Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blossom: The Most Underrated Show of Our Generation?

My friends and I often discuss the TV shows we loved when we were growing up, and usually, the same few get mentioned. The Golden Girls. Murphy Brown. Empty Nest. We can never quite figure out why we loved sitcoms about senior citizens and news anchors when we were just kids (though I think a lot of Murphy’s appeal came from the running gag of her never keeping the same secretary for more than one episode), but one show that we often forget to mention – a show that actually dealt with someone close to our own age – is Blossom.

If you didn’t have a TV between 1990-1995, let me fill you in. Blossom was a young teenager (played by Mayim Bialik) who lived with her musician dad and two older brothers - recovering addict Anthony (who referenced that fact at least once every episode) and airhead Joey (yes, played by Joey “Whoa!” Lawrence.) In later seasons, the Russo family was joined by Grandpa Buzz, English stepmother Carol, and her little girl, Kennedy. Blossom also had an awesome bestie named Six, and a hunky boyfriend, Vinnie (played by Hey Dude’s resident dreamboat, David Lascher.) Episodes dealt with anything from peer pressure, to drugs, to Blossom and Six trying to snag tickets to see C&C Music Factory. On occasion, you could count on Blossom to have a dream sequence starring Will Smith, Mr. T, or ALF.

Maybe the reason Blossom isn’t so quickly remembered is because it’s not syndicated on every channel you flip to like some other shows of the ‘90s. No disrespect to Full House (I love you, Uncle Jesse!), but when I think back on all of the things Blossom gave us, I have to wonder if it’s possibly the most underrated sitcom of our generation.

Let’s consider just a few things we wouldn’t have, were it not for Blossom:

*The flower hat trend
You know what I’m talking about. These hats.

They were the single most exciting thing about “Hat Day” in school.

(And don’t even think about judging me, because even SJP wore one.)

*The greatest catchphrase in the history of the world
Forget “How you doin’?” This Joey only had one word to work with, and boy did he nail it.
You could always count on at least one “Whoa!” a week, and it was never not fantastic. It’s almost impossible to look at Joey Lawrence now and not immediately cry “Whoa!” – which is great for us, but probably not so great if you’re Joey Lawrence, just trying to have lunch somewhere.

*Fast-Talking Teenaged Girls
Okay, maybe teenaged girls have always talked fast (Please see: Kristy Swanson in Ferris Bueller), but could anyone do it better than Jenna von Oy’s Six? Every time she popped into the Russo house, you knew you were in for a speech that could give the Micro Machine guy a run for his money. And it. Was. Awesome. Every girl I knew tried to talk like her.

No one succeeded.

*Joey Lawrence’s Music Career
Don’t act like you don’t remember this album:

Or at least the hit song, “Nothin’ My Love Can’t Fix.” (Which was worked into a dream sequence of Joey’s on the show.)

The album was full of infectious pop hits tween girls went nuts over, and nobody rocked the vest-with-nothing-under-it look better than Joey Lawrence.

*A Really, Really, (Really) Awesome Opening Theme
If we learned one thing from The Cosby Show it’s that a cast dancing throughout the opening theme is solid gold – and this is so true when it comes to Blossom. The first two seasons featured Blossom dancing alone in her room, but the addition of the rest of the cast in the third season (along with some awesome running man moves from Joey L.) made “My Opinionation” one of the best opening numbers in any sitcom. Ever.

So, what do you think? Do you wish there were more reruns of Blossom so that we could get a daily dose of vests, flower hats and “Whoa!s”? Even better, don’t you wish there could be a reunion show, like they did with Growing Pains? I mean, what became of Blossom and Vinnie? And Joey’s baseball career? Is Anthony still married to Shelley? What’s Six up to these days? (Designing fascinators perhaps?) I guess we may never know, but it’s fun to dream about.

And who knows? If we dream hard enough, maybe ALF will show up.

It worked for Blossom.


  1. I watched Blossom a few times as a kid, but I was too young to really get into it. (Though I loved Six! And for some reason, I thought Joey was Blossom's love interest or at least like the Sam to her Clarissa.) They should SO play more (or any) re-runs of this show!

  2. Joey was soooo Six's love interest. Those crazy kids. They were both kind of airheads. Did they ever end up together?

    I loved the Blossom opening sequence! I remember I used to think Blossom was, like, the COOLEST dresser, especially with her overall shorts. I went through a phase where I watched Soap! the TV show from the 70s and I was a huge fan of Blossom's dad, who played Danny on Soap.

    In the "hey I remember that!" department, I had completely forgotten about Grampa Buzz and the British step-mom. Wasn't there a very special episode when Blossom finds Grampa Buzz has passed away in his arm chair? Also, wasn't there a very special episode when Anthony was dating a woman who also used to be an alcoholic and his dad didn't approve, but she turned out to be good for him, but then they broke up and he had a drink and everyone was like "Whoa!" but not in the Joey fun way?

    Long story short: I loved this show. Mayim Bialik is so much better than her second-fiddle role on The Big Bang Theory.

  3. To this day, I have 2 favorite Blossom episodes. The first is the Joey-dreaming-of-his-music-career episode. He was so hot and that was such a catchy song! I actually participated in a school lip sync contest in Jr. High as the background vocalist who sings the "Oh, oh, oh" in "Nothin' my Love Can't Fix." My other fave ep is the Christmas episode where Anthony's plugging in the tree lights from the other room and says "Hey Jo, let me know when they're working." So he plugs them in. They are clearly blinking lights. Joey yells "Ok! They're working! No, they're not working. Wait! They're working! No, no, they're not working" over and over. I am laughing just thinking about it!