Not Just Another Show

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The "Party of Five" reboot is causing some controversy.

Andrea Castaneda, Staff Writer

On Jan. 8, 2020 the first episode of “Party of Five” premiered on Freeform. “Party of Five” is an American television series based on the 1994 Fox series of the same name. Both series were created by Amy Lippman and Christopher Keyser. The program stars Brandon Larracuente, Emily Tosta, Niko Guardado, and Elle Paris Legaspi, who play the roles of four of the five Acosta children. The series focuses on the Acosta children’s lives and struggles after their parents are deported to Mexico, leaving the five siblings to care for one another and try to make it on their own. In the ‘90s version, the program focuses on the Salinger family’s lives after their parents’ death in a car crash.

Amy Lippman, executive producer of “Party of Five,” said that she and Keyser’s decision to remake the successful television series of the 1990s was way more than a case of nostalgia. “So our interest in reviving the series didn’t come about because we wanted to join this wave of ‘How can we take a successful series and repurpose it?’ ” she said. “We saw an opportunity in the zeitgeist. The story we told 25 years ago was no longer fictional; it was happening every day around the country. That seemed to be a reason [for a reboot]. And it seemed in some ways a much more urgent story to be told.”

No one could argue the relevancy of the reboot’s premise. It seems we are surrounded by issues of immigration and deportation every day on the news. And statistics from U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement website show that the numbers of deportations are, indeed, going up: “In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers arrested approximately 143,000 aliens and removed more than 267,000 – which is an increase in removals from the prior year,” the organization reported.

As the official website for the U.S, I would assume they would consider people as people not as aliens. It doesn’t matter if they are not from this country, they are still people and live lives just like anyone else. I feel like they are trying to distance the fact that they are people so the U.S citizens that are reading this don’t have a connection with them or feel bad and just disregard them. But it’s not just the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website that makes me worry about how little compassion we’re showing for other human beings. The show has proven to be very controversial, as everyone shares a different view on the topic of deportation. Some people feel that immigrants deserve to be deported as what they did is “illegal,” while others feel compassion and don’t think they deserve such a thing because immigrants only wanted a better life.

On YouTube, clips from the show are flooded with comments from these two camps. It’s sad to see how cold-hearted some people really are. They try to make the claim that this show is “total bs,” claiming the idea behind the show never would have come to the writers’ minds if real-life immigrants would just come to the U.S. legally. These people ignore the struggles immigrants face in their country and in the U.S, and they never see the hard work they put into everyday for their families.

Despite such negative comments, it seems a lot of people are connecting to the show and share the same opinions as me. Jocelyn Ruiz, a sophomore at Round Lake High School, says that “Party of Five” definitely relates to the problems people are facing throughout the country. “It’s sad to see families breaking up all because they just wanted to give their child a better life,” she said. “As I watched the series I feel like the father doesn’t really regret his choices because he knows his kids will have a better life in America.”

I really enjoy watching “Party of Five.” It’s not hiding away from the problems teens and young adults face, but also represents the type of life many people are going through because of deportation. I think I’m more emotionally invested because people in my community are going through such things. A friend I made over the summer named Melanie was going through a tough time after her father got deported and I just remember her smiling and laughing when talking to him over the phone. Once that call ended, she would just start crying. When I asked her about it she said she just didn’t want her father to worry more than he needed to, especially during this time in his life.

I’ve seen the work immigrants put into their daily lives and it truly is inspiring. It’s sad not everyone sees them for the hard work and opportunity they bring this country and instead choose to focus on stereotypes. Immigrants are human beings who deserve to live life without worry and continue to move forward with their family.