Party of Five season 1, American tv series (1994/1995)

Teenage highschool dramaseries have been gracing television screens for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up I loved watching shows like Beverly Hills 90210, and yes I know how sappy those series at times can be. But I don’t know, they were just easy to watch, and had subjects in them that pretty much everyone who went to school can relate to in one way or another. Now that I am older it’s sometimes nice to revisit those old series. Call it a trip down memorylane or, god forbid, a midlife crisis, but some of those shows are still a lot of fun. There was a series that has always stood out amongst all of them though. And to simply call it yet another teenage drama is really selling it short. Because Party of Five, the show that I am talking about, is really so much more than that.

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Yeah, now you can still laugh, it won’t be long before someone will chase you with a knife.

Party of Five deals with five siblings living together in a house, after the tragic death of their parents in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Charlie Salinger is the older brother, and pretty much in charge of everything, but that certainly isn’t an easy task. Charlie is not one of the most responsible people of the world, but he tries to do his best in a very difficult situation. Than there is Bailey, the younger brother who always tries to do the right thing, even at the cost of himself sometimes. Julia Salinger is the older sister, who can be a bit rebellious at times, but also has a heart of gold. And then there is Claudia, the youngest sister, who is trying to become one of the best violin players of the world. And to complete the party of five we have baby brother Owen, who everyone adores, but ofcourse is a handful. The first season deals with all of them coming to grips with the hard life after the death of their parents, and getting along with each other.

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Is it really that hard to believe that I was in Lost and she was in Scream?Β 

Now, I can already see the frowns starting to pop up all over on your heads. Yes, I know this sounds like a very sad story, and how this is probably one of those seriously tearjerking series. But you could not be more wrong. Party of Five was once described as “The best show you are not watching”. Throughout it’s runtime the series always struggled to stay on the air because of failing ratings. And that was mainly because this was not your typical teenage show. For one thing the acting was absolutely amazing. Matthew Fox, who most of you might know from the succesful television series Lost, plays the role of Charlie. And he does that in an incredible way. Charlie is a character that has really got some serious flaws. You may even hate him at times, but it makes him all the more human, and you really can feel for him at so many points throughout the show.

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You don’t have to argue about it: I really WAS in Scream.Β 

But the rest of the cast is amazing as well. Bailey, played by Scott Wolf is a character that has a natural charisma, and one that I myself could understand and relate to the most. He always tries to see the best in people, and goes out of his way to help them, but usually ends up being disappointed because of that. Scott has a very natural and believable way of acting, which helps you like the character even more. Julia is played by a young Neve Campbell, and she was always an incredible actress right from the start. It’s honestly pretty sad that her career never took off as much, as was believed at the time. Finally Claudia, played by Lacey Chabert, is just one of those characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. She has an innocence to her, and not a bad bone in her body, even though she can sometimes really be a brat. But you pretty much forgive her for acting up like that at times.

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That boat behind us really looks out of place.Β 

Throughout it’s first season run, the Salingers have to deal with a lot of issues and emotions. There are laughs, tears, and scary moments as well, all blended together in a fantastic mix. The stories in pretty much all of the episodes are written very well, and deal with many more things than only teenage romances. And that was one of the show’s greatest strengths. There are some very mature themes in the show, that were there right from the start of this series. Yes, there are some very heavy moments in Party of Five as well, not going to lie to you there, but it never becomes to oppressive. Certainly not in this first season, which also had some very good humor in it too. I can’t recommend Party of Five enough. If you have never seen this show, try it out, and I dare you not to bingewatch it after seeing five minutes of it. And for those of you that have seen it, it’s great to revisit it for a bit of nostalgia, or a midlife crisis. Whatever takes your fancy.

I give Party of Five season 1 a 9 out of 10 score.

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31 thoughts on “Party of Five season 1, American tv series (1994/1995)”

      1. Yeah, I can relate with that for sure. It’s probably because of a lot of things in it, have at times happened to me as well. So that’s what sometimes makes it hard to watch, but also a simply amazing series 😊

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    1. I have just started watching episode one of season 2, and one of my favorite characters enters the show in that season: Sarah played by the lovely Jennifer Love Hewitt. I honestly can’t even remember if I have seen all the seasons. But I think I did. It’s still a great show, and it’s sometimes amazing how much I still remember from the series. Looking forward to your review for season 4. Enjoyed the discussions as well, but then again I enjoy every talk with you 😊

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      1. Strangely enough, I started watching the show pretty much at the same time you did, but stopped for a bit. But then restarted again after out conversations and your reviews for it. So yes, you are quite right πŸ˜€

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  1. I might have to watch this just to see early Fox acting. I was blown away by Lost [and while griping at the ending] and that started me on following several actors careers.

    I’ve mainly been on a Terry O’Quinn kick for the last several years [and my goodness, that man was all over the tv shows in the 90’s and early ’00’s], so it would be a nice change to focus elsewhere for a bit…

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    1. Well, I can tell you, Fox’s acting is even better here than it was on Lost. That said, the entire cast is briljant, so it’s worth watching it only for that alone. But the series itself is great as well.
      As for Terry O’Quin, yeah, he has done an enormous amount of series. J.A.G. and Millenium were some of my favorites that he made an appearance in.
      If you do watch Party of Five i hope you will have as much fun as watching it for the first time, than I have from revisiting it 😊

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  2. I admit the mix of sad and happy that your review hints at makes this sound like a good series to invest in. Really great review too. It’s easy to see that you really like this show πŸ˜€

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    1. Thank you for the kind words😊 Yes, it is absolutely a series worth to invest time in. In fact so much so, that I have become pretty much addicted to it. I really have to make myself stop at times,else I could watch all six seasons of it in probably two weeks lol πŸ˜‚ But yes, it really is a great show indeed 😊

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  3. Somehow I have managed to not see any of this series! Which I find pretty strange since I have watched most of the popular 90’s sitcoms and teen series. I don’t recall seeing it pop up to often when browsi and watching reruns of old shows. I know it’s quite popular though, so it must have just fell through the cracks somehow. But this is exactly my kind of series, so I will have to make an effort to watch it sometime πŸ™‚

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    1. For some strange reason I missed this comment entirely, sorry about that πŸ˜… I think you will love this series. Seeing it back after more than 20 years, it’s still every bit as fun (and at times sad and dramatic), as when I first saw this one. I’m currently watching this on Netflix, so I hope it’s available to you as well. If you do manage to see this one at some point, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it 😊

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  4. I love the references to Scream πŸ˜‚ This sounds like a show I would really like to watch. That their parents are gone seems really unique for a sitcom like this. As for the midlife crisis, play it cool like Lester Burnham and Bob Harris. You’re never too old for anything!

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    1. Yeah, that really is what makes this show unique, and at times certainly pretty heartbreaking as well. Life is really tough for these kids, and at times you wonder if they ever get a break. But it’s absolutely worth checking out, scream or no scream πŸ˜‚
      True…I still feel young enough to take one everything….well, almost everything that is πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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  5. One of the few American 90’s sitcoms/dramas I haven’t heard of, but after reading your review I’d say I definitely need to give it a try! Especially with your 9/10 score.

    On the theme of 90’s/00’s sitcoms, I’d definitely like to see your thoughts on the American cult classic Freaks and Geeks. If you haven’t seen it, its got people like James Franco, Jason Segel and Seth Rogan in it. A must watch for someone interested in reliving their horribly awkward high school years.

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    1. Thank you as always 😊 I haven’t heard about the show you mentioned, but I will try and see if I can find and watch it somewhere. As for Party of Five, it certainly is worth the watch. You can see it on Netflix (I’m currently watching it there), so if you do decide to watch it, I hope you will enjoy it 😊 Thank you for your comment, always appreciated! πŸ˜€

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  6. It’s always weird for me to watch the younger versions of grown actors hahaha My brain is super confused XD They look really nice still, of course.
    Yet again, another “classic” I haven’t seen and actually don’t remember exists most of the time… I’m glad it was super worth it, though! Your stellar review made me want to go watch it right now (5 minutes, you say? Hmm I shall test that theory XD )
    It’s nice that it has a lot more than just romance. Family shows nowadays seem to be very limited in their content: they’re either a comedy or a drama or a romance. I miss the days when writers actually strived to be as original and diverse as possible. There was always a little something for everyone.
    Amazing review, not surprisingly! πŸ™‚ I’ll keep Party of Five in mind for when I’m not binge watching something else because I have a feeling it will take up a lot of my time hahaha

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    1. Haha, always a pleasure to read your comments, thank you very much 😊 I’m surprised that there actually quite a number of people that don’t know this show, but as I said it was called “the best show you are not watching” at the time, so I guess it makes sense. Lol, yeah, this is very hard not to bingewatch so it’s a good thing to clear your schedule for that πŸ˜‚ Hope you will enjoy it if you do manage to watch it 😊

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      1. Thank you! Oh, personally, I’m always clueless when it comes to old productions… Or new ones… Actually, I’m just clueless about what people usually watch in general LOL
        Everything I do end up picking up is mostly accidental rather than a product of thorough research hahaha But at least I have you for awesome recs ^^

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