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Currentfilm.com Review:

I was never among "Party of Five"'s hardcore following during the show's six year run, but revisiting shows like "Party of Five" and "Felicity" and others via DVD sets in recent months has provided not only a window into what I've missed, but has given a greater appreciation of the early 90's, where the TV landscape was full of solid writing in both the dramatic ("The X-Files", etc.) and comedic ("Newsradio", "Seinfeld", etc.) catagories. It seems like something of a golden age in comparison to today's reality-heavy TV.

"Party of Five", which continued an impressive run after being nearly cancelled due to average early ratings, was the springboard for the careers of a lot of teen stars, including Jennifer Love Hewitt, Neve Campbell, Lacey Chabert, Thomas Ian Nicholas and Marla Sokoloff, among others. The show focuses on the Salinger family - brothers Owen (played by various kids), Charlie (Matthew Fox), Bailey (Scott Wolf) and sisters Julia (Campbell) and Claudia (Chabert) - who found themselves having to fend for themselves when their parents are killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver.

Some of the highlights of the third season include: "Summer Fun, Summer Not" (Griffin returns and shocks Julia, while Claudia returns from camp and is accused of making up a boyfriend), "Deal With It" (Charlie tries to help while Kristen's depression worsens), "Going Home" (Sara and Julia make an East Coast college visit, while Kirsten's parents arrive to take over care of her), "Desperate Measures" (Charlie goes to Chicago to see Kirsten and leaves Julia in charge, but Julia ignores Claudia's stomach pains to sneak off with Sam), "Point of No Return" (Grace's parents arrive and Bailey's drinking destroys Owen's birthday party) and "You Win Some, You Lose Some" (Griffin worries about losing Julia when she is invited to spend the Summer in Europe with Justin, while Bailey struggles to stay sober.)

Season 3 45. 3- 1 21 Aug 96 Summer Fun, Summer Not
46. 3- 2 28 Aug 96 Going, Going, Gone
47. 3- 3 4 Sep 96 Short Cuts
48. 3- 4 11 Sep 96 Deal With It
49. 3- 5 18 Sep 96 Mixed Signals
50. 3- 6 25 Sep 96 Going Home
51. 3- 7 30 Oct 96 Personal Demons
52. 3- 8 6 Nov 96 Not So Fast
53. 3- 9 13 Nov 96 Gimme Shelter
54. 3-10 20 Nov 96 Close to You
55. 3-11 27 Nov 96 I Do
56. 3-12 11 Dec 96 Desperate Measures
57. 3-13 18 Dec 96 Christmas
58. 3-14 8 Jan 97 Life's Too Short
59. 3-15 15 Jan 97 Significant Others
60. 3-16 22 Jan 97 I Declare
61. 3-17 29 Jan 97 Misery Loves Company
62. 3-18 5 Feb 97 MYOB
63. 3-19 12 Feb 97 Point of No Return
64. 3-20 19 Feb 97 Intervention
65. 3-21 26 Feb 97 Hitting Bottom
66. 3-22 5 Mar 97 Leap of Faith
67. 3-23 19 Mar 97 Promises, Promises
68. 3-24 26 Mar 97 A Little Faith
69. 3-25 2 Apr 97 You Win Some, You Lose Some


VIDEO: "Party of Five" is presented in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. The first season's 22 nearly hour-long episodes are spread out over 5 DVDs, with the additional bonus features located on the last DVD. Picture quality is generally very good; while sharpness and detail are not always entirely consistent, the picture at least looked crisp and clear, for the most part.

The only issue that I noticed was the occasional presence of some traces of compression artifacts. Aside from that, no edge enhancement or any other considerable issues appeared. Colors appeared natural and well-rendered, with no smearing or other issues.

SOUND: "Party of Five" is presented in stereo throughout these episodes. These are fine soundtracks, with clean reproduction of the music and dialogue. There aren't a great deal of background details, but the audio production is perfectly fine for an early 90's TV drama.

EXTRAS: "Mini-sodes" from "The Facts of Life" and "Silver Spoons". No "Party of Five"-related extras.

Final Thoughts: While the lack of extras is disappointing, this third season set still sees the popular drama turning in another fine round of episodes, with terrific performances. Recommended for fans.

DVD Information

Party of Five: Season 3
Columbia/Tristar Home Entertainment
5-DVD Set
Subtitles: English
Dual Layer:Yes
1102 Minutes
Available At Amazon.com: Party of Five: Season 1 DVD Set, Party of Five: Season 2 DVD Set,Party of Five: Season 3 DVD Set