Freeform is rebooting Party of Five, this time with an all Latinx cast and decidedly Latinx premise and I am here for it. Premiering January 8, the show follows the five Acosta children after they are de facto orphaned when their parents are deported. In fact, if you’re ready to start crying, watch the siblings say goodbye to their parents at the detention center in the extended sneak peek:
Now that I’ve wiped my tears, I have questions. I see that oldest brother Emilio wasn’t born in the states. How will the politics around DREAMERs affect him? Also, will they always explain the simplest Spanish (see the dad saying “Tienes que ser fuerte, fuerte. You have to be strong” like he’s not just repeating himself)? Older sister Lucia is clearly the fighter/firebrand a la Neve Campbell — what sort of trouble will she get us into?
I’m also muy excited — there’s so much to look forward to! Check out the 5 things we can’t wait to see in the upcoming Party of Five!
The Next Generation of Latinx Stars
Since this is Freeform (previously known as ABC Family), the show features some great young actors in Brandon Larracuente (Bloodline), Emily Tosta (Mayans M.C.), and Niko Guardado (The Goldbergs). This next generation of Latinx talent will hopefully breakthrough in the same way that the previous cast did. It made stars out of Neve Campbell, Scott Wolf, and Jennifer Love Hewitt. We need more Latinx faces in front of the camera, more young people in line to be the next J.Lo and Jimmy Smits.
Real Family Values on the Small Screen
In too much media, our culture’s family orientation is portrayed as a bad thing. If you believed what you’ve watched, you’d think our families are what keep us from going away to college, escaping gang violence, and achieving our dreams. But thanks to 2017’s Coco, we finally have a mainstream example of what it looks like when collectivism is presented positively. I’m expecting more love for the family from Party of Five, with the show dramatizing the power of sticking together.
The Latinx Take on the Issues of the Day
The original Party of Five tackled the issues of the day from drunk driving to abortion. The rebook promises to do the same, but this time from the Latinx point of view. We already have the deportation premise and with Lucia’s social justice bent, there should be plenty more where that came from. I’m excited to see how the premise dramatizes how these issues can look different from a brown perspective, revealing what’s universal and what’s not.
The Creative Force of Amy Lippman & Michal Zebede
Amy Lippman created the original Party of Five with Chris Keyser. The two are back helming the reboot with twenty additional years of experience under each of their belts, so lovers of the original show should have nothing to worry about and skeptics should be curious enough to tune in. We love Amy’s work, particularly on Masters of Sex and can’t wait to see how she brings the edginess of her background to Freeform. Plus, she’s teamed up with Latina co-executive producer Michal Zebede and a diverse writers’ room to make sure the show is authentic.
The Political Implications
With immigration constantly in the headlines, this new Party of Five has the chance to shape the conversation around deportations. Too many Anglos have no concept of who Latinx immigrants really are or what it means when our family members get deported. After all, Latinx folks are largely left off-screen and when we do show up, we’re more likely to be cast as criminals and maids. So unless individuals are in community with us, that’s how they see us — poor, brown, and scary. The reboot will show fans of all races and ethnicities that Latinxs are people just like them, just as worthy of having our stories heard, just as interesting. This Party of Five is our chance to re-write the script from inside America’s living room. Tune in January 8.