If you follow me on Twitter (@JustJen_02) then you would have seen me tweet earlier this month: Party of Five on @NetflixUK feels so surreal. The whole 4:3 thing is annoying but I’m loving the nostalgia nonetheless.
When I saw Party of Five on Netflix I was instantly transported to my childhood home where I would lie on the floor in front of a square box that was hooked up to a video player, and had a distinct recollection of the main premise. Anyway I was only meant to watch the first ten minutes…. but it turned out I loved the nostalgia a little too much as we’re now gearing towards the end of April and I have a few episodes left of Season 1.
For those of you who haven’t heard of this hidden gem, Party of Five is a 90’s television drama that aired between 1994 and 2000 starring Matthew Fox (Lost), Neve Campbell (Scream) and Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls). The show gravitates around the lives of five children who are left orphaned when their parents die in a car accident. It’s a simple premise that harbours a wealth of storyline opportunities as each of the children deal with having to grow up a lot faster than their friends.
Looking back at the differences in television between then and now, there is an undeniably stark contrast. When was the last time you saw a teen drama – and not a soap opera – that dealt with real and relatable issues? Themes such as sex, drugs and puberty as well as your run of the mill teen angst are all freely laid out on the table in this show and though it seems weird at first to hear certain topics discussed so candidly – it’s refreshing as these everyday topics have been tabooed, glazed over or outrightly ignored in the Nickelodeon, Disney and CBBC shows of today where formulaic comic relief trumps all.
So there you have it – don’t let the aspect ratio put you off, you’ll be invested in the lives of Charlie, Bailey, Julia, Claudia and Owen before you know it and have a strange urge to wear nothing but light blue denim and plaid.