Teen TV Critic

Significant Others is no Party of Five--yet. But talented actors and a topsy-turvy plot should keep you coming back for more.

By Vivian Rose

Significant Others (Fox Network), the new television drama from the producers of Party of Five is, for the most part, absorbing, but doesn't quite live up to Party of Five's standards.

The plot, which is about five friends in their mid-20s having conflict after conflict in their personal and professional lives, does keep you alert. In fact, if you blink, you could miss a critical twist.

Campbell (Eion Bailey) is your typical starving musician. Maybe not actually starving, but not doing very well in his career either. His parents obviously prefer his perfect older brother, Ben (Michael Weatherly), who is taking over the family bra factory and planning his wedding--to Campbell's old flame Jane (Elizabeth Mitchell). Campbell thinks that Ben and Jane are wrong for each other--they've only known each other six months--and he desperately wants Jane to cancel the wedding and date him again.

Meanwhile, Campbell catches his lifelong two best friends, Henry (Scott Bairstow) and Nell (Jennifer Garner), in bed together. (Apparently they thought it would be a bad idea to tell him that they were seeing each other, so they kept it a "secret," which infuriates Campbell.) Nell asks Henry to move in with her, and suggests that he quit his current job--writing pornography for the Internet--and concentrate on real writing, while she supports him financially. About three hours after telling him this, Nell's boss offers her a terrific promotion, which she promptly refuses, and quits her job! Confusing enough?

As it turns out, Henry had signed a contract to keep his current job anyway, which makes Nell angry despite the fact that at least one of them still has a job. So Nell goes to her old, but still slightly angry, friend Campbell for advice, and although he never specifically says she should break up with Henry, she gets that impression, and immediately does. So after living with her for one whole day, Henry moves out.

When she finds out that Campbell isn't interested in dating her, Nell is terribly upset. As he points out, very astutely, she can never make up her mind what she wants. Finally, Campbell refuses to make the toast at his brother's wedding because he knows his brother will soon be cheating on Jane, and that neither one will be happy in the marriage. Not to mention that Campbell still has a thing for Jane.

The actors, while not previously well-known, are all talented and portray their roles skillfully. And the way the plot keeps twisting and turning is amusing--at least for a while. But when it keeps getting turned around until you can hardly remember where it started, the one-hour show quickly becomes more detailed than a week's worth of soap operas. Someone should post an episode guide that gets updated several times during the show!

Totally Teen TV! is delighted to welcome Vivian Rose as a regular contributor. Best known for her daily film reviews on the popular Teen Movie Critic website, the Winslow, Arkansas native began her career at the age of 9 on a local radio show. Now 15, Vivian has been writing celebrity interviews for the Tampa Tribune for the past three years. She also reviews movies with adult anchor Steve Voorhies on the local CBS affiliate KFSM-TV in Fayetteville-Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

To write Vivian about this site,
contact vivianrose@ipa.net (Vivian Rose)

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