December 18, 2007
It was a Party of Five Marathon this past weekend. The library finally ordered the series on DVD and I was the first to check out Season One. When I saw they had it, I thought that it was about time! I only requested it three times! They also ordered my other request for Felicity. That particular marathon is coming later.
Why Party of Five? Mostly I missed seeing Mathew Fox in action. With new Lost episodes nearly two months away still, I needed my Fox Fix. I always felt drawn to Charlie more than Bailey when I watched the series originally. I began watching Lost in part because Mathew Fox was in it. As I sit starring at Mathew Fox on my Lost 2007 calendar I wonder what the draw is.
Yeah, he is handsome, but that isn’t it entirely. There is a certain intensity about him. He can be kind and gentle, yet there is a darker edge to him. Fox’s characters Charlie and Jack can be selfish, yet they struggle to do the right thing. Is this a reflection of Mathew himself? What do I know of Mathew other than his work?
He grew up in the wild country of Wyoming. Reportedly he was partying at a young age. He went to college and planned on being a business man. The suit and tie were not for him, so he tried modeling. Modeling led to acting. He married before becoming a big star and has remained married. He has two kids and is good at maintaining a stable life despite liking a good party still. He and his wife have been said to have a stormy and passionate relationship, which works for them. This makes me think Mathew Fox might be interesting to get to know.
In any case, it was weird seeing all of those outrageous fashions from the 1990s. The pilot was perhaps the most shocking fashion wise. By disk five either the fashions had been toned down or I’d just gotten used to them. I noticed a lot of similarities between Party of Five and My So-Called Life, including a few of the same actors. Dahlia appeared at the end of Season One in Party of Five. In the last the season Ricki shows up as the Salinger’s gay nanny. Party of Five should be famous for its parade of famous personalities. I noticed Britany Murphy, Gates McFadden of Star Trek The Next Generation Fame. I also saw Nichole Sullivan of Mad TV and King of Queens, Kate (Christa Miller) from The Drew Carey Show and Scrubs, Leslie Hope from the first season of 24 and Jane Karazmerk from Malcolm in the Middle and Felicity. There was also the actress who played Carrie on ER and Bunny in My So-Called Life. In later seasons I remember seeing Olivia de Ablo from The Wonder Years. Also the red haired actress who kissed Julia played a Courtesan in the movie A Dangerous Beauty. Not to mention the actress who played Jack’s City Counsel love interest in season three went on to play Camille on Bones. The TV world is incestuous in a way. There are a lot of crossovers just as there are in Lost.
There are a few literary references in Party of Five. The family’s name is Salinger as in JD Salinger. Are the writers referencing Catcher in the Rye or Franny and Zooey? The dog Thurber is a nod to James Thurber, a humorist. The dog does provide some comic relief in the series as well. Through the intelligent and creative Julia the writers get to explore tragedy and romance. In her English class she studies King Lear, Hamlet and even the poem “To His Coy Mistress.” Through Claudia the writers can add depth with mentions to Bach and other classical musicians. There are also pop references, but not too many. The show is more modern than post-modern.
It’s been a tough few days with the severe lack of sleep and feeling isolated. Watching Party of Five made me fee like I was surrounded by friends.