Power Rankings: Party of Five

15 Aug

’90s  teen drama Party of Five on the agenda this week:

(Power Rankings sum up:  Each week, we’ll pick a television show and rank the actors/actresses/contestants/correspondents/etc. based on what they’ve doneafter the series ended (unless we’re ranking a current series, in which case we’ll have to bend the rules).  Preference will be given to more recent work, but if the work was a long time ago, but much more important/relevant, that will be factored in as well)

  1. Matthew Fox (as Charlie Salinger) – It’s fair to make it a close call between the first two, but there’s a one word answer for why Fox takes home the title:  Lost.  Simple, yes, but important as well – it’s just one TV show, but Jack was the first amongst equals in the ensemble cast, and though that’s really the only major project Fox was working on for years, it’s far more significant, culturally relevant, and memorable, horrible ending or not, than anything our second place finisher has come home with.  Honestly, that’s just about it – it’s just a really big one, but I should at least mention his role in colossal flop Speed Racer, short-lived pre-Lost UPN series Haunted, and in, what I suppose might be his largest movie role, We Are Marshall.
  1. Jennifer Love Hewitt (as Sarah Reeves Marin) – While Matthew Fox would wait a solid four years from the end of the Party of Five for the role that would make his career, Hewitt was the breakout star almost immediately, and her career has pretty much gone downhill from there.  Arguably her two best remembered film roles happened while she was still on Party of Five, with I Know What You Did Last Summer and Can’t Hardly Wait.  At the time same time as the last season of Party of Five was airing, Hewitt got her shot at a spin-off with Time of Your Life, co-starring Jennifer Garner, which failed after a single season.  From there, feature film pickings have been relatively slim, with two Garfield movies and The Tuxedo, and a whole lot of made-for-tv movies.  She lasted a hard-to-believe five seasons starring in her own show, Ghost Whisperer, which reruns on PAX constantly.  Does she have more on her resume than Fox?  Certainly.  That said, all combined, I still don’t think it equals one Lost.  And this is including her musical career, topped by single How Do I Deal which peaked at 59 on the Hot 100.
  1. Scott Wolf (as Bailey Salinger)– Never with the starpower of either of the first two actors on the list, Wolf has nevertheless put together a workmanlike career of appearing in the main cast of relatively unsuccessful but at least vaguely remembered shows.  First, four years after the end of Party of Five’s run, he joined the cast of the third and fourth season of Treat Williams-led drama Everwood.  Next, he was in the main cast of the ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful The Nine (constantly confused by me with other failed pilot that year Six Degrees).  Most recently, just these past two years he was a key member of ABC’s ‘80s Sci-fi reboot, V.  Nothing spectacular, but steady, solid work.
  1. Neve Campbell (as Julia Salinger)-  talk about Jennifer Love Hewitt, squared – Campbell was as big as Hewitt at the time of the show, starring in Scream, the movie that inspired Hewitt’s hit, I Know What You Did Last Summer, along with Wild Things, The Craft, and Scream 2, all before the end of Party of Five’s run.  At that time, Campbell’s theatrical career took off in the wrong direction, but she still had some things going on, as she appeared in Scream 3, as well as the small-budget but well reviewed Panic, in 2000, and The Company in 2003.  After that, well, it’s a lot of TV movies, and projects you’ve definitely never heard of, rescued only by the resurrection of the Scream franchise and a main cast role in an extremely short-lived NBC series in 2009 I don’t remember existing called The Philanthropist.
  1. Scott Grimes (as Will McCorkle) – So here’s where it gets interesting – I wasn’t even necessarily planning on ranking Grimes – he was only a main cast member for half the seasons of the show, and frankly, I had, unfairly, it turns out, figured that he hadn’t really done much else.  Turns out he put out quite the nice little career.  He played a main character in ER for its final six years, from 2003 until 2009.  He also voices Steve Smith in American Dad, which has now run for six years itself.  He played a supporting role in Band of Brothers as well, appearing in every episode.  Oh, and he charted two top 40 adult contemporary singles in 2005, and appeared as a killer in a fifth season Dexter episode.  Not shabby at all.
  1. Lacey Chabert (as Claudia Salinger) – She’s got one very prominent movie role, as one of the Plastics in 2004’s Mean Girls, and she appeared in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, and, well, Daddy Day Care, and a bunch of things even worse than that.  That said, voice roles keep her a little more occupied.  She played Meg during the first season of Family Guy, before being replaced by Mila Kunis.  She voiced one of the Wild Thornberrys for that show’s six year run, and in the feature film and she voiced Gwen Stacy in two seasons of a recent Spider-man kids show.  Not great work by any means, but work, and pretty good for the sixth most accomplished cast member in Party of Five.
  1. Paula Devicq (as Kirsten Bennett Thomas Sallinger) – We start getting closer to scrub territory.   She was in the one season produced of the A&E Sidney Lumet created legal drama called100 Centre Street, starring Alan Arkin.  She was in six episodes of Rescue Me.  And she was in the pilot of the Dylan McDermott led TNT miniseries The Grid (of which I own a T-shirt, my favorite random pop culture shirt).  Wikipedia also describes her as “starring” in the upcoming Richard Gere movie Abritrage, and their definition of starring apparently now includes being the eleventh cast member listed on IMDB.  Moving on.
  1. Jeremy London (as Griffin Chase Holbrook) – he was a regular in two seasons of 7th Heaven, and according to wikipedia, he seems to be killing it in a whole bunch of TV movies that don’t even have their own entries.

One Response to “Power Rankings: Party of Five”

  1. E-Money August 16, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    I’ve gotta put Neve Campbell about Scott Wolf. Just as Lost elevates Matt Fox to No. 1, Scream should get Campbell up to No. 3. It was much more notable than anything Wolf has done, and she’s had enough other projects to make up the breadth as well.

    As a thought experiment, how many more people have seen a Neve Campbell post-Po5 project than Wolf? How many more people could name her based on a picture than him?

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