Meet Emilio Acosta (Brendon Larracuente), a hunky musician who is more interested in his own goals (and the ladies) than taking care of his siblings. Will he step up once his parents are sent back to Mexico? “You’re forced to do things that you have to do, not that you want to do,” says the actor about his character. “But that’s what life’s about, making adjustments and hitting the curveball when it comes your way.”
Her parent’s deportation impacts the entire family but for teen Lucia (Emily Tosta), the A-student starts to have problems at school. “She’s finding out these things about herself and she’s finding this anger towards the situation. She’s tries to find an outlet onto which to release that anger,” explains Tosta.
Niko Guardado, who plays Lucia’s twin, Beto, admits that he watched some of the original Fox series. “I watched the first couple episodes of the first season just out of guilty pleasure,” he says. “But these are different characters and different hardships so that takes the pressure off of having this huge show that was a phenomenon and rebooting it.”
For Valentina (Elle Paris Legaspi), her parents’ deportation makes her want to grow up.. fast. “She has way more responsibilities that she has to take care of but she’s really just trying to keep the family together.” The actress and costar Tosta also got together to watch some of the original series. “It’s very addicting,” she laughs.
While the Acostas have their lighter moments together, trying to get their parents back to the States is a part of the story that doesn’t go away after the pilot, for good reason. “Through this show we just want to pay homage to the people who are going through these struggles and we just want to make this story as raw and authentic as possible,” says Larracuente.
Raising their little brother, Rafa (Arianna/Brianna Cardenas here with Guardado), the Acosta kids don’t have a lot of time to get used to their new situation once their parents are sent back to Mexico. “It just parallels the quickness of how many lives change in real life,” says Guardado.
Larracuente says that fans of the original show will find some Easter eggs in this reboot. However, he points out the Freeform series is its own show. “We do pay homage to the show in some ways that original fans who play close attention to will see, like the swing episode you’ll see in the pilot. But it’s its own entity,” he says.
Reboots come and go but one notable reboot premiering this week is less of a looking back at yesteryear but very much looking at today.
That reboot is Freeform's Party of Five, which originally ran on Fox from 1994-2000 and followed the five San Francisco-based orphaned Salingers (their parents died in a car accident) and introduced audiences to stars Matthew Fox, Scott Wolf, Neve Campbell and Lacey Chabert.
'I'm wishing them all well,' the original series' star said about the reboot's cast & crew.
Now, in this new version from executive producers Amy Lippman and Chris Keyser, who also created the original series, the family is now the Los Angeles-based Acostas, who are left to fend for themselves when their parents are deported back to Mexico. The immigration issue is very much a part of this show but so is the daily trials and tribulations of the family as they try to survive without their parents.
Click through the gallery above for a breakdown of the Acosta family and what you'll see in this new, very relevant Party of Five.
Party of Five, Series Premiere, Wednesday, January 8, 9/8c, Freeform