is that!!! Great show. I'd love to know how the cast all got along.

Rob

Sharon said...

I didn't have TV when this first aired... but started seeing it on Cable TV later on. I fell in love with it so very much, that I eagerly awaited it's arrival on DVD. I now own all of the episodes and watch it still to this day. It is my most favorite TV show ever and I simply love the cast. They simply worked so awesome together... with every episode better than the next!

My most favorite line from all of the episodes...

This is Nantucket... we are a simply people... we fish our waters... we till our lands... we eat a big Sandwich!!!

barryb said...

It's one of the best shows of all time. It has durability more than almost everything out there. It's still so funny -- viewing after viewing. Season 6 is my favorite. What a well written, well performed show! So true about the Emmy's -- it should have won several for writing and every cast member deserves one in my opinion. I've enjoyed it from the beginning but just got my Sandpiper sweatshirt in 2013.

Anonymous said...

This was is a great show. Steven Weber is quite talented as all the cast was but his sean connery 007 was outstanding. USA no longer replays neither does nick at night. Netflix is the only place to see it but they are missing 22 episodes. Its available on youtube but they are not in order and the video quality is like a rerecorded vhs tape. This show was always on in the pilots lounge and kept us going. Lowell should never have left. He was becoming a big star. Ned & stacy bombed. I watch this show on netflix all the time. Wish they made it HD with ALL the episodes.

Anonymous said...

This is the show of all shows to me, it premiered when I was 17 so i have been watching this show weekly if not daily for 23 years via vhs, usa, now dvr, (thank god for reelz). For me, watching wings is part of my nightly routine before going to sleep. The brilliant cast and writing were a perfect combo.

Shawn said...

I remember enjoying this show as a kid on syndication and am watching the series for the third time on Netflix now! Sharp and clean comedy that holds up well over the years. That show featured a fantastic and underrated cast for sure. My favorite characters were Brian and Lowell, but all of the regular cast were great and worked together so well. For me, it's right there with Seinfeld for my favorite sitcom of all time.

Now that I've re watched the series, in my opinion the show started losing its allure when Joe and Helen got engaged. Then it officially jumped the shark when Lowell left at the beginning of season 7. So this go around on Netflix, I think I'll go back to the pilot after that emotional episode. I find the rest of season 7 and season 8 kinda hard to watch actually.

Wings is a classically great comedy that still makes me laugh every time! Too bad not all the episodes made it to Netflix.

Diane said...

Best comedy ever on TV!! Should have won lots of awards.

sj tj said...

I am watching this show about 20 years after it was first aired on tv, and the humor / performances ( from 90s) still makes me and my family laugh so much. this is one brilliantly written / performed show. the show never disappoints :-). so much better than all the shows which are getting aired in present time.

Cristina said...

Hi Ken

Wings is the greatest sitcom in the 90's. NBC had been moving it to different schedules and yet Wings survived for many years. Each character have different personality that makes the show fun to watch. It has all the element of a good sitcom. I loved the beautiful friendship between Joe, Brian and Helen. The romance between Joe and Helen was handled very well. The writing, directing, acting was phenomenal. It's the most underrated show and yet it was the best one. It's going to be the 24th anniversary this year, it would be nice Ken if you write a book of this show in time for the 25th. Some have not seen this show, it's a shame they are missing a wonderful show. I like the finale of Wings, everyone just have to draw their own conclusion what happens to the characters when Joe and Helen came back from Vienna. To all the people who were involved on this show, thank you for laughter you shared us.

Patricia said...

Patricia from Indiana: I love Wings! I watched every show when the first 'L egacy" was aired on April 19th, 1990 and I have all the seasons and watch them whenever I need to laugh. This was the BEST comedy ever aired and I have seen plenty. I have trying to find a replica of the Nantucket map that hangs just to the left of Roy's counter but haven't found the exact color it is. Also, one person wrote to comment and wanted to know how Helen's accent was explained. In Legacy, Helen says to Joe, "How old was I when I moved here from Texas?' Joe says ten. That is how Helen's accent was explained. One of my favorite episodes is 'Murder She Roast'. I still laugh every time I see it. 'Death becomes Him' is hilarious (Season 7, 3rd episode). I think too that a book about Wings and the cast (lots of photos too)!!!!!! Thanks to all who created the best comedy I have ever seen!!!!
2/20/2014 1:20 PM

Patricia said...

Helen's accent was in the first one from 1990. She asks Joe, "How old was I when I moved out here from Texas?". Joe replies, "I don't know. What? Ten? Why?. This is the Best sitcom from the 90's and that I watch all the time. My favorites are all of them but especially Murder She Roast and Death Becomes him. I had to imagine what happened after the final one and I kept wishing they would have a special but it wasn't in the cards. I too think a book on the 25th anniversary of Wings would be great! Lots of photos too! Camelot Dreams (Patricia from Southern Indiana)

Anonymous said...

I will never forget the line uttered by Roy Biggins ex-wife when she was going to cheat on her current husband by hooking up with Roy. " I'll be cat woman, you be ...QUICK !! " Classic.

Anonymous said...

We love the show and still watch it almost every day. To me, it is the most durable TV show ever made. It's good natured, smartly funny, and generally offers a consistently good time. I feel the actors (all!) and the writers should have won Emmys. Thank you for helping create such an utter gem.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I just rewatched every episode on
Netflix. It's a perfectly cast, perfectly written show. So funny – we always laugh and enjoy the comedy. They got it right from the start. Great show.

hemilyd said...

Just still amazed how we could run this show today and it would not looked dated -- the clothes still fit as does the hair...

Amazing.