Family-themed sitcoms usually present an idealized vision of family life—the ‘perfect’ family. These are your Cleavers, your Bradys, your Cunninghams, your Huxtables… But Blossom bucked this trend with its realistically dysfunctional TV family, the Russos.
Blossom was the youngest of the bunch at age thirteen, but often seemed to be the smartest and most mature of the group. She had two brothers: Anthony was a recovering drug addict, and Joey was a sweet-natured but slightly-dim hunk. Nick was their father, a session musician who was reeling from his recent divorce with their mother. Not officially a member of the family but just as close was Six, Blossom’s fast-talking best friend. Later additions to the cast included Buzz, the family’s grandfather, and Carol, a love interest for Nick who would eventually become his wife.
Blossom provided the viewers’ eyes and ears into the family situation. She kept a video ‘diary,’ pouring out her thoughts and feelings to a home video camera as she pondered the life lessons she and her family learned. An early gimmick in the show involved Blossom’s fantasies, during which she would get advice from celebrities like Little Richard, Phil Donahue, and even Alf. This aspect of the show was played down as the show progressed.
The episodes’ plotlines were often as unusual as the family itself, like the time when Blossom and Six tried to sell stolen toasters to raise the money they needed for expensive designer jeans. Grand schemes aside, the show often dealt with relevant teen social issues like teen sexuality, drug abuse, and peer pressure, and this angle made the show a big hit with pre-teen and teen girls. The show’s young female audience also loved teen-idol Joey Lawrence, who experienced some success as a recording artist thanks to his popularity on the show (his hit was “Nothin’ My Love Can’t Fix”).
Blossom was cancelled in June of 1995 after a five-season run on NBC. By this time, the star herself had blossomed into a mature young woman, and it was time to leave the video diary behind and move on.
USA / NBC – Impact Zone Prod. – Touchstone – Witt-Thomas / 110×25 minute episodes 1×100 minute episode / Broadcast 3 January 1991 – 6 June 1995
Creator: Don Reo / Executive Producer: Gene Reynolds, Paul Junger Witt Tony Thomas, Don Reo
Mayim Bialik as Blossom Russo
Michael Stoyanov as Anthony Russo
Ted Wass as Nick Russo
Joey Lawrence as Joey Russo
Jenna von Oÿ as Six LeMeure
Barnard Hughes as Buzz Richman (1991-93)
Portia Dawson as Rhonda Jo Applegate (1992-93)
Finola Hughes as Carol Russo (1994-95)
Courtney Chase as Kennedy (1994-95)
Kevin Jamal Woods as Frank (1994-95)
David Lascher as Vinnie Bonitardi (1992-93)
Gail Edwards as Sharon LeMeure (1991-93)
Samaria Graham as Shelley Russo (1993-95)
Megan McGinnis as Susan