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Blossom - Seasons 1 and 2


TITLE: BLOSSOM - SEASONS 1 AND 2


Info:

DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009 (Shout! Factory)
Color/1991-1992
MSRP: $49.99
Number of Discs: 6
Number of Episodes: 37
Running Time: approx. 840 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English subtitles; Closed-Captioned.
Special Features: Commentaries (3 episodes); Original Pilot; “A Very Special Show” featurette; “A Very Special Friendship” featurette; “A Very Special Style” featurette


Introduction:

It’s time for Blossom to blossom onto DVD! Season 1 and 2 of Blossom features Mayim Bialik as Blossom in the early 90s NBC series about a young girl that is growing up in a house of all guys. The series begin as a pilot in summer 1990, and became a regular series by January 1991. It handles all of the tough and tricky issues that a young girl must face growing up, and doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to any one of those problems. And, it was the series that gave Joey Lawrence his big break into teen heartthrob status. Blossom: Seasons 1 and 2 contains all 37 episodes from the first two seasons as well as plenty of great bonus features on a six DVD set.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The series begins with “Blossom Blossoms,” where Blossom faces her first big challenge in life without her mother: buying tampons! Phylicia Rashad guest stars as Blossom’s mom (in her dream, anyway). Blossom doesn’t approve of Nick’s first girlfriend post-divorce in “Dad’s Girl.” Rhea Pearlman guest stars as Blossom’s fairy godmother. Little Richard guest stars in “Who’s in Charge Here?” Blossom sneaks out of the house to go to a makeout party in “Sex, Lies, and Teenagers.” Phil Donahue plays himself as Blossom goes on his talk show in her fantasy. Six has a new friend in “I Ain’t Got No Buddy,” and Blossom gets pushed to the side. Estelle Getty crosses over from The Golden Girls to play Sophia, Blossom’s friend that she makes 66 years later (only to lose her to Six!).

ALF guest stars in “The Geek,” where Blossom has a date with a geek (and wants to break it). Anthony must find work or leave home in “Tough Love.” Sonny Bono guest stars. Blossom is tired of the private school life and wants to enroll in public school in “School Daze.” Nick may be a father of a child he has never even met in “Papa’s Little Dividend.” In “Love Stinks,” the boy that Blossom likes has found love, and it isn’t with Blossom.

Blossom wants to go a step further in “Second Base.” Barnard Hughes makes his first appearance as Buzz, Nick’s father-in-law, in “Here Comes the Buzz!,” and he is destroying the Russo household! Blossom brings a joint home off of the bus in “The Joint,” and it doesn’t take long for Nick to find it. Will Smith guest stars in “I’m With the Band,” where Blossom and Six are on a school trip and take advantage of many, many, MANY hotel services. Joey moves to advanced English (by cheating) in “Honor?,” and it actually works out rather well for him, at least initially.

Blossom dreams of being a rock star in “Blossom - A Rockumentary.” Several well-known guest stars make cameos, including Neil Patrick Harris, David Cassidy, Dick Clark, David Faustino, Wolfgang Puck, and Tori Spelling. Nick can’t afford the mortgage payment in “This Old House.” It is time for Blossom to take the PSAT in “The Test.”

Parker Stevenson plays Blossom’s substitute teacher in “Hot for Teacher,” and she has a crush on him and lets him know that at the end of the week he is subbing in her classroom--and quickly regrets letting him know when she finds out that he’ll be back for another week! Salt-n-Pepa guest star in “The Letter,” where Blossom makes a video birthday card for her mom’s 40th birthday. Blossom has a sleepover in “Wake Up Little Susie,” and one of her guest sneaks out of the sleepover briefly to get wasted--and she sure is out of it when she comes back! Karyn Parsons crosses from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in this episode, as Anthony’s date. In “House Guests,” Six and her mother come to live with the Russo family, at least temporarily.

Tiffany Amber Thiessen is sexually harassing Joey in “Driver’s Education,” but does Joey really mind the attention? Joey and Six spy on Blossom’s date with Vinnie in “Spring Fever,” and the episode ends with Blossom and Vinnie running off with a very ambiguous cliffhanger--ahh, we have to wait until season three to see what happens next!


Packaging:

The packaging used for this set is basically pretty standard by the standards that Shout! Factory has been using lately--double slimcases. Fortunately, I think many TV-on-DVD fans can say that this is probably the most convenient form of packaging for TV-on-DVD. The cover art has a picture of Blossom, and inside, we have three of the double slimcases, as there are six discs included in this set. The case for Disc 1 and 2 has a picture of Blossom on it, the case for Disc 3 and 4 has Blossom and Nick on it, and the case for Disc 5 and 6 has Joey on it. We have seven episodes on most of the discs, although Disc 1 only has six episodes and Disc 6 only has three episodes. Disc 1 and Disc 6 also contain the bonus features. The artwork simply has what appears to be a VHS label with the series logo and disc number (which makes sense, as the opening credits have Blossom making videotapes).

We also have a nice episode booklet included with the set, which gives a complete description for each episode, original airdates, writing credits, directing credits, and guest stars. It is perhaps one of the nicest booklets I’ve seen for a DVD set, except of course for the ones included on the season sets of The Simpsons.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The main menu on each disc has videos from the episodes playing with the closing theme music in the background, and options of Play All, Episodes, and Bonus Features (on Disc 1 and Disc 6). When you select Episodes, you get a menu of episodes, where you simply select the episode and it plays immediately. If there is a commentary for the episode, it is listed on the menu directly underneath the episode title. There are no scene selection menus, but chapters are placed throughout each episode.


Video and Audio Quality:

For the most part, the video and audio quality is fine, although some of the video does look a bit dated on some of the episodes. It isn’t a huge deal, although on the original pilot (which is included as a special feature), there are some major defects with the video quality, as the picture isn’t even steady on the episode. The audio is generally loud and clear on each episode, and closed-captioning is available as well.

Most of the episodes on the set run around 23 minutes, but I am a little concerned about the fact that a few run around 22 minutes. Of course, it should be noted that these runtimes may very well be normal, as there were also episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (which originally aired with Blossom on NBC) that had abnormally short runtimes. I can’t say for sure if they are edited or not. I can say, fortunately, that it appears that much (perhaps all) of the original music is intact in the episodes.

Disc 1:
1. Blossom Blossoms (23:06)
2. My Sister’s Keeper (23:07)
3. Dad’s Girlfriend (22:52)
4. Who’s In Charge Here? (23:06)
5. Sex, Lies, and Teenagers (23:08)
6. I Ain’t Got No Buddy (23:06)

Disc 2:
7. Thanks for the Memorex (22:54)
8. The Geek (21:53)
9. Tough Love (22:53)
10. Such a Night (22:58)
11. School Daze (22:04)
12. Papa’s Little Dividend (23:09)
13. Love Stinks (22:57)

Disc 3:
14. Second Base (22:22)
15. Here Comes the Buzz! (22:13)
16. The Joint (22:54)
17. I’m With the Band (22:34)
18. Honor? (22:43)
19. To Tell the Truth (22:33)
20. Intervention (23:03)

Disc 4:
21. Run for the Border (23:04)
22. Blossom - A Rockumentary (23:03)
23. Expectations (23:03)
24. You Can’t Go Home (23:03)
25. This Old House (23:03)
26. It’s a Marginal Life (23:03)
27. The Test (23:03)

Disc 5:
28. Hot for Teacher (23:03)
29. Three O’Clock and All is Hell (23:03)
30. Losers Win (22:53)
31. The Letter (22:53)
32. Wake Up Little Susie (22:53)
33. You Must Remember This (21:53)
34. House Guests (22:53)

Disc 6:
35. Whines and Misdemeanors (22:54)
36. Driver’s Education (21:53)
37. Spring Fever (22:43)


Special Features:

The set has some pretty nice special features included, beginning with commentaries. On “Blossom Blossom’s,” we have commentary from Mayim Bialik, Joey Lawrence, Jenna von Oy, and Don Reo. We have commentary from Joey Lawrence, Jenna von Oy, and Don Reo on “Honor?” Finally, on “Blossom - A Rockumentary,” we have commentary from Mayim Bialik, Joey Lawrence, Jenna von Oy, and Don Reo.

The original pilot (22:49) is also included on Disc 1, and it shows a slightly different show than what we are used to seeing. In this episode, Blossom is worried that her parents may be getting a divorce, but by the end of the episode, we find out that everything is fine and they won’t be getting a divorce after all. Of course, by the first episode of the actual series, it is established that her parents are divorced and her mom isn’t even living in the same country. Most of the cast is the same, but Ted Wass does NOT play Nick Russo in the pilot. Instead, we have Richard Masur playing her father, named Terry Russo in this episode. Barrie Youngfellow plays Barbara Russo, Blossom’s mother. This isn’t exactly an unaired pilot, in fact, it aired on NBC in 1990, six months before the series became part of the NBC lineup. As mentioned previously, the video quality isn’t all that great for this episode, and it almost looks like a bad VHS copy.

Disc 4 contains several bonus featurettes, all of which are new for this DVD set, beginning with “Blossom: A Very Special Show” (29:45). We have fresh new interviews with creator Don Reo and stars Mayim Bialik, Joey Lawrence, Jenna von Oy, and Ted Wass. They talk about how the show came to be, the challenges with casting, and how the series came to impact television.

“A Very Special Friendship” (6:46) is a conversation between Mayim Bialik and Jenna von Oy talking about their friendship, both on-screen and off-screen. It is very interesting to watch, as it is very candid and open.

Finally, “A Very Special Style” (10:07) talks about all of the fashion statements that Blossom made--whether intentional or unintentional. We get to her from costume designer Sherry Thompson in this featurette.


Final Comments:

I knew I liked this show, but I had forgotten how much I LOVED the show! There are so many great episodes in this set, with great plots and great guest stars! Unfortunately, though, the first two seasons were probably the strongest ones of the series, but that isn’t to say it goes downhill after these seasons. This show gets a reputation is being somewhat of a “teeny-bopper” series of the era that it originally aired, but I think that is an unfair reputation. The series brought forth many relevant and sometimes controversial issues and handled them in a down-to-earth manner... even if it did mean that Claire Huxtable had to explain to Blossom what her period is in Blossom’s dream.

I can hardly wait to see the remaining seasons of the series, and I can’t stop watching the episodes in this set. It is very rare that I review a set that I literally cannot put down and stop watching. This thing has been consuming all of my free time lately! It probably helps that this is a series that doesn’t get aired too often on TV (in fact, it really hasn’t been seen in the United States in almost ten years!), so that almost makes this a rare series. Who would have ever thought that Blossom would be a rare TV series? In my opinionation, I think that this DVD should be part of your collection!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 12/31/08

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001GP5TMW/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=238539


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