"Woah!" While the show has likely faded from the memory of some fans years later, "Blossom" was a hit for NBC in the early '90's, as actress Mayim Bialik's portrayal of a girl growing up in a house full of guys was a sweet, funny effort from the actress. While neither Bialik nor co-star Joey Lawrence have done much since, Lawrence certainly capitalized on his 15 minutes of fame, playing a character most known for saying "Woah!" in times of surprise or when in trouble. One can only imagine that "Woah!" still haunts Lawrence to this day (the actor talks about the phenomenon on the DVD "making of" documentary.)
The series stared Bialik as the title character, an eccentric teenager who lived with dad Nick (Ted Wass) and her two brothers, Anthony (Michael Stoyanov) and Joey (Lawrence.) Lawrence played the dimwitted character in a way that managed to be funny and yet endearing instead of simply stupid. Anthony was a former drug addict, and Nick was a session musician who was going from gig-to-gig.
Blossom's mother divorced her father before the series opens, and some of the situations seen in the show deal with Blossom's attempts to figure out things that she would have asked her mother about (in the first episode, "Cosby Show"'s Phylicia Rashad shows up as what Blossom wishes her mother was like in a dream sequence.)
However, she does find some assistance in her fast-talking pal Six (Jenna Von Oy) - the two attempt to stumble through teenage life and figure out challenges together. Von Oy and Bialik reportedly became great friends, and the chemistry between the two is evident throughout the series - Blossom and Six's friendship remains one of the most genuine sitcom friendships in recent years. While Nick has a difficult time trying to help Blossom figure out her problems, he he means well and does his best to support Blossom and her brothers.
The series does seem dated at this point - the look, the costumes, the sets all scream early '90's. However, the show is dated in a good way - not a cringe-worthy wonder at what anyone saw in the series, but a wish that sitcoms could turn back the clock to the '90's, as they've seemingly gone downhill (with few exceptions) since.
While "Blossom"'s writing wasn't high art, the series does deserve credit for providing a nice balance between comedy and more dramatic moments. The show's honest, straightforward discussions of topics like dating, drugs, peer pressure and divorce is also appreciated, as while the show could have its emotional moments (the show started the whole "Very Special Episode" thing), the show never ventures too far into sappiness or sugarcoats the discussions too much. The performances also are a highlight, as well, with Bialik's intelligent - yet charmingly awkward - portrayal carrying the series. Overall, "Blossom" still stands up surprisingly well (better than I thought, not having seen the show in ages.)
1. 0- 1 5 Jul 90 Pilot
1st Season 1991
2. 1- 1 3 Jan 91 Blossom Blossoms
3. 1- 2 7 Jan 91 My Sister's Keeper
4. 1- 3 14 Jan 91 Dad's Girlfriend
5. 1- 4 21 Jan 91 Who's In Charge Here?
6. 1- 5 4 Feb 91 Sex, Lies and Teenagers
7. 1- 6 11 Feb 91 I Ain't Got No Buddy
8. 1- 7 18 Feb 91 Thanks for the Memorex
9. 1- 8 25 Feb 91 The Geek
10. 1- 9 4 Mar 91 Tough Love
11. 1-10 11 Mar 91 Such a Night
12. 1-11 25 Mar 91 School Daze
13. 1-12 8 Apr 91 Papa's Little Dividend
14. 1-13 29 Apr 91 Love Stinks!
2nd Season 1992
15. 1- 1 16 Sep 91 Second Base
16. 1- 2 23 Sep 91 Here Comes the Buzz!
17. 1- 3 30 Sep 91 The Joint
18. 1- 4 7 Oct 91 I'm With the Band
19. 1- 5 14 Oct 91 Honor?
20. 1- 6 21 Oct 91 To Tell the Truth
21. 1- 7 4 Nov 91 Intervention
22. 1- 8 11 Nov 91 Run For the Border
23. 1- 9 18 Nov 91 Rockumentary
24. 1-10 25 Nov 91 Expectations
25. 1-11 2 Dec 91 You Can't Go Home
26. 1-12 9 Dec 91 This Old House
27. 1-13 16 Dec 91 It's A Marginal Life
28. 1-14 6 Jan 92 The Test
29. 1-15 13 Jan 92 Hot For Teacher
30. 1-16 20 Jan 92 Three O'Clock and All is Hell
31. 1-17 10 Feb 92 Losers Win
32. 1-18 17 Feb 92 The Letter
33. 1-19 24 Feb 92 Wake Up Little Suzy
34. 1-20 2 Mar 92 You Must Remember This
35. 1-21 23 Mar 92 House Guests
36. 1-22 6 Apr 92 Whines and Misdemeanors
37. 1-23 27 Apr 92 Driver's Education
38. 1-24 4 May 92 Spring Fever
VIDEO: "Blossom" is presented by Shout Factory in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. The picture does appear mildly soft (and sometimes even a little fuzzy), but given the age of the production, sharpness and detail were satisfactory. Some minor wear on the elements was seen at times, but the show generally looked clean and clear. Colors looked bright and warm, with decent saturation and no smearing or other concerns. The show isn't exactly a visual stunner - it's a lower-budget '90's sitcom, after all - but it's given a fine presentation by Shout Factory.
SOUND: The show's stereo audio sounds perfectly fine, with crisp, clear dialogue.
EXTRAS: Mayim Bialik, Jenna Von Oy and Joey Lawrence offer a commentary with creator Don Reo for the first episode, as well as for "Blossom: A Rockumentary". "Honor?" also offers a commentary from everyone but Bialik. The commentaries aren't exactly outstanding (as there are more than a few pauses of silence), but when the group does chat, they seem to be having a great time, goofing on each other's appearance and sharing stories. The commentaries are definitely recommended for fans, although I don't think they have too much repeat listening value.
The final disc offers up three featurettes: "A Very Special Show", "A Very Special Friendship" and "A Very Special Style". The "Friendship" and "Style" featurettes are shorter and explore the show's style and the friendship between Bialik and Oy. "Very Special Show" is a nearly 30-minute documentary that provides an overview of the production, from the original plot (it was originally going to focus on the son of a musician) to casting to creating characters and the show's legacy.
Finally, we get the original pilot of the series, which has a few substantial differences (such as Blossom's dad being played by a different actor, Blossom's parents were married and Joey was named Donny.)
Final Thoughts: "Blossom" may appear a bit dated (remember Blossom's hats?), but the writing and acting still stand up better than I'd expected after all these years. Audio/video quality on this set from Shout Factory is just fine, and the set provides some very nice extras for fans. Recommended.