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Party Of Five

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I've been waiting for this topic forever!  Or at least since i finished Netflixing the series in February.  

Bailey is The Worst. 

That's my hot take after rewatching.    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . 

It went from "omg the sound guy needs to focus less on the slurpy kissing noises and more on Julia's incessant sighing" to "OMG SOMEONE PUT BAILEY ON A ROCKET TO MARS" in about 6 episodes.  

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Yay! I've been wanting to discuss this show since I started rewatching it on Netflix. I watched it during its original run, then a few reruns here and there over the years, but this is the first time I'm watching the whole thing again. I'm in the last season right now. 

It's interesting watching it as a 40-something mom now. During the first run I related the most with Julia. I was 15 when my mom died and she is supposed to be that age in the first season, so it definitely struck a chord. But watching it now I was surprised by how much more I care about Claudia. I guess it's because she was 11 in the first season and my daughter is almost 10 so I'm seeing her from a mother's eyes now. I feel protective of Claudia and get so mad at Julia when she's mean to her. I just want to give her a hug. Lacey Chabert really was amazing. 

Anyway, I have more to say but I'll wait until the discussion gets going a bit more. 

Edited by desertflower
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3 hours ago, desertflower said:

It's interesting watching it as a 40-something mom now. During the first run I related the most with Julia. I was 15 when my mom died and she is supposed to be that age in the first season, so it definitely struck a chord. But watching it now I was surprised by how much more I care about Claudia. I guess it's because she was 11 in the first season and my daughter is almost 10 so I'm seeing her from a mother's eyes now. I feel protective of Claudia and get so mad at Julia when she's mean to her. I just want to give her a hug. Lacey Chabert really was amazing. 

Anyway, I have more to say but I'll wait until the discussion gets going a bit more. 

Same!  I think I saw Julia's disposition as somewhat relatable to early-20-something me.  But like you - rewatching, I'm much more interested in Claudia's character.  Her performance during Bailey's intervention was incredible for someone so young.  I don't have kids (I have a small dog, is that close?)   I felt like she was so neglected by the family, They always seemed so exasperated by her.  

I have so many thoughts and feelings.  I need to organize them a little better on this.  :)

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Yes, exasperated is a good word! It's like they forgot she was a little kid. There is a scene where Julia tells her she is spitting on their mom's grave (I think it was when she had contact with their grandfather) and it was just so sad to put that guilt on her. But in a way I guess it was realistic, because Julia was only a teenager herself and spoke impulsively. 

On another note, I had totally forgotten Wilson Cruz came on the final season (watching now) as the nanny. He was great. Loved him in My So Called Life. I think i've only seen these season 6 episodes once so I've forgotten most of them.

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There are so many people I swear I recognize from other shows, and then no, turns out it's someone else.  I thought Annie (is that Bailey's older girlfriend?) was also Anna from "Gilmore Girls" but nope.  I love Wilson Cruz, he played SUCH a grownup in this show.  

I could've done without Daphne's return - I felt like her character took up more time than it really needed.

And by the time Griffin had become friends with Daphne, I was really ready to trade him into the Salinger family for either Julia or Bailey.  There was that point in the last season where both of them became insufferable (I get it, I get how they got there, but it doesn't mean I have to like them lol).

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57 minutes ago, ALittleShelfish said:

And by the time Griffin had become friends with Daphne, I was really ready to trade him into the Salinger family for either Julia or Bailey. 

Ha! Totally with you. I could take or leave Griffin when he first came on but I really loved him by the end. He was much better after he and Julia split up. Maybe she was sucking the life spirit out of him. :)

Ok I've been waiting to complain to someone about this one episode, here's my chance! It's when Julia and Griffin are married and his friend stays with them a few days. He gives Griffin crap about all the household duties he does so he acts all macho and says he wants Julia to do more of it. Then there is a ridiculous scene where she is struggling to make dinner and is fumbling through the whole thing while they snicker at her. She later tells Griffin she didn't learn that stuff from her mom because her dad always did it. What the what??? This is the same girl who was basically cooking holiday dinners by herself in season 1. The show was usually pretty good with its continuity but the writers really dropped the ball on that one. Ok, rant over! Feels good to get that off my chest. Lol!

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8 minutes ago, desertflower said:

Ha! Totally with you. I could take or leave Griffin when he first came on but I really loved him by the end. He was much better after he and Julia split up. Maybe she was sucking the life spirit out of him. :)

I feel the same way about Griffin. He was better when he was no longer with Julia. I never liked Julia very much. Claudia was always my favorite. I did change my mind about Bailey. I used to like him in the earlier seasons but changed my mind about him during the alcoholism storyline.

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I remember the first time around really disliking Kirsten. I recently watched it again on Netflix and realized that...I still don't like her!

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Did anyone see Neve Campbell on "Catwalk?" I'm trying to hunt down that series. 

I strolled past her on Instagram today and she was with Lacey C and her daughter JULIA. 

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Rewatching too! Perspective for sure. I think Claudia was always my favorite. So glad we have a forum now. Happy Streaming. 

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I'm in my early 50s and was surprised that I found the show a lot better than I recalled. Not that I remember all that much, although Julia's "God, Charlie!" actually did occur as often as I thought, heh! I enjoyed it so much this time around that I ended up binge-watching it. 

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yes! I watched it when it was on the air, and I think I was around the same age as Julia/Bailey at the time, so I related to them. But when I recently re-watched all of the episodes on Netflix, I found myself paying so much more attention to Claudia - and to Owen! As the mom to two small (7 YO and 3 YO) kids, I felt so much more for them than I did the first time around. I continue to be  Julia/Justin 'shipper, though, even in my old age.

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2 hours ago, Scout Finch said:

although Julia's "God, Charlie!" actually did occur as often as I thought, heh! 

OH GOD YES. THIS.  Her verbal eyerolls were used like punctuation in the first few seasons, then by about S4, I was so used to them, I didn't notice it as much.  It always went something like this:  "God, Charlie!", eyeroll, look around everywhere but directly at Charlie, look down for a second, then look directly at Charlie. 

I was able to do that exactly once in my life and my mother reminded me that I wasn't on a soap opera and "a civil conversation will do just fine."  (In that tone that moms use in the company of others when you know she wants to whoop your behind instead....)

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I can totally hear "God, Charlie!" in my head now. Lol. She also put her hand to her forehead a lot too. You tend to notice those things when binge watching! Neve really was beautiful, though, wasn't she? 

I'm midway through season 6 and I've noticed they have hardly mentioned or showed Diana at all. The old "let's not mention the baby and maybe people will forget about her" move. 

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I remember Catwalk! Just bits and pieces of it. I think it was Canadian show. They showed it Saturday mornings for a while. Did you check youtube?

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On 5/8/2018 at 8:35 PM, desertflower said:

Did you check youtube?

I checked.  There are episodes there.

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Well, I just finished my rewatch. A lot of episodes were very familiar to me but  I had forgotten a lot of the last season. Overall I think the show holds up well. The last season wasn't great (I found myself really not caring about Bailey and his girlfriend) but I enjoyed watching Claudia grow up, and Victor the nanny was a nice addition. The final episode made me cry a lot, especially showing the house getting packed up and all the sweet flashbacks. The house was like another character. One funny little moment though...two movers come into the bedroom to get some furniture and one of them is Eric Stonestreet, Cam from Modern Family. It was funny seeing him play a tough guy mover. 

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On 5/7/2018 at 9:29 AM, ALittleShelfish said:

Same!  I think I saw Julia's disposition as somewhat relatable to early-20-something me.  But like you - rewatching, I'm much more interested in Claudia's character.  Her performance during Bailey's intervention was incredible for someone so young.  I don't have kids (I have a small dog, is that close?)   I felt like she was so neglected by the family, They always seemed so exasperated by her.  

Same.  I'm currently 3 seasons into a rewatch and I constantly find myself feeling so sad for Claudia. There are so many episodes where she clearly just wants to have some family time that would reassure her that she matters and make her feel bonded to her siblings (to make her feel, essentially, that she's still part of a family and not some fractured group that's barely being held together by the memory of their parents), and Charlie, Bailey, and Julia are so caught up in their own drama that they can do little more than tell her that she's being annoying.

So far I feel like the show is holding up pretty well, though there are certain things about it that play very differently now than they would have when the show first aired. For example, in the first season, before Charlie and Kirsten started dating, there's an episode where she gets drunk and almost sleeps with him and the only reason it doesn't happen is because she passes out when he goes into the bathroom. He knows that she's drunk and he's nothing but excited that she's let down her guard enough that he's going to score (God, Charlie!) and the way that it's played so casually by the show really speaks to how our collective understanding of consent has changed over the past 20 plus years.  Bailey also did a lot of pressuring with Kate to get her to sleep with him, which was pretty gross.

I'm also currently side-eyeing the show for the character of Grace. I don't remember, but am guessing that the character came to be because the show was criticized for not having any people of color in it (I stand corrected if that's not the case) because the way she's been wedged into the show just sort of screams, "Look, we have a black person! Can you get off our backs now?"  The way that she's written makes it feel like even the writers resent her presence, given that everyone other than Charlie vocally dislikes her and expresses that dislike every chance they get. I mean, I don't like her either, but I feel like that's partially because the show is going out of its way to ensure that she doesn't take off so that she can be written out without much fuss.

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