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David T. Cole

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I loved Casey even if only because she was a HUGE upgrade (in my opinion) on Alex. I hate season 5 (was it S5?) with a passion because of the way I feel Alex messed up the dynamic by pitting Joe and Brian against each other over her to start off with leading to some of the most painful tv episodes ever about the Brian/Alex relationship. I don't even watch most of those episodes on principal. LOL

So it goes without saying Alex was my Jump the Shark moment.... And then when they lost Lowell that was Shark ate the show moment. That was my death knell. I could still enjoy some episodes but Lowell to me was the heart of the show and I struggled to enjoy it after that

Edited by SanLynn
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The problem with "no-nonsense" characters like Alex is that sitcoms are BUILT on nonsense! Looking back Alex looked and reminds me a lot of "early season 1" Britta" on Community. It was when Britta was too much on her "high horse" and superior to the other characters and was just not funny. She was the least liked by the show's viewers at the time. Second season she became funnier when she was more of a screw up and the writing noted in-universe how off-putting and annoying she is and there were always jokes about how characters tell her she's "the worst".

brittas-a-buzzkill.gif

Alex was the same way, but even more a completely humorless drag but the show never became self aware of that. 

I don't mind her episodes though. What I never could like were the annual episodes with psycho Sandy Cooper. I just don't like it when nobody believes a character(The day the adults finally believed Big Bird's friend Snuffy was my favorite episode of Sesame Street). It annoyed the hell out of me that they would never believe what a nutjob Sandy is for whatever reason, especially when a straight laced guy like Joe tells them. 

I will say the actress Valerie Maheffey was great as Sandy in them. I always liked her appearances on Cheers and Seinfeld and as "Eve" on Northern Exposure. I read David Hyde Pierce when he first was on Frasier and they wrote about Niles' unseen wife Maris he pictured Valerie who played his wife on the short-lived Norman Lear show The Powers That Be. I know the producers of Frasier  thought, like Vera on Cheers it would be better never to show Maris and let the audience's imagine her but I always wished they had cast Maheffey since they were the same producers of Wings.

Edited by VCRTracking
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There was an episode of Wings this week, on our classic TV station, made up of clips showing the evolution of Joe & Helen's relationship.  One very funny clip showed Helen angrily spraying Joe with fire extinguisher foam, while he covered her in oil from another sprayer. They kept coming closer & closer together, continuing to spray each other, until they were both completely covered in foam & oil & then Joe asked her to drop the extinguisher, while he dropped the oil sprayer, she did, but then Helen walked over to that oil sprayer picked it up & let him have it!  A real lol moment! This old lady stays up way past her bedtime to watch Wings, reruns just to see hunky Tim Daley!

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It's been 20 years and I still think "Davis" is a dumb sounding first name. Maybe it's the way Crystal Bernard said it in her Southern accet or that she said it so many times but it just sounds so stupid. Either name your kid "David" or don't.

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One of my favorites is on tonight. The second episode is the one where they all have blind dates and have a contest as to who had the worst date.

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I simply cannot fathom how Helen, who grew up on Nantucket with the Hackett brothers, has such a heavy Southern accent, whereas Casey did not.  I wish Crystal Bernard had gone on to other things after this show. 

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1 minute ago, Lava VaVoom said:

I simply cannot fathom how Helen, who grew up on Nantucket with the Hackett brothers, has such a heavy Southern accent, whereas Casey did not.  I wish Crystal Bernard had gone on to other things after this show. 

Someone on the show (Roy? Fay? I forget who) asked that and Casey said she never had that much of an accent in the first place, to which Joe and Brian begged to differ. So apparently Casey used to, but at some point in her adulthood, got rid of it.

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In one of the earliest episodes Helen mentions that her family moved to Nantucket from Texas when she was 10. Since Casey was the younger sister she probably had an easier time losing the accent once they moved. 

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My favorite episode is the one where Joe and Brian try to get revenge on their high school football coach. The misunderstanding after he dies is great. 

"Not only did we hear about what happened to the coach, we're the ones who are responsible!"

"No, no, we didn't kill him! We just broke into his house and dressed him like a woman!" "Oh thank god...wait, what?"

Lately when I watch it, I keep being reminded of Taxi as much as Cheers. It's about the weird array of people who work at a transportation site. Lowell is like Latke, the clueless but sweet mechanic with bizarre customs and family members. Roy is like Louie, the obnoxious wannabe-big-shot who makes the most money, and antagonizes everyone. And Helen is Elaine, the struggling artist who's slumming it in an unlikely blue collar job.

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I'm on a Wings rewatch and I'm working my way through season 5.  I can't put my finger on why Helen's relationship with Davis doesn't work for me (the storyline I mean) but it doesn't.  I get that it was supposed to set up Joe and Helen getting back together and engaged, and they certainly showed us that Helen barely spent time with Davis (and fought nonstop when she did see him) so as to keep viewers from rooting for them, but it just doesn't work for me in practice. 

Also, the episode where Davis is on his way to see Helen and she only has four hours notice hits a lot of my anti-trope buttons.  Helen stressing over dinner, getting green hair, poison oak, a friend showing up unannounced, etc., drove me crazy and I was only watching it.  I get that it's sitcom shenanigans but she'd have saved herself a lot of grief and stress if she'd just taken a shower and ordered a pizza/cooked something simple. 

At least season six has the Big Sandwich episode which I love way more than I should.

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On 4/21/2017 at 4:31 PM, VCRTracking said:

I will say the actress Valerie Maheffey was great as Sandy in them. I always liked her appearances on Cheers and Seinfeld and as "Eve" on Northern Exposure. I read David Hyde Pierce when he first was on Frasier and they wrote about Niles' unseen wife Maris he pictured Valerie who played his wife on the short-lived Norman Lear show The Powers That Be. I know the producers of Frasier  thought, like Vera on Cheers it would be better never to show Maris and let the audience's imagine her but I always wished they had cast Maheffey since they were the same producers of Wings.

This is from two years ago, but I agree. I always pictured Valerie Maheffey as Maris, because she and David Hyde Pierce were so great as husband and wife on The Powers That Be.

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On 8/4/2017 at 3:01 PM, Maverick said:

In one of the earliest episodes Helen mentions that her family moved to Nantucket from Texas when she was 10. Since Casey was the younger sister she probably had an easier time losing the accent once they moved. 

I thought it had more to do with Casey losing it on purpose to sound more high class. 

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I love wings. I was looking for the box set all over after my parents died to help try to get my mind off losing them in none the less December both 2016 just 21 days apart my dad December 2nd and my mom December 23rd.  Well Christmas last year my best friend found and got it for me so now I got the box set. My favorite episode is 1 of 4 tennis bum cause of how he fakes his injury to make Faye think she won, murder she roast cause of Brian freaking out thinking Faye is a killer, life could be a dream trying to pick a favorite dream scene is hard but I love Brian's James Bond, and boys just wanna have fun  when Brian is changing in the office and Casey walks in she says don't you ever dress then he says don't you ever knock then comes out and does his little dance to annoy her and Lowell walks in and says I was expect to see a woman take her clothes off but hey I'm liberal I'm game and gives Brian a buck lol. I really hated all episodes with Alex she didn't fit in at all. She couldn't even mind her own business. When Roy said something to Faye Alex said how can you let him talk to you like that and Faye said I learned to tune him out and Alex said well I can't I'm going to say something.  And you know her character was bad when Lowell didn't talk to her that much. And she not only didn't fit in she had trust issues Brian over and over again baby I'm sorry I love you. They made his character into a whimp while with her. Then on Mary Pat Lee Alex said Brian left her but Brian said Alex left him in middle of the night. I agree she did cause she gave Lowell a note to give Brian and she left.Do you agree or disagree? Btw if there's any true Steven Weber fans in here on Facebook I have a group for Steven it's called true fans of Steven Weber feel free to join.

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I actually thought Farrah Forke did a great job playing Alex, and I think it's a shame her career didn't take off. I liked Alex for the most part. (I realize I'm in the minority there.) I only had two problems with her character. 

1) the writers went overboard trying to show us how awesome she was - with Joe and Brian both treating her like Aphrodite herself, and the constant reminders of what a super-competent pilot she was, and the way she came out on top of just about every interaction she had with other characters. The writers kind of turned her into a Poochie.

2) the way she acted in her final appearance, where she tricked Brian into appearing on that talk show where he was bullied by the host and audience. Brian's "this is going too fast for me, maybe we should see other people" move was weaselly, but her reaction was over the top. He had snapped out of it, and realized the errors of his ways, very quickly. From her response, you'd think she had walked in on him having a threesome with her best friend and her mother.

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That episode where Joe chases Helen to New York is one of the most moving scenes from TV.

Putting aside the usual "man ignores woman telling him no and continues pursuing her until she gives in" , that bit where he tells her "That's OUR marriage! Those are OUR kids!" is beautiful.

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Very sad news, David Schramm has passed away. Apparently he was in New York, but no further details were given.

Anyone have any favorite Roy moments or episodes? Personally I've always loved the episode where he pretends to be hypnotized in order to get the gang to dig a plot in his backyard to fit his new hot tub.

 

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I mentioned it in the "In Memoriam" thread, but I love the episode where he's teaching Antonio how to dance for some cruise dance contest. 

Roy and Antonio had an entertaining back and forth in general. I remember one episode where Roy, Faye, and Antonio were all hanging out at the airport one night, trying to call in for some radio contest, and finally Roy gets all fed up and says something like, "What am I doing hanging around here with you two losers? A stud like me could be out on the town with any number of hot women on my arm!"

And Antonio looks at him and goes, "...let's just count the number of things that are wrong with that statement." 

I also liked the episode where Roy's mom came to visit and he had Helen pose as his girlfriend. 

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RIP. I love that they never tried to show a decent side of Roy. 

Recently saw an interview at Television Archives with Wings co creator David Lee about when he was showrunner on Cheers they created the character of Rebecca Howe to replace Diane. At first they made her this tough, all business type but it soon became clear that wasn't working. The writers ended up trying to find ways to get her to her office faster so they didn't have to write her!  It was only after they came up with the idea she was a "marshmallow" underneath that exterior she had comic potential. It hit me when they went on Wings that they tried to create that original Sam and Rebecca dynamic with Brian and Alex except they kept her serious and disapproving. They completely forgot why Rebecca didn't work originally!

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On 6/16/2020 at 2:02 AM, VCRTracking said:

RIP. I love that they never tried to show a decent side of Roy. 

Recently saw an interview at Television Archives with Wings co creator David Lee about when he was showrunner on Cheers they created the character of Rebecca Howe to replace Diane. At first they made her this tough, all business type but it soon became clear that wasn't working. The writers ended up trying to find ways to get her to her office faster so they didn't have to write her!  It was only after they came up with the idea she was a "marshmallow" underneath that exterior she had comic potential. It hit me when they went on Wings that they tried to create that original Sam and Rebecca dynamic with Brian and Alex except they kept her serious and disapproving. They completely forgot why Rebecca didn't work originally!

Very sorry to hear of David Schramm's passing. I agree that it was a bold and funny choice to make him such an unrepentant character. There was one moment very early on (the fishing trip/Trivial Pursuit* episode) where he briefly lets his guard down with Joe about no one wanting him around, he mostly wore his asshole behavior with no apologies.

*The "Ann-Margret as every answer in Trivial Pursuit" theme in that episode cracks me up to no end. I had a similar theory on Trivial Pursuit back in the day, any clue that used the word "crooner" was ALWAYS Frank Sinatra and there was another descriptor was always Oscar Wilde, but I can't remember what it was anymore.

Some of my favorite Roy moments are small things, like when some guys dressed as the 3 wise men approach his counter, the way David Schramm turned around and half snorted/half muttered "what the hell are you..." is hilarious. And pretty much his behavior in the entire episode where Brian drags them all to a timeshare golf resort in Florida is peak Roy.

That's an interesting point about the Alex character. She was my least favorite character of the series, closely followed by that terrible actor that they tried to replace the Lowell character with. 

Farrah Forke was an incredibly wooden actress to begin with, but she was given stupid dialogue on top of it. And somehow, her crappy acting dragged down the other actors, Tim Daly and Steven Webber were consistently good, but the storylines involving Alex somehow lowered the comedic bar across the board. 

The only episode in the Alex era that I really like is the one with Helen, Alex, and Antonio having a "girl's night" but most of that is just Helen and Antonio being funny on their own, the third person could have been anyone and I still would have liked it.

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That episode where Joe chases Helen to New York is one of the most moving scenes from TV.

Putting aside the usual "man ignores woman telling him no and continues pursuing her until she gives in" , that bit where he tells her "That's OUR marriage! Those are OUR kids!" is beautiful.

 

Yeah, I'm not usually a fan of the way overused "destroy someone's happy relationship because you believe you're THE ONE" trope or the above mentioned "man ignoring a woman's no's" bit, but this was exceptionally well done. First, it wasn't some loser chasing after someone who'd never had any interest in him and forcing her to consider him, they'd been in a serious relationship before and Helen's relationship with Davis wasn't 100% solid (I wonder if he hadn't been so incredibly rich, if he would have been that appealing), and Tim Daly's acting really elevated the scene.

He really sold the despair at realizing that Helen was truly going to be gone forever and the elevator scene is so beautiful. 

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I dragged out my complete series DVDs for a rewatch. Cruised through the first three seasons rather easily. Season 4 got a bit bumpy because that’s the introductory season of — sigh, Alex. But she’s not in every episode so it wasn’t so bad. Now I’m stuck slogging through season 5. Sooooo many Brian/Alex relationship episodes, I want to slit my wrist with a triscuit. There are some gems, though, like the first Sandy Cooper episode and the one with Roy’s ex-wife that has the really hilarious subplot of Helen’s crab boy.

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On 7/13/2020 at 4:55 PM, ljenkins782 said:

there was another descriptor was always Oscar Wilde, but I can't remember what it was anymore.

witty? Irish? Playwright?  All 3 put together?  And, yeah, that whole thing was hilarious.  I don't blame Roy for completely losing it when he switches partners and Fay says the answer is Ann-Margret (which it is), but he answers something else.  I'd probably have gone berserk, too.

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Hooray :)! Enjoy! We have the complete series on DVD, but even so, I should sit down and watch that channel sometime, too. Just kinda see what the site itself is like and whatnot. 

I also like watching the reruns on Antenna TV. On the one hand, I wish they were on at an earlier time of day, but on the other hand, there is something nice about watching that show in the middle of the night if I'm up late for some reason or another. It's relaxing. 

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1 hour ago, Annber03 said:

Hooray :)! Enjoy! We have the complete series on DVD, but even so, I should sit down and watch that channel sometime, too. Just kinda see what the site itself is like and whatnot. 

I also like watching the reruns on Antenna TV. On the one hand, I wish they were on at an earlier time of day, but on the other hand, there is something nice about watching that show in the middle of the night if I'm up late for some reason or another. It's relaxing. 

Yeah, I have all 12 seasons of Murder She Wrote on DVD, but I still liked putting on the reruns on Cozi Tv in the afternoons while I'm working (sad they took them off). Sometimes it's just nice to run across an old comforting favorite on the TV. 

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I dragged out my complete series DVDs for a rewatch. Cruised through the first three seasons rather easily. Season 4 got a bit bumpy because that’s the introductory season of — sigh, Alex. But she’s not in every episode so it wasn’t so bad. Now I’m stuck slogging through season 5. Sooooo many Brian/Alex relationship episodes, I want to slit my wrist with a triscuit. There are some gems, though, like the first Sandy Cooper episode and the one with Roy’s ex-wife that has the really hilarious subplot of Helen’s crab boy.

LOL, one of my favorite lines.

Season 5 was such an unfortunate downturn with the saturation of Alex/the Alex and Brian relationship.

I realize it's a small town and they've lived there all their lives, but it's also a thriving vacation spot half the year, and Joe (or rather, Tim Daly) is ridiculously good-looking and Brian is decent-looking with a very easy charm and outgoing personality. And they're both pilots. I find it hard to believe that they would both be so lacking for company of attractive women that Alex and her stick in the mud personality would be such an all-encompassing, blot out the sun obsession. Yes, she's attractive, but talking to her seemed like a chore, especially in the beginning. Watching her was certainly a chore.

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On 10/28/2020 at 2:11 PM, Katy M said:

witty? Irish? Playwright?  All 3 put together?  And, yeah, that whole thing was hilarious.  I don't blame Roy for completely losing it when he switches partners and Fay says the answer is Ann-Margret (which it is), but he answers something else.  I'd probably have gone berserk, too.

I haven't seen that series in syndication in more than a decade perhaps fifteen years if not longer.  As for Roy's answer in that game when he didn't want to give the answer as Anne Margaret, I think he gave the answer, Ida Lupino.

I have a horrible memory, always have, constantly choked on tests and flunked a lot of them, finished near the bottom if not the bottom, of my high school graduation class, but for some reason I remember Ida Lupino after all of these years.

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