Series / Blossom

Blossom was a sitcom that ran from 1990 to 1995 on NBC as a midseason replacement series. The show centers on Blossom Russo (Mayim Bialik), a girl living with her single musician father, Nick, whose wife left him, and older brothers Tony (a recovering drug addict) and Joey (dumb jock). Often visiting is gabby best friend Six LeMeure.

Bill Bixby served as director for 30 episodes, finishing out his career before his untimely death due to cancer.

Midway through the show's run, the writers put more emphasis on the Joey character (played by pop music sensation Joey Lawrence).

Also infamous for its frequent use of very special episodes and dream sequences.

After being off the air for several years, reruns finally resurfaced on The Hub in July 2014... only to leave in October 2014 when The Hub was rebranded as Discovery Family.

This show contains examples of:

  • And You Were There: When Nick wakes her up from the dream where she's a singer, Blossom says that he was there, as were Joey, Anthony and Toto. Nick asks if she means the dog, but she actually meant the band.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Russos can be seen at several points with a can of "Shasa" cola (a knock-off of Shasta Cola; a minor, value-brand soft drink brand currently popular mainly on the West Coast).
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Late in the series, Joey confronts his mom about all the times she let him down and for being a crappy mother in general. Also, the last time that Nick's ex-wife comes to visit the family, he tells her not to come back.
  • The Cameo:
    • Mark-Paul Gosselaar plays Six's boyfriend in one episode; he's better known as Zack Morris on Saved by the Bell (another NBC show).
    • Estelle Getty appears in character as Sophia in a dream sequence.
    • Then NBC Entertainment president Warren Littlefield appears As Himself in the episode where Blossom dreams she's a singer.
  • Catch-Phrase: Joey frequently exclaims, "Whoa!"
  • Cousin Oliver: Kennedy, the daughter of the woman Nick marries in the show's later seasons, becomes the much younger step-sister of Nick's kids.
  • Dancing Theme: The opening theme consisted of each of the characters' actors dancing, in succession.
  • Dream Sequence: Used almost Once per Episode. There has been an appearance by Phylicia Rashad from The Cosby Show as Blossom's "ideal mother" in the pilot, an episode where Blossom dreams she becomes a singer, and one which doubles as the vehicle for Joey Lawrence's "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix" video.
  • Fever Dream Episode: The "Rockumentary" episode has Blossom falling asleep while watching the Madonna concert video of the "Truth or Dare" tour.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: When Six is asked about her name, she replies that her father says "that's how many beers it took".
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: Blossom is panicking over having to debate the captain of another school's debate team, until she takes this advice. She loses the debate on a technicality due to breaking an unspoken taboo about mentioning vomit, but is extremely pleased with her newfound confidence, nonetheless. The situation is subverted when Blossom's older brother is struck mute meeting a dozen Playboy Bunnies. When Blossom's eldest brother tells him to "picture them naked," the boy predictably faints from the overpoweringly sexy visual image.
  • King of All Cosmos: In one episode, Joey plays pool with a very nonchalant God.
  • Missing Mom: In this case, by way of divorce, when Maddy runs off. Unlike many series, Maddy is heard from several times, and actually shows up more than once at the Russos. (When Maddy is featured, she is played by singer Melissa Manchester.) The trope figures heavily in the Season 4 episode "Kiss and Tell," when Maddy shows up wanting to reconcile with her family. Joey is very upset and refuses to allow his mother to explain why she was never there for the important moments of his life.
  • Motor Mouth: Six speaks extremely rapid; she apparently has inherited from her mom Sharon, and sometimes they even motormouth simultaneously over each other.
  • Near-Rape Experience: A date of Blossom's tries to force himself on her, actually hitting her when she resists him. She hits back and manages to get away.
  • Newscaster Cameo: The episode "The Making of the President" features a class election between Blossom and Eddie Warwick covered by Keith Morrison, who was then chief anchor for KNBC, NBC's Los Angeles station.
  • Nice Hat: Blossom went through several. She also wore hats during the opening theme.
  • No Periods, Period: Subverted, as the first episode concentrated on Blossom getting hers.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Nick isn't very fond of Buzz Richman, his ex-wife's father and Blossom's maternal grandfather. In an unusual twist, though, Buzz doesn't seem to have anything against Nick. His obnoxiousness comes more from the way he sometimes sponges off the Russo family and the fact that his daughter ditched Nick and their children.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Occasionally happened with Kennedy (The Daily Mail quipped "(There) is never any explanation as to why the precocious Kennedy, who is meant to be English, sounds Chinese"). Later in the show's final season, the writers threw in the towel and ditched the accent altogether.
  • Out of Focus: During the second half of the show's run, Joey was more focused on.
  • Overprotective Dad: Nick, though not as much as other sitcom dads. He does however declare, "I'm going to kill him," regarding a date of Blossom's who hits her when she refuses to sleep with him, in the same tone as if he were going to invite him over for dinner.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: Blossom's parents meet after the divorce, and sleep together again. Blossom and Tony discuss it later. In another episode, Blossom is uncomfortable to walk on the clearly post-coital Nick and Carol in the kitchen (given that they're wearing robes and the early morning hour, it's obvious that she spent the night).
  • Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame: Used for scene transitions.
  • Powder Gag: Blossom and Six use this trick (blowing powder under the bottom of a window) to blind what they think is a homicidial maniac attempting to break into the house on Halloween. It actually turns out to be one of Blossom's brothers.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: To a certain extent. The intros for the first two seasons simply had Blossom dancing by herself, but the intro for the third and fourth seasons featured Joey, Anthony, Six and Nick each appearing with Blossom as their actors were credited.
  • Raised by Dudes: Blossom herself is an interesting subversion in that while she's the only female in the Russian house after her parents' divorce, unlike most examples she has typically feminine interests.
  • Saw It in a Movie Once: Blossom blinds an intruder (who turns out to actually be her brother) by blowing talcum powder in his face. When Six asks her where she learned that trick, Blossom replies "MacGyver." Also an Actor Allusion.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Done a few times. One specific example that comes to mind is a conversation between Blossom and Six about how people on TV never seem to need to use the bathroom. This discussion ends when Six announces that she has to go to the bathroom.
  • Special Guest: Phylicia Rashad in aforementioned pilot, ALF, Mary Hart from Entertainment Tonight, John Ratzenberger from Cheers... to name a few. (This was toned down in later seasons, in contrast to other sitcoms.)
  • Tampon Run: Blossom did it to herself when she had to go buy tampons for the first time. She chickened out when she saw that a cute boy from school was the clerk.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Blossom is a dead ringer for her grandmother, as revealed in the episode "Ruby".
  • Vacation Episode: In the aptly-titled "Blossom In Paris," Blossom goes to Paris to visit her mom.
  • Very Special Episode: Notorious enough to get the show mocked due to the frequent very special Blossoms (such as on Friends).
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, as Tony—after a night of heavy drinking and gambling—marries a complete stranger while in his drunken state. Eventually, Tony realizes what's happened and he and his new bride decide to make a go out of the marriage, even having a son together.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?:
    • Six, Blossom's best friend.
      Blossom: You have to admit your parents gave you a pretty weird name.
      Six: My Dad says that's how many beers it took.
    • Tony and Shelly's son, Nash Metropolitan. Nash is a relatively common boy's first name, of course, but "Metropolitan" comes from the fact that Shelly went into labor (and eventually gave birth) in a late 1950s model of the famous compact car marketed by American Motors Corporation.
  • You Are Number 6: Blossom's best friend is called Six. Allegedly because "that's how many beers it took".