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The 1998 Fox television series Significant Others amounted to six episodes (three of which never aired) before cancellation, but this two-disc set strongly suggests that the witty, nimble dramedy from the creators of Party of Five deserved a longer run. In a nutshell, PO5 went on hiatus in '98, and irritated fans of that series ignored replacement program Significant Others, which follows the career and romance hassles of three twentysomething best friends. Fox pulled the plug on Significant Others very quickly, but fans of actor Scott Bairstow (who went on to a recurring role on PO5) and two terrific actresses, Jennifer Garner and Elizabeth Mitchell (who next turned up in the PO5 spin-off, Time of Your Life), should definitely look into this truncated project.
Bairstow plays Henry, an aspiring writer reduced to churning out website pornography and inexperienced enough to enter, wide-eyed, into an affair with his older, married boss. Campbell (Eion Bailey of Band of Brothers), in defiance of his parents' wishes, stumbles through initial steps to become a producer of children's videos; he's also coping with the shock of discovering pals Henry and Nell (Garner) are getting it on and that an old girlfriend (Mitchell) is marrying his shallow, older brother. Talented Nell, destined for big things but afraid of commitment, hops from one important job to the next and develops an attachment to her absent father's best friend. As with PO5 (and Sisters, another primetime series from some of the same producers), Significant Others treats serious topics with smart dialogue and enough of a light touch to make the series feel comforting and familiar. Still, that's not enough for the irrepressible Garner (Alias, 13 Going on 30), whose enchanting, tragi-comic performance on this series is almost larger-than-life and reminds one of such Golden Age stars as Jean Arthur and Ginger Rogers. --Tom Keogh