Sometimes reboots seem superfluous or without much of a fresh point of view than the original source material, but the new Party of Five cast will revive the popular '90s series to tell a timely story about immigration in America. And really, it's the perfect series to take on such hefty subject matter.
In the original series, which aired from 1994 to 2000, five siblings were left to their own defenses after their parents died in a car accident. In the reboot, five children are left to their own defenses when their parents are deported back to Mexico in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid. For creators Amy Lippman and Chris Keyser, all the horrific stories of deportations in the news suddenly became their "reason to do [a reboot]" rather than just to blindly "capitalize on reboot culture," according to Variety.
To flesh the story out and make it sadly all too true to life, the team behind the cameras made sure to talk to undocumented immigrants, attorneys who represent clients up for deportation, and those currently protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy (unless the Trump administration is successful in their attempt to end the protection for children brought to the country by their parents).
The end result is a Party of Five that's fitting for our current political climate, with a cast of talented actors taking on these tough subjects.
Brandon Larracuente As Emilio Acosta
Larracuente's character Emilio is the equivalent of Charlie Salinger from the original, according to a Deadline rundown of the Acosta children. He's the oldest child in the Acosta family and an aspiring musician. According to Variety, he's also a DACA recipient, so he's worried his protection may be taken away and he'll be deported like his parents.
If Larracuente looks familiar, it's likely because he played Jeff Atkins in 13 Reasons Why and Ben Rayburn in Bloodline.
Niko Guardado As Beto Acosta
Beto is the equivalent of Bailey Salinger. Like Bailey, Variety reported that he's the middle brother and also the "most maternal." Deadline reported that his character will step up to help take care of the family, a role he excels at versus his struggles with socializing, sports, and school in his regular life.
Outside of playing Beto, Guardado is known for his role on The Goldbergs as Rubén Amaro Jr.
Emily Tosta As Lucia Acosta
Lucia is the Julia Salinger of the bunch. Per Deadline, she was on the fast track to a great college and was excelling in school, but her parents' deportation causes her to act out. She's especially angry at the political system for what happened to her parents and becomes an activist for immigrant rights.
Before joining the reboot, Tosta appeared in Mayans M.C., The Resident, and Rosewood, among other projects. This role will be a little meatier than some of her past ones.
Elle Paris Legaspi As Valentina Acosta
Valentina and the original show's Claudia Salinger have the most in common. The 10-year-old Valentina has a lot of personality and is very resourceful, according to Deadline. She's coming of age at a time when her mother isn't around to show her the ropes of becoming a young woman, but hopefully her siblings will help in whatever ways they can.
The young actor already has a lot of Hollywood experience, appearing on Vida, Animal Kingdom, On My Block, and more.
Lennox and Maverick Ashby As Rafael Acosta
The baby of the Acosta family is played by a set of twins, as is customary in Hollywood to prevent one child from working too much. This seems to be the children's first role.
Bruno Bichir As Javier Acosta
Javier is the father who gets deported and has to leave his children. It seems he's taught them many lessons over their lifetime about being strong and resourceful, so hopefully they can keep that in mind as they deal with this immeasurable loss.
Before taking on this role, Bruno Bichir was in Absentia, Narcos, The Bridge, and more.
Fernanda Urrejola As Gloria Acosta
The children's mother is played by Fernanda Urrejola, known for her role in Netflix's Narcos: Mexico. Per the trailer, she is devastated to leave her children, as any mother would be. It's heartbreaking to watch.
Garcia As Matthew
According to another Deadline article, Garcia is playing a character named Matthew who ran away from home when things became too toxic there. The character is described as "guarded and street-smart, and while he becomes close with a new friend, he doesn't want anyone’s help — not when he can figure it out on his own."
Viewers may recognize Garcia from Netflix's Tales of the City.
Sol Rodríguez As Natalia
Natalia becomes the Acosta's babysitter when their parents are deported, according to Deadline. She can be laid back, but she also knows when she has to put her foot down with Emilio, the oldest Acosta sibling. She's played by Sol Rodríguez, whom fans may recognize from her role as Daniela Mercado on Devious Maids.
Elizabeth Grullon As Sully
Another Deadline article reported that Sully is an activist who falls into Lucia's orbit as the Acosta sibling gets involved in the political sphere. Sully becomes an inspiration for Lucia's activist work.
Before joining Party of Five, Grullon has had small roles on shows like The Catch, Scandal, and Criminal Minds. She also voices video game characters.
Meet all of these characters and hear their story when Party of Five premieres on Jan. 8 on Freeform.