"A very special episode of Blossom
" is an easy punchline along the lines of how the French adore Jerry Lewis, but Blossom
really is something special. Along with Clarissa Explains It All
, this 1991 coming-of-age series ushered in a new generation of empathetic and empowering teen and tween queens. Fifteen-year-old Blossom (the enormously appealing Mayim Bialik, who portrayed the young C.C. in Beaches
) is the only girl in a house that includes her session musician father (Ted Wass), her curmudgeonly grandfather (Barnard Hughes), and two brothers, recovering addict Anthony (Michael Stoyanov) and jock Joey (Joseph Lawrence in his teen idol-making role), who is a few yards short of a first down. Mom has abandoned the family to pursue a singing career in Paris. Bialik’s high-spirited dance during the opening credits instantly draws viewers in with its exuberant girls-just-want-to-have-fun spunk, and within the first 40 seconds of the first episode, in which Blossom attempts to buy her first box of tampons, the series broke the primetime mold. Blossom
would deal with age-relevant issues other series did not, including puberty, sex, substance abuse, and hurtful gossip. Blossom was totally relatable; not quite a beauty, but neither completely a geek (her participation in marching band notwithstanding). She was smart and reasonably popular. Unlike Clarissa, Blossom did not break the fourth wall to confide in the audience. She had a rich fantasy life that illustrated her feelings. In the first episode, with no mother to talk to about the changes she is going through, she dreams of a sitcom fantasy mother, embodied by The Cosby Show
’s Phylicia Rashad. In "Rockumentary," a series benchmark, a flu-stricken Blossom imagines herself as a pampered, self absorbed rock star in her own version of Madonna’s Truth or Dare
. Not that she really needs to embellish her real life. In "I’m With the Band," she finds herself in an elevator with the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith. Meanwhile, in episode after very special episode, she and her chatty best friend, Six, (Jenna von Oy)--perhaps the best girl buddy team since Patty and Lauren on Square Pegs
--navigate the hazards of adolescence. And what exactly is a Very Special Episode? At heart, it’s the Will She or Won’t She moral dilemma. Will Blossom lie to her father about attending her first makeout party? Will she smoke a joint she finds on the bus? Will she go to "second base" with her new boyfriend? Refreshingly, Blossom
leaves some episodes open-ended, providing families with something to talk about. There are some (last time, I promise) very special bonus features, including convivial cast commentaries, the original pilot, and segments about the development of the series and Blossom and Six’s friendship. Adding to the fun are glimpses of future stars, including Neil Patrick Harris, Johnny Galecki, and Giovanni Ribisi. Some dated references aside (Hammer pants?), Blossom
’s quirky spell is undimmed. To quote the theme song, in my opinionation, it’s gonna surely shine on DVD. --Donald Liebenson
In 1991 NBC changed the face of prime-time sitcoms by introducing young audiences to an eccentric teenaged girl from a broken home on the mend. A video blogger predating the Internet, Blossom Russo (Mayim Bialik) chronicled the events of her teenage life in full, hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking detail, providing inspiration to youngsters and their families for five very special seasons.
Now the groundbreaking Emmy nominated series first two seasons, 37 episodes, are available for the first time in one deluxe DVD box set. Starring: Mayim Bialik (Beaches, Curb Your Enthusiasm), Jenna von Oÿ (The Parkers), Ted Wass (Soap), Michael Stoyanov and Joey Lawrence in the role that made him an international heartthrob!
* Original Pilot
* Blossom Trivia
* A Very Special Show: A retrospective look at the series creation and impact on television, including brand-new interviews with creator Don Reo and stars Mayim Bialik, Jenna von Oÿ, Joseph Lawrence and Ted Wass.
* A Very Special Friendship: An examination of the onscreen friendship of Blossom Russo and Six LeMeure, as well as the off-screen relationship between actresses Mayim Bialik and Jenna von Oÿ.
* Audio Cast & Creator Commentaries