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Series / Blossom

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From left to right: Jenna von Oÿ; as Six LeMeure, Michael Stoyanov as Anthony Russo, Mayim Bialik as Blossom Russo, Ted Wass as Nick Russo and Joey Lawrence as Joey Russo.

"Don't know about the future, that's anybody's guess,
Ain't no good reason for getting all depressed.
Buy up your pad and pencil, I'll give you a piece of my mind,
In my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine.
Stop all your fussin',
Slap on a smile,
Come out and walk in the sun for awhile.
Don't fight the feeling, you know you want to have a good time.
And in my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine."
— Opening theme song

Blossom was a sitcom that aired on NBC from 1990 (when it premiered as a midseason replacement series) to 1995. The show centers on Blossom Russo (Mayim Bialik), a teenage girl living in Los Angeles with her musician father Nick (Ted Wass), whose wife left him, and older brothers Tony (Michael Stoyanov), a recovering drug addict, and Joey (Joey Lawrence), a dumb jock. Often dropping by is her gabby best friend Six LeMeure (Jenna von Oÿ).

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).

Is somewhat 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. Currently on Tubi.

This show contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: At least one episode references Mayim Bialik's role on MacGyver (1985).
  • All Elections Are Serious Business: An episode plays up the absurdity by even having one of the students involved in a Clinton-esque sex scandal and Ross Perot gathering a percentage of the vote.
  • 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.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: In an episode which reenacts a World War II-era scenario, Blossom's two elder brothers portray a buffoonish detective and a bartender with a massive Hitler-stache who calles everyone "Herr" and "Fraulein". The detective eventually concluded that they have a spy in their midst — a Japanese spy.
  • Artistic License – Linguistics: Himalayas does not translate as "giant boobs", as is stated in the setup for a joke in one episode. The real translation is "home of snow". The mistranslation was a pretty common snicker-inducing urban legend among American kids around the time the episode aired.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: Blossom wears a hat in the credits. In actuality, she almost never wore a hat in the series.
  • Been There, Shaped History: An episode spoofed the former Trope Namer in a dream sequence. Blossom had this role and was responsible for inadvertently giving Michael Jackson the inspiration for the moonwalk. The parody is spoiled because the writers didn't do their research — they meet after the Pepsi commercial shoot which left him injured, which was in 1984. He first performed the moonwalk the previous year.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Both Anthony and Joey have their moments where they're protective over Blossom.
  • 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).
  • Book Ends: At the beginning of the pilot Blossom attempts to make a video diary about her life and in the series finale she makes a last one about her experience throughout five years before moving out to college.
  • Boyfriend-Blocking 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.
  • 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.
  • But Liquor Is Quicker: It's implied that Six was the result of her parents being overserved one night. According to her father, she was named for how many beers they each had.
  • 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 from The Golden Girls in a dream sequence. (Both series were aired on NBC and were produced by Witt-Thomas Productions).
    • Then NBC Entertainment president Warren Littlefield appears As Himself in the episode where Blossom dreams she's a singer.
  • Catchphrase: Joey frequently exclaims, "Whoa!"
  • Casting Gag: In the episode "Losing Your Religion," Blossom has to do a Social Studies project on Judaism — Mayim Bialik actually is Jewish.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Joey (who else?)
    Joey: Dad, have you ever gotten a girl pregnant?
    Nick: Joey, I'm your father.
    Joey: Oh. So you can't tell me.
  • Compliment Backfire: One character recently introduced to another says "I don't care what they say, you keep wearing that shirt."
  • Compressed Vice: Joey hates a gay guy in one episode, revealing a prejudice that hadn't previously been mentioned in the show. Later in that episode, his black sister-in-law tells him a story about how she faced discrimination as a child, causing him to renounce his prejudice as quickly as he developed it.
  • 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.
  • Date Rape Averted: During the final season, Blossom goes on a date with a popular athlete. She resists when he wants to do more than make out. He hits her in anger, but she manages to get away after hitting back.
  • Divine Race Lift: One episode featured God as Father Guido Sarducci.
  • 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.
  • Drop-In Character: Six LeMeure is a rare female Drop-In Character. It is implied that one of the reasons she is round at the Russos so much is that her own home life is bad.
  • Fake Guest Star: Unusual case involving Jenna von Oy. In addition to being cast as Six LeMure on this series, von Oy was also part of the cast of the CBS sitcom Lenny (which was also created by Don Reo and shared a production company and most of the production staff as Blossom); resulting in her going from the opening credits in the pilot to a Special Guest Star credit in the closing credits. Ultimately, Lenny was canceled in 1991 and by the 1991-92 seasonnote , von Oy had returned to the opening credits.
  • Fever Dream Episode: The "Rockumentary" episode has Blossom falling asleep while watching the Madonna concert video of the "Truth or Dare" tour.
  • First Period Panic: Blossom starts menstruating in the first episode. She knows about it and what it means, but her panic comes in when she has to go to the store and buy feminine hygiene products. At first she's not sure what to get - so she ends up putting everything in her cart. Then she sees that the person at the cash register is a cute boy from school. She feels so embarrassed about buying all that stuff from him that she doesn't get any of it.
  • Flanderization: Joey. Like Chrissy Snow before him and Joey Tribbiani after him, Blossom's brother started out as slightly airheaded but by the second season he'd be flanderized into a complete idiot who says things that would be too dumb even for a toddler.
  • The Ghost: Six's father, although Six frequently quotes him.
  • Glamorous Wartime Singer: In one episode, Buzz Richman is reminiscing about having met Blossom's grandmother (played in the flashback scenes by title character's actress Mayim Bialik) who is depicted as this... and also as part of the Women's Army Corps.
  • Glasses Pull: In "The Date", Blossom is assaulted by her date when she refuses to have sex with him. When she confides in her father, he takes off his glasses while declaring in a chillingly calm voice, "I'm going to kill him."
  • I Have This Friend: Inverted. Worried about Six, Blossom confides in a counselor, who of course, laughs and says,, "Why is it always "a friend"?", before Blossom reassures him that it is a friend she's concerned about.
  • 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.
  • It's Been Done: An episode features Blossom trying desperately to write a song, only to be repeatedly informed by other characters that she is unconsciously plagiarizing various existing songs.
  • King of All Cosmos: In one episode, Joey plays pool with a very nonchalant God.
  • Marriage Before Romance: Tony and Shelly. Tony—after a night of heavy drinking and gambling in Las Vegas—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.
  • Mature Younger Sibling: Blossom is the youngest of three, with older brothers Tony and Joey. However, as their father put it in one episode, "Tony has a head full of problems, and Joey... has a head full of hair." Joey is sweet but incredibly dumb, while Tony is more intelligent but also a recovering alcoholic. Blossom, with her interest in social causes and excellent academic record, is easily the most level-headed of the three.
  • 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 rapidly; she apparently has inherited this tendency 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.
  • No Periods, Period: Subverted, as the first episode concentrated on Blossom getting hers.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Subverted in an episode after being played straight multiple times within one scene: Blossom's father walks in on her and her date making out on the couch, to which she hastily babbles this, her father's date comes downstairs, making him blurt this out, then the closet door opens and Joey and Six fall out, leading Six to declare:
    "This is exactly what it looks like!"
    • (of course, this isn't true either, Six was throwing herself at Joey, who was trying to fend her off, resulting in them taking a fall)
  • 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.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: This happened in an episode in which Joey's dad has a (very indirect) talk with him about some drugs he found in his room. Joey knows nothing about the drugs and thinks his dad found condoms in his room.
  • 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.
  • Opinion Flip Flop: There is an episode in which Joey's girlfriend idolizes him so much that she agrees with everything he says, and has no will of her own other than to please him.
  • Out of Focus: During the second half of the show's run, Joey was more focused on.
  • Out with a Bang: Blossom, displeased that her father Nick plans to remarry, has a Fantasy Sequence where Nick's much-younger new wife has killed him in this way.
  • 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 about walking in 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.
  • Pizza Boy Special Delivery: There is an episode about a "mature" woman who would arrange for a new pizza boy's schedule to be filled with phony deliveries, so they could have some "private time." Who, incidentally, is named "Mrs. Robertson".
  • 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 Russo 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.
  • Sextra Credit: In an episode featuring the class president elections, Blossom's opponent turns out to have one of these deals going with a teacher. When called out for this, the teacher claims not to be aware that he's one of her students, but when reminded that she gave him an A in her class, replies "He earned it."
  • She Is All Grown Up: The second episode is called..."Blossom Blossoms". Three guesses as to what it's about.
  • Sitting Sexy on a Piano: A family-friendly version occurred in the intro for the third and fourth seasons. Nick played the piano while Blossom tap-danced on top of it in a top hat and tails.
  • 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.)
  • Starstruck Speechless: One episode has Blossom and Six going to visit NBC's offices. They run into Robert Stack and just stare at him slack-jawed while he asks them questions, the last one being "Are you alive?" before he walks off. They run into John Ratzenberger immediately afterward and are determined not to let it happen again. This time, he makes fun of Blossom's hat and walks off before they can speak.
  • Take a Third Option: On one episode, we find out that Joey recently cheated on a test because failing would have meant getting kicked off a sports team. Unfortunately, he does too well and gets promoted to a more advanced class. His options are to either try the course, fail, get sent back to his original class, and get kicked off the team; or admit he cheated, get sent back to his original class, and get kicked off the team. While discussing his problem with Anthony, they discover that the next test has a grade that has to be achieved to stay in the class which is slightly higher than passing. So, Joey decides to do well enough on the test to pass, but badly enough to get sent back to his original class. This proves to be harder than he thought.
  • 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.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: "My Opinionation", performed by Dr. John.
  • 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".