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5.0 out of 5 stars RISING TO THE CHALLENGE, 20 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: Party Of Five: Season One (Complete) [DVD] [1994] [2006] (DVD)
San Francisco. As Social Services hover, the Salingers strive to stay together after their parents are killed in a car crash. 24 year old brother Charlie moves in to care for Bailey (16), Julia (15), Claudia (11) and baby Owen. All are self-willed and pull in different directions. Helping to restore harmony are the weekly family meals in the restaurant their father once owned - theirs the table reserved for a "party of five".

Of course there is sadness, sometimes in abundance, but this gentle likeable series is also full of humour - nicely scripted, well cast, situations credible (except perhaps for some wayward Jill sequences). Yes, for the most part feet are firmly on the ground, the characters with depth. Note, for example, Charlie's dilemma - the job offer of a lifetime, but it means a move to Seattle....

A 1994/95 series. 22 episodes, commentaries and bonuses provided ten years later by creators and cast. They reminisce interestingly about the show initially so often facing the axe - instead to win a Golden Globe and to run for six seasons. Prominent attractions are Neve Campbell before film fame and Matthew Fox before he got "Lost".

Standout episode? The first Thanksgiving without their parents coincides with news of the drunken driver's early release from prison - this a double challenge to them all. Movingly the cast are still affected by the storyline when commentating a decade later. Also moving are accounts of tributes from fans declaring how the show helped them to come to terms with loss.

"Claudia, go to your tent!" How come? Watch and see, this one of the many moments to raise a smile.

All in all, a delight. Warmly recommended.
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Location: DORSET

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