Party of Five: Season 1

Somehow this classic 90s series passed me by, it was always a popular subject of discussion at school but I missed out. It’s funny watching it now, it’s so very 90s from the music, to the hair and even the ‘cutting edge’ plots that now seem so cliche. It’s fascinating to look back on this as a ground breaking series and launching point for a number of careers, the young cast is often superb, particular 11 year old Lacey Chabert.

However if you put aside the nostalgia value, it’s all rather sappy and melodramatic. The stories are at their best when you are watching the family balancing their responsibilities with the fact that they are still only kids, that’s what makes the show special. However by the end of the first season that element is almost forgotten in favour of your standard romantic entanglements and school issues. I don’t think I’ll bother getting the second season.

DVD Special Features
A nice box set, I particularly enjoyed the cast commentaries by Matthew Fox, Scott Wolf and Lacey Chabert and the collection of featurettes with all the cast members. The features all present a wonderful sense of the chemistry between the actors and the crew, partially based it would seem on the continued threat of cancellation. The piece on their win at the Golden Globes was particularly nice to watch. My only complaint is that it’s really annoying to have 10 mini-featurettes without a play all function and to have two separate commentaries on the same 3 episodes, it would have been better to spread them out a little.

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