Party of Five (TV Series 1994–2000) Poster

(1994–2000)

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What a show!
shadow-543 July 1999
Warning: Spoilers
Ever since 1994, Party of Five stood out as the second best drama show about youngsters, beaten only by My So-Called Life. The Salingers have been facing tragedy after tragedy since the day they lost their parents. This is as realistic as it gets. While Dawson's Creek and Felicity tend to escape reality every now and then, Party of Five stands out faithful to the world's reality.

Scott Wolf did a fantastic job portraying Bailey, especially in 1996 and 1997, during the days of his alcoholism and the following tough sobriety and subsequent management of the restaurant. He also lived through hell as he sacrificed his personal life for the sake of his family and nearly lost all faith in perfect love and affection as he dated drug addict Jill Holbrook, who killed herself with an overdose. Matthew Fox gave life to Charlie. His character suffered greatly as he took the responsibility for his siblings. It got even more dramatic when he had Hodgkin's disease, which changed his life forever. He turned from an irresponsible 24 year old to a responsible and honest 28 year old as he took care of little Diana all by himself ever since Daphne left him and her. Neve Campbell brought depth and deep emotions to Julia as the teenager grew through huge and complicated steps in her life such as her long line of relationships with Justin, Sam, Ned, Griffin and several others. She also had to deal with her pregnancy and miscarriage. Then she lived a whole year married to Griffin, which changed her deeply. After that, she was hit by Ned episode after episode until she kissed Perry Marks, which made her realize the course of her whole life in the past 5 years. Lacey Chabert is the greatest young actress ever and she changed as much as her character Claudia. From a violinist to a normal teenager, Claudia was the most affected by everything that happened in the show. Even with the constant change of young actors, Jacob Smith seems like the best actor yet to portray 5 year old Owen Salinger. He never really got to know his late parents and has seen Bailey, Charlie and Kirsten as his parents ever since. Jennifer Love-Hewitt portrayed Sarah Reeves Merrin and saw her world change as the years passed and she faced tough experiences, such as being cheated by Bailey, having discovered her orphanage and adoption, being attacked by a burglar, among several other experiences. I can't believe she may leave Party of Five next season. Paula Devicq and her character Kirsten had terrible experiences ever since she was hired as Owen's nanny. She dated Charlie, was cheated by him, got back together, nearly got married (but Charlie was afraid of commitment) and lived through a disastrous depressive state. Jeremy London also did a great job portraying Griffin. At first he seemed to be just Julia's boyfriend, but he made a character out of himself as he faced tough situations such as leaving his father, losing his sister Jill, being arrested twice and breaking up with Julia.

There were great recurring players in the show as well. Michael Goorjian did a great job with Justin from 1995 to 1996. Tamara Taylor did a fantastic job, portraying Grace Wilcox in 1996 and 1997. Alexondra Lee's performance as Callie was magnific, which made her a regular for the whole season (1996-1997). Carrol O'Connor did a good job as Grandpa Jake, but his storyline was cut short. I don't understand why he left the show. His disease wasn't a good excuse at the 1996 christmas. Paige Turco was the best of them all when she portrayed Annie Mott along with young Allison Bertolino as little Natalie from 1997 to 1998. Paige brought Annie the full force she also brought to her NYPD Blue gay character Abby Sullivan. Jennifer Aspen did a great job portraying Daphne and her involvement with the show.

Great job to Columbia Pictures Television. Well done Christopher Keyser and you too Amy Lippman!
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Great Series
fessany22 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This was a great series with many twist and turns along the way. Starting off, I believe it was 6 months or so after a couple is killed by a drunk driver they leave behind 5 children to care for themselves. The oldest in which was Charlie (Matt fox), was about 24yrs old or so. He had to take charge and keep his family together so they weren't split up in to foster homes. He was an average guy who liked girls and to drink and have fun. But was all of a sudden made a father of 4 kids in an instant. Next, was Bailey (Scott Wolf) about 16yrs old and throughout the series had many problems with things such as drinking, girls, and of course raising a family. In many ways Bailey was the adult. He was a take charge type person inwhich had to grow up very fast, like no sixteen year old should have to do. I could relate to Bailey's character in many ways in my own life, even though I don't drink and probably never will, I have more fun without. Now we come to Julia (Neve Campbell) she is about 15 yrs old and is going through a time in her life inwhich no girl shouldn't have a mother to talk to. Of course, she makes many mistakes such as having sex for the first time drunk at Charlie's wedding or at least we hoped would be his wedding. She also was abused by a boyfriend later on inwhich she defended his action's, but deep down knew that she needed out of that situation. She went through a lot during the 6 yrs it was on, but was a absolute wonderful character and I don't believe anyone else could of done it as well as Neve did. And now we come to child number four Claudia (Lacey Chabert) which I believe had it the hardest in many ways she is about 12yrs old and her life has changed for ever in an instant. She is such a sweet and curious girl. Lacey is so natural as an actress and I believe she will be around for as long as she likes. In her own life i'm sure being in the spotlight of millions of viewers while growing up literally in front of us had to be a difficult thing. Now the youngest of the five is Owen (Jacob Smith) inwhich was played by more then one actor when younger, but I remember him best because he had more story line during the last season or two. He was about 6 months old when the show started so he wouldn't have any memories of his parents just what his siblings tell him and from photo's. This was a great series and I would like to see a reunion movie in the future, but know that that cast will not be doing that anytime soon. I just hope that we will see all the characters in new and upcoming projects for many years to come.
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The most touching show in television history
po5mrk15 March 2000
Everyone can relate to Party of Five. The show has dealt with every major or controversial issue in society today, and they have done it with talented scripts and actors. The best thing about the show is when decisions are made, the consequences, whether good or bad, are shown as well. The Salinger family has helped many people deal with their real life problems. They will always have a special place in our hearts, even after they are gone.
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One of the best TV shows
kurksu15 June 2004
I started to see this show from the beginning and I was fascinated by the whole concept of it. The struggle for survival of the Salinger family after their parents being killed in a car accident is the plot of the story. Only five of them, Charlie (the oldest), Julia, Beily Claudia, and a little Owen left in the big family house. They had to solve all the problems by themselves, and there were lots of problems: money problems, Beily's alcoholism, Claudia teenage crisis and, finally, Charlie's cancer. They had to be strong to keep going. The show was very realistic, very often particular situations did not have a Happy end, like in other shows( Beverly Hills 90210, for example).It was fascinating, because at that time it was the only series that actually dealt with real life situation. We all know that life is tough, and the script writers dared to show it up.

The cast was just great: Neve Campbell, Scott Wolf, Lecey Chabert, Jennifer Love Hewit, all of them are extremely talented and they did their best in the show. I loved it so much! It was definitely one of the best TV shows!
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What a way to end it!
Jonathan-1324 October 2001
It's Thursday morning, 25th October 2001, and Channel 10 in Australia has finally shown the last episode ever of "Party of Five". I'm left feeling happy at such an amazing end to an exceptional show, but more than a little sad that the program is no more. Since I first saw Party of Five six years ago, I have become a bigger fan with every episode. It was a touching show, with issues and events, tragedies and triumphs, and warmth to touch everyone. Party of Five was a rare diamond on TV, a show that will be missed greatly but remembered fondly.
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Pretty excellent
Petri Pelkonen8 September 2000
Party of Five was a TV series about five siblings whose parents had died.The Salinger family were on their own dealing with the every day problems.The show ran from 1994 to 2000.It had many talented young actors like Matthew Fox (Charlie), Neve Campbell (Julia), Scott Wolf (Bailey), Lacey Chabert (Claudia) Jennifer Love Hewitt (Sarah), Paula Devicq (Kirsten), Jeremy London (Griffin) and Jennifer Aspen (Daphne).Scott Grimes (Will) and Michael A. Goorjian (Justin) left the show and came back.Too good of show to stay gone I guess.There were also great guests that were seen in the show such as the late great Carroll O'Connor of All in the Family, Wilson Cruz of My So Called Life and Boy Meets World guys Rider Strong and Ben Savage.Party of Five was a great drama series and it was also very educational.Watch Party of Five if you want to see a touching and a dramatic TV show about young people dealing with many kind of problems.
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I wish I could vote for this.
Ian-7913 August 1999
Party of Five is great. Most comments have focused upon the superb acting and I'd agree, the acting's excellent. But a rapturous round of applause must go to the directors and producers who've made the show a pleasure to watch. Best drama on TV, I'd give it 10/10 - if it were possible to vote for tv-shows.
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Overly dramatic, but excellent
shadow-547 February 1999
Warning: Spoilers
In four years, Party of Five became one of the best drama series ever created

for TV. The Salingers are the best family on TV. The cast is excellent, especially Lacey Chabert and Neve Campbell. The 97-98 season was the most dramatic moment on the show as we witnessed Charlie's cancer, Claudia's loneliness and the disastrous Julia/Griffin marriage. It was getting so dramatic, it was starting to get scary. Now it seemed to cool off a little bit as the newest Salinger (Diana) arrived. Even with all the constant fights and yelling, Party of Five manages to be one of the best shows on TV these days, rivalled only by Babylon 5 and ER. Party of Five seems endless. It still has a lot to show us.
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The BEST show on television!
papillon13_200022 January 2000
Party of Five is by far the best show on television. It deals with all kinds of problems that we face in the "real world". They have characters that are very three-dimensional and you get closer to them each time you watch the show. There is a powerful message in every show. With an all star cast (Lacey Chabert, Neve Campbell, Matthew Fox, and Scott Wolf just to name a few), Po5 is really a 90's show. You learn from their experiences and if you miss an episode, it's really not to hard to get caught up (unless you missed the episode with Derrick). You laugh through some episodes, you cry through some episodes, and in others you just scream at the T. V. The show is wonderful and I am so glad that this show was created!
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positively the best show ever
DreamChaserTHF19 November 2004
i loved this show and i never missed an episode. i think everybody had at least one character they didn't really like, but thats how it is in real life too-lol. i was so happy to find out they were bringing it to DVD. i have watched season one many times and i cant wait for the release of season 2 :). this still is one of my favorite shows of all time. my idol is jennifer love hewitt so of course she is one of my favorite characters (sarah). i also liked julia as far as the salinger family goes, and i liked griffin as well. i think they did an excellent job at casting :). it wasn't like other teen dramas that were on back then (melrose place, 90210, etc). there is nothing like it, and that is why it is so great.
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The Best Drama On Television Today
Jack-24717 July 1999
This show is the best. Unlike the other dramas on television today, this show shows it from all sides. Other shows only stick with one genre, mostly teens, but this show shows what the adults and kids are feeling. It is very rare to see this today. The acting is great. Neve Campbell, Lacey Chabert, and Jennifer Love Hewitt do a fine job on the female side, as do Scott Wolf and Matthew Fox do for the men. I hope this show continues to do well and has a successful run on television.
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Great TV Teen Drama
David, Film Freak24 September 2001
Party Of Five has had it's fair share of problems. The first two seasons were so poorly rated that Fox nearly pulled the plug after both seasons, but then, in the third season, the popularity of the show skyrocketed until it became one of the highest-rating teen shows ever. Then everyone got sick (the characters I mean), Jennifer Love Hewitt left to do a spin-off which flopped, and Fox finally cancelled both Party Of Five and Beverly Hills, 90210 in January 2000.

But anyway, the show itself was very good. Although the show mainly consisted of the main characters crying (what would you expect from a show that started out as a family who's parents are killed by a Mack truck?) the cast were always praised for the portrayals of the orphaned Salinger family.

Matthew Fox played Charlie, the eldest of the 5. Fox didn't really have much success before or after the show ended. Scott Wolf played Bailey, the resident heart-throb. Scott appeared in White Squall and Double Dragon was admired by the female fans of the show, despite him being vertically challenged.

Neve Campbell played middle sister Julia. I think Neve was the best actor on the show, and has managed to pull off roles in a diverse range of films like the 'Scream' horror trilogy, disco flick '54', the bad girl in 'Wild Things', ditzy girlfriend in 'Three To Tango', and a witch in 'The Craft'. Neve is a brilliant young actress who is getting better with every role.

Younger sister Claudia was acted out by Lacey Chabert. Although many said her voice was whiny, Lacey grew up on the show and has had her own animated series 'The Wild Thornberrys' aswell as voicing a lion cub in 'The Lion King 2' (along with Neve) aswell as starring in the 1998 flick 'Lost In Space'.

The fifth member Owen, was only a baby when the show started, and has been played by numerous twins. Paula Devicq played Charlie's on-again, off-again girlfriend, while Jeremy London was Julia's on-again, off-again boyfriend.

And the last cast member is Jennifer Love Hewitt. Famous for her roles in 'Can't Hardly Wait', 'Heartbreakers' and 'I Know What You Did Last Summer', Love did an excellent job of playing Sarah, Bailey's on-again, off-again girlfriend (what is with this bunch?).

After battling Parkinson's disease, cancer, relationship troubles, money troubles, college troubles, family troubles and more, the Salingers said goodbye last year for the final time.
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if not *the* best, one of the best....
renaldo and clara21 September 2000
.....drama TV shows today...maybe of all time. It's THAT good! I'm sure anyone who's reading agrees.

I *NEVER, EVER**EVER!** watch TV "teen" dramas(except "Five" =), at least not anymore. I feel they have too much c**p out there today, like Dawson's Creek and 7th Heaven (sorry), although I've never seen a full episode of either. Call me 'judgmental'; that's what I'd rather be than watch today's slew of pseudo teen drama on primetime.

But *this* show...I don't like to cry in general, but I swear my eyes get misty after every episode of "Party of Five". Yes, I do find certain characters annoying, though never the situations or the episodes themselves. Because everything is *ALWAYS* kept realistic. Sure, the premise is stretched (a HUGE extended family as the result of two parents dying), but definitely believable, and leads viewers to believe that though this has never happened to them, they can imagine and feel for the characters as if they were experiencing the matters first-hand.

Now, sometimes I find Claudia annoying(only sometimes), and I often find Bailey to be extremely annoying. Only because I come from a large family and can relate to the realistic approach the screen writers took when creating the siblings' characters; the dialogue, the superb acting, etc. In trying to create a self-centered/absorbed do-gooder like Bailey, a confused answer-seeking "teen angst"ish-teen, among them Charlie(my fave), Julia, Kirsten, Owen, Sarah, Griffin (is he still on the show?),and more...... everyone involved with "Party of Five" succeeded masterfully!
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Awesome!
Naomi Johnson18 January 2006
I'm just 12 but i think this show is awesome! Scott Wolf plays really good in it! Its a gripping show :D I think people should watch it even though its old, its still made very well! The actors and actresses are very talented, not just talking and specking, there good at dance. I recommend this to everyone! There very good actresses like Claudia, shes good at the violin in it. shes has grown up to be a great young actor.

I watch the show everyone times its on, and when it ends it makes me want to watch it the next time its on! i hope you now no a bit more, and keep watching it! its a great show! thanks!
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It was good,right down to the theme song!
LOTRchild8127 February 2003
This show was fantastic. I think my favorite episode was when they did an intervention for Baily's drinking problem. Lacey Chabert's portryal of Claudia in this episode was pushed to it's limits. It had me in tears long after the phone call to Baily "about Owen". PO5 also introduced me to a group called The Bodeans. If you don't know,The Bodeans preformed the theme song,"Closer to Free" on PO5. The summer after they became a hit with this was also the year TheRembrandts,another duo made popular with thier "I'll be there for you" Friends theme was sky rocketing. For almost 6 months,The Rembrandts and The Bodeans foght for radio air time,just as thier shows fought for ratings.

I love the show for the show itself,but I love it even more,for introducing the Bodeans.
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compelling, realistic drama
Joyously16 June 1999
Party of Five is a drama which really gets to you. Tear-jerking and realistic, it's an overall widespread and good drama. My only criticism is that why do so many bad things happen to the Salingers? Sometimes it does make you wonder. But despite that setback, Party of Five is a great show with an even better cast.
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I love it
Marcelo-1727 March 1999
Until '96 I watched X-files and E.R., which are very good by the way, and I thought "Those are definitely the best TV series in the world". I didn't even know Party of Five. So one day, I had nothing to do and I turned on the TV. There was something about five kids faced with the fact that the guy who killed their parents was going out of jail. An episode called Thanksgiving. Now I know the best TV series in the world.
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Great Show
tonyarea1813 July 2000
Party Of Five was a great drama, I liked it alot, its last two seasons were uneven, with some really pointless and overdramatic stuff, but nonetheless it was a great drama, my favorite seasons are 3 and 4, those were some of the most touching, intense and dramatic episodes I've ever seen on any series ever!, the cast is great but the best is the young Lacy Chabert who played young Claudia Salinger with so much realism, maturity and passion. Bottom of line, a great show, you can still watch it in reruns.
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Grossly over-rated and boring
Sabriane10 September 1999
For some people, this show is an honest, unflinching portrayal of the real life and it's tragedies. For me, it is a tedious tear-jerker which wastes its very talented and very attractive cast. The main problem with the show is that the characters are a bunch of uninteresting, annoying, perpetually whining bores.

I have nothing against angst, mind you. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of my current favourite shows, is pretty heavy on showing the pain and suffering of adolescence. But Buffy's genius is that, instead of turning into a gloomfest like Party of Five, it manages to blend tragedy and comedy into one very tasty and appealing package which is both sad and funny. In Party of Five, nothing good ever happens to the characters, it's just tragedy after tragedy, and after a while, I just got bored of seeing everybody looking gloomy, angsty and teary-eyed episode after episode.
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The best of the bets!
Lú-230 April 1999
I LOVE Party of Five! It's the best serial on TV! I like of Felicity and Dawson's Creek too, but none of them is as great as Party of Five. None has such a wonderful history. And Scott Wolf, Matthew Fox and Jeremy London are the most beautiful babies of whole TV. And Sarah and Bailey is the cutest couple in the world. The period that they stood apart because of Callie and Annie was the worst on Party. I'm so happy they're together again. When some character gets sad, you feel that (they are really good) and want to hug them and cry together.
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Party Of Babes!!
Jen-5415 January 1999
Party Of Five is the best show on T.V. It is just sooooo cool. If you're not laughing you would be crying or smiling. It has soo many talented and gorgeous girls such as Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lacey Chabert and Neve Campbell and gorgeous babes Scott Wolf and Jeremy London. I would give it a rating 100 out of 100. It is the best show and my favourite.And all you people out there that reckon it is crap go get a life and it is way better than Dawson's Creek and Felicity!!
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10/10
Party of Five is the greatest teen drama of all time!
Jordan Rochon15 April 2016
Party of Five is absolutely the greatest teen drama ever on the small screen. This is a pretty big but accurate statement. Party of Five follows the Salinger siblings and their lives, relationships, and their troubles coping with the loss of their parents. It is so beautifully written, acted, and directed. They fee (and look)l like actual siblings. Coming from a big family with five kids I know what that relationship is like and Party of Five does it superb.

One of the many things that I absolutely love about this show is how realistic the show really is, sure some things may be stretched a little but overall I would say that almost everything that occurs on this show really could happen.

I can't get enough Party of Five.

I am very surprised that the show has a 6.7/10 because it definitely deserves a much higher score.
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10/10
Interactive drama!
mswanberg-7240526 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I fell in love with Party of Five after I caught the last 10 minuets of the second episode when it first aired. I was an extremely awkward 12 year old and I had just started 7th grade. I was completely in love with Scott Wolf. I wrote him fan letters and bought every teen magazine with him in it, that I could get my hands on. I had falsely remembered that I had been obsessed with the first season but then quit watching it after. I was so jealous of Sara that I couldn't even watch. Oh my god! I was a weird child. I received the first season on DVD for my 23rd birthday. Because I thought that this was the only good season I was content only watching that one, over and over again every so often.

Then, earlier this year I bought the 3rd season on itunes. I was really just bored and thought it would be mildly entertaining. All of the sudden, I remembered that I did watch it when it first aired. By then I was a Freshman in high school. I remembered that I would pop in to watch it every now and then because the commercials kept making it seem like Bailey and Sara were going to break up. I remember being totally disgusted and almost heartbroken that Bailey had turned into an alcoholic. Now, I myself, am a recovering alcoholic. I have to say that the entire season is a very honest account of all the emotions, good, bad, and ugly, that go in to alcoholism. I commend the writers for letting a heartbreaking story happen to such a beloved character. That is exactly what alcoholism does. I think back to the horror, anger, and sadness that I felt towards Bailey back in the 9th grade and I am reminded of the way I felt about my self. It helps to bring everything full circle and to get an outside view, a glimpse at what it's like to watch someone hate themselves so much. For anyone struggling, there is hope. I have been sober for 3 years, but I have not only recovered from alcoholism but from a general frustration with yourself and life. That's what so honest about this show. Bailey's problems begin before he gets into too much trouble. This is because things aren't going his way. Alcohol at that point is his solution. That is why people feel so much guilt about their problems, even today when it is largely accepted as a disease. They feel like they have chosen the wrong solution, but it was the only one? Anyway. It is also super real how by the end of the season he is always drunk but you never see him drinking. Brill!!!
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10/10
An excellent family drama
Angelus222 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I've been watching this on 'Zone Romantica', and I have to say I am hooked.

The show revolves around the Salinger kids, whose parents died in a tragically. So, it's up to the Charlie the oldest to look after his younger siblings, but half the time; they are the ones looking after him.

This show has some of the finest acting I've seen in any other show, some of the scenes are heart-breaking, Bailey becoming an alcoholic, Charlie's cancer to name a few. Here, there isn't a happy ending...it's about getting through together and thats what the Salinger kids do....What is more interesting is seeing the younger selves of Matthew Fox, Lacey Chabert, Neve Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt giving some amazing performances, especially Matthew who isn't the 'hero' like in Lost, here he doesn't have the answers while Lacey is just dazzling; she is an amazing actress, unfortunately we haven't seen any of it since she left the show...But what's more annoying is that Scott Wolf, who plays Bailey has been undermined ever since...

A brilliant show that should have stayed longer than six seasons.
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10/10
A great drama.
sandt2-14 May 2007
I still love Party of Five after all these years.

I've just finished Season 2 on DVD - it's so authentic and brilliantly written. This series did when it aired and still makes my heart flutter.

Where is Season 3 and the rest? Hello Sony, release please!!! This is still as relevant in the 00's as it was in the 90's, brilliant casting and real story-lines.

Bailey Salinger is one of the greatest television characters ever written, he breaks your heart. The way they dealt with his alcoholism was brilliant and so real... genius.

I still miss the Salingers after all these years and I'm desperate for Seasons 3-6 on DVD so I can visit them again.

Well done cast and crew, television brilliance.
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