In the opening minutes of Freeform’s “Party of Five,” Javier and Gloria Acosta (Bruno Bichir and Fernanda Urrejola) are arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the restaurant they own and operate. They’re terrified, but also they’re confused. No, they don’t have papers. But they’ve been in America for two decades. They have five children. Why seize them now, after all this time?
“Things have changed,” one of the agents says.
So they have. Two decades ago, we didn’t have a government promising to build a wall on the Mexican border, or an administration erecting barriers even to legal immigration and refugees, or rising deaths among detained migrants, or a president declaring, “Our Country is FULL.”
And two decades ago, when the original “Party of Five” depicted five siblings raising one another without their parents, all it needed was the time-tested premise of killing off mom and dad.
Back then, the five Salinger siblings ran a family restaurant and shared a fabulous townhouse in the low-key aftermath of loss, in a community that sympathized with them. No one goes to a rally to rage against orphans.
Now, the five Acosta kids are in an ongoing trauma and a more vulnerable situation,