Jokes take flight in airport-set '90s sitcom.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Two of the main characters are adult brothers who work through their problems to foster a strong relationship. The series also features a group of airport employees who come together as a family and are supportive and loyal to each other. Helen is an independent woman who runs her own business. Roy has difficulty accepting his gay son. The cast is all Caucasian; Antonio's Sicilian character draws humor from some gentle stereotyping. Brian is known for his irresponsible behavior, which often leads to relationship problems.

Not applicable

Some sexual innuendo (Fay is particularly prone to making double entendres). Some characters are occasionally shown in bed with each other, but there's no sexual activity beyond kissing shown on screen.


Pretty mild: "Damn," "hell," etc.


References to various Nantucket and Boston landmarks. Characters from Cheers occasionally make an appearance.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking (with characters occasionally getting comically drunk). Roy consistently smokes cigars.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this '90s sitcom focuses on a group of people working at a Nantucket airport who, over time, become one another's family. The show explores the bonds of friendship, love, and loyalty between them. There's some sexual innuendo, and some episodes deal with serious topics like infidelity and homosexuality. While these issues are addressed within a humorous context, they may be inappropriate for some younger viewers.

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What's the story?

Created by the folks behind Cheers, WINGS is a sitcom about odd-couple brothers Joe and Brian Hackett, operators of Nantucket's fictitious Sandpiper Airlines. When intelligent-but-reckless womanizer Brian (Steven Weber) returns to Nantucket after running off with his brother's fiancée, organized (and rather neurotic) Joe (Tim Daly) finds himself rebuilding their once-close relationship while they work together to keep their company airborne. The Hackett brothers are in constant competition with AeroMass airlines, which is run by smug Roy Biggins (David Schramm). Also working at the airport is the Hacketts' childhood friend Helen (Crystal Bernard), an aspiring concert cellist who runs the airport lunch counter; batty Sandpiper ticket handler Fay Cochran (Rebecca Schull); the slow-but-talented handyman Lowell Mather (Thomas Haden Church); kind-but-unusual taxi driver Antonio Scarpacci (Tony Shalhoub); pilot Alex Lambert (Farrah Forke); and Helen's older sister, Casey (Amy Yasbeck). Over time, the Wings group evolves from simple airport terminal colleagues into a quirky-but-loyal extended family, exchanging lively banter and the occasional sarcastic insult, and supporting each other through even the craziest of situations.

Is it any good?


Wings is often quite funny, but some of its themes -- including sexual relationships, infidelity, and, on one occasion, coping with a son's sexuality -- may be too strong for younger viewers. Nonetheless, it's an entertaining sitcom that reminds us that even the most eccentric of people can come together and become an extended family.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how people at work can become a "family" over time. Does that happen in real life? What defines a family? Which other shows feature nontraditional families like this one? Parents and kids can also talk about becoming a pilot and running an airline. What kind of training do pilots need? How much work is it to run even the smallest airline?

TV details

Cast:Crystal Bernard, Steven Weber, Tim Daly
Network:TV Land
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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