A well-written sitcom that infuses romance with slapstick humor, Wings takes off in its third season with the inclusion of series regular Tony Shalhoub (Monk), who plays immigrant cab driver Antonio Scarpacci. Some of the funniest storylines in this 22-episode collection revolve around Antonio and his quest to stay in the United States. Wings is set at an airport in Nantucket, where brothers Joe (Timothy Daly, Diner, The Nine) and Brian Hackett (Steven Weber, Jeffrey, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) run a small airline that’s struggling to stay in business.
The previous season ended with Joe’s on-again, off-again crush Helen (Crystal Bernard) moving to New York to pursue her dream of working as a classical musician. This third year resolves that plot and finds Helen returning home to Nantucket and eventually marrying one of her friends at the airport.
As the dim-witted mechanic Lowell, Thomas Haden Church provides consistent laughs, but exhibits none of the nuanced acting skills that make him such a standout in later films such as Sideways.
And while Weber gets the funnier lines, it is Daly as the more serious older brother Joe who is the heart of the show. Look for guest appearances by Kelsey Grammer and Bebe Neuwirth reprising their Cheers roles of Frasier and Lilith. Bernard shares some wonderful scenes with them and gets to show off her knack for physical comedy.
Also, be on the lookout for Laura Innes, playing Lowell’s flirtatious wife Bunny. Her loopy portrayal here is quite a departure from the stark, straight-laced part she plays on ER.
Ultimately, it’s the cast’s strong chemistry that truly makes this season of Wings soar.
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