Being familiar with alcoholism, this show portrayed the disease better than any other that I have ever seen.
While the behavior of some alcoholics can indeed be considered funny, this behavior is also typical of people that have this sickness.
I never watched Party of Five very regularly until I stumbled upon the episode where Bailey was confronted by his family about his drinking, and that entire episode is one of the greatest individual shows I've ever seen on a television set.
We'll have to wait for the Season 3 release for the episodes dealing with Bailey's alcoholism. The episode you're referring to is ep 3.19 "Point of No Return". The episode after that is "The Intervention". IMO, the best of the series.
I recently bought the "Mad About You Collection" and there was a flier in there advertising other Columbia/Tristar releases. Next to the "Party of Five Season 1" pic there is a caption reading "Party of Five Season 2 Coming Soon". That's a little hopeful.