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Wings - The Fourth Season



DVD Release Date: May 15, 2007 (CBS DVD)
MSRP: $38.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 493 Minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: n/a
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0
Closed Captioned
Special Features: None


Wings is still flying high, with the Hackett brothers of Sandpiper Air and their friends and co-workers at Tom Nevers Field! From the moment the gang is rescued from the plane crash to the introduction of Alex Lambert, the sexy new love interest for Joe (Tim Daly) and Brian (Steven Weber), life on Nantucket has never been funnier -- or more outrageous! Is neurotic Joe or screw-up Brian going to land Alex? In addition, will Helen (Crystal Bernard) finally see her career take off? This season, Roy Biggins (David Schramm) expresses his musical side, cab driver Antonio (Tony Shalhoub) expresses his sensitive side, and Fay (Rebecca Schull) auditions to play Oprah. Plus, dim-witted Lowell (Thomas Haden Church) ends up living with Joe and Brian – and even dates Helen! This 4-disc set includes all 22 episodes of Wings: The Fourth Season, on DVD for the first time! Fasten your seatbelts...Wings is back and better than ever!

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

I like season four, I really do. In Fortune Cookie, after the plane goes down, Joe gets a non-existent insurance check. Joe lets Brian convince him into faking an injury for more money, complete with a shady doctor’s letter. Joe gets cold feet though at the last minute, forcing Brian to pretend to be the injured one. The investigator is a beautiful woman who in no time flat tricks Brian into revealing the whole scam. Just when the guys look headed for prison for insurance fraud, Helen reveals the woman is a friend of hers – she just wanted to teach them a less. But then, the cherry on the sundae – Roy shows up with a check from Joe’s insurers for the non-existent injuries! In Blackout Biggins, Roy complains, loudly, about the singing of the national anthem at a Red Sox game, thinking he could do better. Brian has connections at the Red Sox office, so Roy gets his chance -- and blacks out. In What the Cabbie Saw, Antonio testifies against a suspected robber in court. However, the suspect is released on a technicality, causing Antonio to panic.

These are just a couple of the really great episodes this season. There are a few clunkers, but most of the episodes this year are really good. In terms of guest stars, Kirstie Alley plays her Cheers character Rebecca in “I Love Brian,” which features an appearance by musician Clint Black. In “Another Wedding,” Laura Innes -- a couple of years prior to her joining the cast of ER as Dr. Kerry Weaver -- guests.


The packaging is the same as previous sets...outer box with two slimcases inside. Each slimcase holds two discs, one on each side. This style of packaging has become the standard for most TV DVD releases, and for “regular” packaging styles is my packaging of choice. The front cover features photos of Tim Daly, Steven Weber, Crystal Bernard, Tony Shalhoub, and Thomas Haden Church at the bottom in front of a white background. The show logo is above them at the top. Between them are a series of light/dark gold bars. The rear is gold-colored (except for a white bar running behind the show logo), with a few still images at the bottom.

The covers of the slimcases feature the characters -- the main 3 (Joe/Brian/Helen) are on case 1, while the supporting four (Roy, Fay, Antonio, Lowell) are on case 2. Episode information is on the rear. The discs all feature similar art – the top half is white, the bottom half is gold, and a strip of small still photos runs across the center. Below the strip is a set of pilot’s wings with “Disc [number]” text.

Menu Design and Navigation:

Eep. The Wings menus, while never anything special, took a downwards dive for this set. The menu is a generic white-blue gradient background, with a character to the left (varies by disc). The Wings logo is at the top-right. Disc number is in the bottom right corner, with Season 4 text. The episodes can be selected from a list on the main menu. There are no other options.

There are two problems with these menus. The first is the same thing afflicting pretty much all CBS DVD releases -- the menus are plain, relatively generic, and simply dull. The second is a more specific complaint, however. The font used for the episode names – which is the selection mechanism -- is a cursive script, making it hard to read on smaller screens especially, but I had difficulty with reading it even on a larger screen.

There is a hilarious typo on the Disc 1 menu – The 4th episode is “Blackout Biggins”, but the menu reads “Blackout Buggins”. And I can tell that that IS what it says by comparing the u and i used in other episode titles.

Video and Audio Quality:

They’ve fixed the video! They’ve fixed the video! While the previous releases looked about 40 years old, this season’s video looks its age. There is still minor fading of the colors, and a slight -- slight -- compression issue. However, the video is a remarkable improvement over previous seasons. For the first time, the set’s video looks good. I’m not sure if the previous issues were related to the master prints, or if it was simply an issue on CBS DVD/Paramount’s part -- but the problem is fixed, and that’s what matters. The audio is nice and clear, with no defects. Chapter stops exist at the end of each scene.


Disc 1:
Lifeboat: 22:27
The Fortune Cookie: 22:27
Noses Off: 22:26
Blackout Biggins: 22:27
Mathers of the Heart: 22:26

Disc 2:
Two Jerks and a Jill: 22:26
It’s So Nice to Have a Mather Around the House: 22:26
Just Say No: 22:27
It May Have Happened One Night: 22:28
The Customer’s Usually Right: 22:27

Disc 3:
Exit Laughting: 22:26
What the Cabbie Saw: 22:12
Labor Pains: 22:26
I’ve Got a Secret: 22:22
The Gift (Part 1): 22:27
The Gift (Part 2): 22:27

Disc 4:
I Love Brian: 22:28
The Key to Alex: 22:27
The Houseguest: 22:28
Goodbye Old Friend: 22:26
Another Wedding: 22:26
Date Package Number Seven: 22:27

Special Features:

None. Nada. Zero. Like many CBS DVD sets, there are no extras. The first three seasons didn’t have any either, so we shouldn’t expect any I guess.

Final Comments:

Aside from the menus, this set is definitely a step in the right direction. The video quality is noticeably better, and the episodes are pretty good this season.

That said, I can’t understand CBS DVD’s aversion to special features. It couldn’t be that hard to get someone from the show, cast and/or crew, to come in and do a few commentary tracks. Find bloopers and include those – I know they exist, I’ve seen them in blooper shows. It is not that hard, and it greatly improves people’s opinion of your product. And this isn’t just a rant for Wings. Please, ladies and gentlemen at The Eye -- SOMETHING to let us know you’re there.

Still, there is no reason not to pick up this DVD set -- and if the others are available, you might as well buy those for completion’s sake. There’s a convenient link at the bottom of this review to Season 4 on, and you can purchase the other two while you’re there, if you haven’t already.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 2.5/5
Final Score: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 05/03/07 (Happy birthday Grandma!)

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