Saturday, January 16, 2010

Episode 1.1: Blossom Blossoms

I’d been listless for the past thirteen or fourteen years but ignored the feeling, believing it to be nothing more than your basic, run-of-the-mill, middle-class ennui. Finally, last Tuesday, I decided to consult a physician who ran some tests, brought me into his office, and then proceeded to show me an X-ray of my heart and limbic system. (Actually, it was only my heart and not my limbic system. I just like saying "limbic system." Limbic system.)

"You see this dark spot right here?" The doctor asked, pointing to the X-ray.

I nodded.

"That’s a hole," he said.

"Is that bad?"

"Kinda," he said. "But do you notice the shape of this hole?"

I examined the X-ray for a few moments. "It looks a bit like...Mayim Bialik?"

"Yes, correct," he squealed. "You have a Mayim Bialik-sized hole in your heart."

"What can be done?" I asked.

"You'll have to watch tons and tons of 'Blossom,' Amber. 'Tis the only cure."

"Sounds great," I exclaimed. "I love 'Blossom' and I also love that you just used the word 'tis."

"Thank you," he said, massaging his goatee. "Now get outta here, kid."

We hugged heartily, then I went home, watched the "Blossom" pilot, and wrote the first of Nostomanic's "Blossom" recaps.

Background info for the uninitiated: 
Blossom Russo is a precocious teen girl, living with her father Nick (a musician often shown seated at his piano), and older brothers, Joey (moron) and Anthony (recovering druggie). Her mother abandoned the family to pursue a singing career and her best friend is the improbably named Six. Blossom dances, wears flower hats, and is, in my opinion, super cute despite certain prominent facial features.

Things commence with our fourteen-year-old heroine attempting to buy her first box of tampons. Her plans are thwarted, however, by the cashier, a boy from school (played by a squeaky-voiced Giovanni Ribisi). You see, she doesn’t want him to know how operational her ovaries are so she pretends that the tampons aren’t hers. Luckily, Six drops by her house later that day, bearing gifts of menstrual cheer--boxes of tampons and pads. The two girls talk about periods for a while and then we get to the heart of things: Blossom wishes that her mother were around to tell her which brand of tampons to buy (I’m paraphrasing).

Six leaves and Blossom goes down to the kitchen, where her brothers are chilling, to get some ice cream (of course). Oblivious to all the menstruating that is going on inside of their kid sis, they treat her as they would on any other day. But seeing as her uterus has just shed its lining, she’s totally cranky, bitches them out, and when she leaves the kitchen, they stand around oafishly wondering what that was all about and saying things like, "Was Blossom acting weird?" And, "Me dumb man, me no understand women," as drool oozes down their chins.

Later that night, Blossom fantasizes about what it would be like if her mother were there to help her through this tumultuous change in body chemistry.

(Her mother is played by Phylicia "Clair Huxtable" Rashad. Truth be told, I didn’t know that this was a dream sequence at first and thought that maybe Blossom was half black. But then I noticed the camera’s soft focus and understood that I was supposed to be laughing--not only because in this dream her mother is one of the most recognizable moms in TV history, but also because this woman is black and Blossom is white and that’s really, really funny.) Eventually Blossom breaks down and tells her father about her period (but surely he would have put two and two together when he washed the panties she wore the day she was too embarrassed to buy those tampons). Dad calls her brothers into the living room and announces that Blossom got her period. Naturally, she’s mortified.

Blossom and Dad reconcile off-screen, he braids her hair, and the family goes out for Chinese food to celebrate, but not before Joey asks about period rules--"Do I have to knock on your bedroom door before I come in now?"

The question is not answered.

The verdict:
The creators of this show were evidently trying to pound us over the head with Blossom’s pubescence. Not only is her name Blossom, but the pilot is about her first period. In spite of any heavy-handedness and all of the menstrual clichés, this episode is awesome. It’s actually kind of scary how great Mayim Bialik is--she has the remarkable ability to breathe life into flat, hackneyed dialogue.

Bonus Features:

Blossom Intro from The Amber on Vimeo.


Ally said...

I loved this show. It's funny, I worked at a teen mag and in the closet they had a ton of Blossom dolls from years ago. Ha ha! I remember I wanted to steal a Joey doll. I thought Joey was a cutie back when he was on "Gimme A Break" :)

Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing

Ally said...

PS I love your site!!!

Amber said...

Thanks Ally! And I had one of those Joey dolls when I was a kid...or actually I have one in the garage somewhere. I think I might have to liberate that thing.

Grant said...

You are in my opinionation one of the funniest and cutest ladies around.

Amber said...

Aw, Grant. You just made my day.

Ames said...

I loved Blossom when I was younger ...did Mayim ever go onto much else?

Amber said...

She was one of those really smart child actors who went to college and then led a normal life. I think she was on an episode of "What Not to Where" not too long ago.

Helen said...

awesome dancing, keep it up :p

nikki said...

Whoa! I loved Blossom more than I thought possible. I wanted to BE Blossom! Or at least have her name.

Off to YouTube to watch old episodes!

Sadako said...

Phylicia Rashad played her mom? Which is weird b/c I always thought Clair Huxtable was anything but warm and sweet...

Great post!

Melanie's Randomness said...

Blossom was my life for years!! I can still remember Joey going "Woa". This show taught me alot. Great post! I really enjoyed reading this. =)

rogue evolent said...

I agree! I like your blog Amber, and your writing is spritely, funny, and full of good cheer! I'm going be a followin'

notthatkindofgirlblog said...

"I’d been listless for the past thirteen or fourteen years"

You are a genius. Write a novel. Preferable a detective novel, to take advantage of this hard-boiled narrative voice.

Sally-Sal said...

I think the thing that made Mayim so awesome was her prominent schnoz.

Glad she didn't follow Jennifer Grey's lead and lop it off.

Nobody puts Baby in a corner! (Her nose gets in the way)

herestheproblem said...

Remember when Katie Holmes did that pre-taped dance for Dancing with the Stars and donated whatever money (not sure how that made any money) to a foundation that helps kids learn how to dance (as if that's really what stars need to give money to...)? Anyway, you're 100x better than her in your video. I love it so much. Yay you!

itsmyturntotype said...

lol I watched Blossom ALL the time. You are a genius for doing that.

Sarah said...

This should totally be made into some kind of cardio workout video.
You're adorable!