USA, NBC (Impact Zone Productions/Witt-Thomas Productions/Touchstone Television), Sitcom, colour, 1990
Starring: Mayim Bialik, Joey Lawrence, Michael Stoyanov
A 1990s teen comedy featuring an unashamedly imperfect family striving to remain a close unit in contemporary Los Angeles. Centre of attention was Blossom, a smart and mature-beyond-her-years teenage girl (13 at the series' start) who was acutely aware that she wasn't cheerleader or prom-queen material but who was determined to make the most of life all the same. Her best friend at school was the smart Six LeMuere (so called because she was the sixth child) and many of the stories revolved around the exploits of the two. At home, Blossom's father, a musician named Nick, was divorced and her eldest brother Anthony was recovering from drug dependency and substance abuse. Lighter comedy relief came with Blossom's other brother Joey, a thick lad who was obsessed with cars and girls.
In the first few seasons much was made of fantasy sequences in which special guest stars appeared in Blossom's dreams to offer her advice or empathy, but this trend was downplayed in latter episodes. Another recurring theme was to have Blossom present the stories in the form of a video diary, another nod at modernity. Later, Anthony began dating a black girl, Shelly, and the two finally married and had a baby. Nick also attracted a new love interest - a British girl, Carol - and they too were wed. For a while Blossom had a steady boyfriend, Vinnie, a streetwise Italian kid, but the writers found more mileage when she was on the lookout for romance.
Blossom may seem contrived in retrospect, a calculated attempt to create a show that touched all the bases, but it undoubtedly succeeded in striking a chord with teen viewers. But its tendency to moralise, albeit with a light touch, was still probably too mawkish for British audiences. Whatever the show's flaws may have been, though, its principal strength was its star, the delightful Mayim Bialik, who turned in a consistent and highly credible performance as Blossom.
Researched and written by Mark Lewisohn.
Mayim Bialik - Blossom Russo
Joey Lawrence - Joey Russo
Michael Stoyanov - Anthony Russo
Ted Wass - Nick Russo
Jenna Von Oy - Six LeMuere
Barnard Hughes - Buzz Richman
David Lascher - Vinnie Bonitardi (1992-94)
Samaria Graham - Shelly (later Shelly Russo) (1993-95)
Finola Hughes - Carol (1994-95)
Don Reo - Creator
Zane Buzby - Director
Bill Bixby - Director and others
Gene Reynolds - Executive Producer
Paul Junger Witt - Executive Producer
Tony Thomas - Executive Producer
Don Reo - Executive Producer
John Ziffren - Producer
Josh Goldstein - Producer
Jonathan Prince - Producer
Roxie Wenk Evans - Producer
Glen Merzer - Producer
Number of episodes: 111
Length: 110 x 30 mins · 1 x 120 mins
US dates: 5 July 1990 (pilot); 3 Jan 1991-27 Feb 1995
UK dates: 24 Apr 1992-18 Aug 1995 (107 x 30 mins, 1 x 120 mins) C4 Fri mostly 6pm
The information in the bbc.co.uk Guide to Comedy is complied from 'The Radio Times Guide to Television Comedy' by Mark Lewisohn, published by BBC Books. More information about the book is available from the BBC Shop.
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Reviews supplied by Radio Times © 2003 BBC Worldwide - used under licence from BBC Worldwide.
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