Wings Twisted Sister

Entering its fifth full season, "Wings" loses one main character and gains another in an awkward two-parter.

With:
Cast: Tim Daly, Steven Weber, Crystal Bernard, Thomas Haden Church, David Schramm, Rebecca Schull, Tony Shalhoub, Amy Yasbeck, Layne Beamer.

Entering its fifth full season, “Wings” loses one main character and gains another in an awkward two-parter.

In last week’s show, feisty Alex (Farrah Forke) was unceremoniously dumped by producers, her absence explained by a Dear John note to former boyfriend Brian Hackett (Steven Weber). In the meantime, long-standing attraction between Helen Chappel (Crystal Bernard) and Joe Hackett (Tim Daly) was consummated on the eve of her wedding to another man. Joe proposed, Helen accepted. Tuesday night, Joe planned to present an engagement ring to Helen, when in steps her sister, Casey (Amy Yasbeck).

As series’s new recurring character, Casey has ostensibly come to witness Helen’s wedding to her ex-b.f.; Casey’s far less impressed with Joe as a marriage prospect.

All of this is, by “Wings” standards, about as dull as it sounds, and may lead viewers to wonder why such a character is so much more desirable for the show than Alex. (As an example of how forced Casey’s appearance is, the script goes to some length to explain why she has no Southern accent, while Helen does. It doesn’t explain why, if everybody grew up together, Joe and Brian don’t have accents).

Having just been given the heave-ho by her wealthy San Francisco husband, Casey’s here to stay, according to Helen, “as long as it takes to get you back on your feet again.”

While producers take as long as it takes to make Casey an appealing cast member, rest of crew carry on as usual: addled reservations clerk Faye Cochran (Rebecca Schull) and mechanic Lowell Mather (Thomas Haden Church), smarmy competing airline owner Roy Biggins (David Schramm) and last-added regular, cabby Antonio Scarpacci (Tony Shalhoub) all return.

Antonio harbors a crush on Casey, in another plot strand seemingly destined to go nowhere without a lot of effort. Joke about orgasms might cause wonder why show’s aired at such an early hour; tech credits are up-to-snuff.

Wings Twisted Sister

(Tues. (27), 8-8:30 p.m., NBC)

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Grub Street Productions in association with Paramount Television. Executive producers, David Angell, Peter Casey, David Lee, Howard Gewirtz, Mark Reisman; co-executive producer, Ian Gurvitz; supervising producer, Steven Levitan; producer, Robin Chamberlin; co-producer, Shelly Landau; associate producer,Lori A. Moneymaker; director, David Lee; script, Steven Levitan.

Crew: Camera, Jerry Workman; editor, Darryl Bates; art director, Roy Christopher; music, Bruce Miller; sound, Klaus Landsberg.

Cast: Cast: Tim Daly, Steven Weber, Crystal Bernard, Thomas Haden Church, David Schramm, Rebecca Schull, Tony Shalhoub, Amy Yasbeck, Layne Beamer.

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