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Lameness Dancing on a Piano: Blossom and the Russos

posted by B on 6/26/01

The world "puberty" is defined by the America Online dictionary (taking out all the "LOLs" and "ROFLMAOs") as "the condition of being or the period of becoming first capable of reproducing sexually marked by maturing of the genital organs, development of secondary sex characteristics, and in the human and in higher primates by the first occurrence of menstruation in the female." So how fitting is it that, being a man, the most prominent example of televised puberty makes me want to discharge blood, secretions, and tissue debris from my uterus?

Don't know about the future, that's anybody's guess
Aint no good reason for getting all depressed
Fire up your pad and pencil, I'll give you a piece of my mind:
In my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine.

The cultural abomination pleasantly titled "Blossom" debuted on NBC television on July 5th, 1990. Being a ten year old boy, and not quite ready to accept quirky girls as quality television (that would come later, with the platform-shoed birth of the Spice Girls), I watched it with teary eyes hoping my prepubescent sadness would end quickly. Blossom, complete with floppy denim hat and a nose that could make a man of weakened faith pray for salvation, lasted for 110 episodes.

Imagine that...110 Monday nights learning about all the problems of a family of rich people...110 nights pawing innocently at my television, trying to wonder why God had made my life so awful...and, if you say maybe three an episode, 330 moments of my life wasted watching Joey Lawrence go "whoa." The 90's were a dark, dark time.

Stop all your fussing, slap on a smile
Come out and walk in the sun for a while
Don't fight the feeling, you know you wanna have a good time
And in my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine

In a nutshell, Blossom (oh no, I'm Blossom, and I'm inside of a giant nutshell! oh oh, where's mom to teach me about condoms, etc.) was the story of a girl without a mother trying to understand what it means to grow up and grow out in a complicated world. The world becomes unusually complicated when you consider the interesting but (when it comes down to it) worthless bunch of sitcom cronies she called family. They all fit into neat little categories (the dumb one, the sassy grandpa, the narrow-minded parent) but were all overflowing with a lameness that would make Steve Urkel blow his nose and laugh like a normal person.

But on second thought, If I had to learn about puberty in a family that featured Joey Lawrence predominately I probably would've shot up my high school. And then I would've blamed it on Eminem! I ain't mad, I just think it's fucked up he don't answer fans. Actually, I'm considering going back to high school and splattering some carcasses anyway, because I just remembered that in the theme song Blossom's dancing around in a skirt made up entirely of neckties.


Blossom still holds my vote for "creepiest protagonist in a prime-time series." She was supposed to represent the "innocent flower" in all of us, but spent most of her time doing backflips and dancing around on top of a big piano. To make matters worse, she kept a continual "video diary" of her life's events, a "super keen" use of "modern technology" to show that Blossom's no "old timer," and that she could go back and "watch her problems" to "get a better perspective" or, if she's feeling kinky, all that "butt sex" she had with her boyfriends. Seriously, she might've had a face you'd want to hang your jacket on, but any horny teenager with a video setup's gonna have guys knocking down her door.

What's the matter, never seen anyone from the planet Vulcan before?

I can't stop using those annoying little "quotation marks" when I talk about Blossom. I feel like Chris Farley, only without the life-destroying issues. Did you SEE "Almost Heroes?" If I had to play off the charisma of Television's Chandler Bing I would've humorously bumped myself through a table until the drugs took control of my heart and I died.

Anyway, Blossom's fun didn't stop at being an ugly voyeur. She really DID seem to have a serious, life-ending problem every 22 minutes. Digging her snout into all the problems of America's youth (teen pregnancy, condoms, minor league baseball, and one very special episode where 30 year old David Schwimmer tries to nail her best friend in a tree house), Blossom never failed to come through it all a better person. Most of the time a better person wearing awful, awful clothes. I'm not going to start pretentiously smoking cigarettes and making vacant looking men model ill-fitting underwear or anything, but even the straightest arrow in the quiver knows that an ugly chick looks uglier wearing polka-dot overalls.

Blossom's horrible life was also laced with pretty boy boyfriends, including my own personal cult hero David Lascher, better known to the world as Ted from "Hey Dude."

You cain't hitch a ride if you cain't hold on!
Or, "Hey Dude, you're an Indian."

We started this site back in February, and since then I've admitted to continually watching Full House, Pokémon, Sailor Moon, and Family Matters. You may just be saying to yourself, "B must be tired of being attractive to girls." That couldn't be further from the truth. You'll never see me admit to watching an episode of "Hey Dude." Even the one where Danny must choose between his friends and his Native American heritage.

Frequently Asked Question: Hey B, have you ever watched Hey Dude?
Answer: No, not even the one where Ted handcuffs himself to Brad, and hilarity ensues. I mean, hilarity doesn't ensue.

It's a little wild and little strange, when you make your home out on the range!

Ted...I mean Vinny's role on Blossom was to show up in his HARDCORE leather jacket and be a negative role model for our crescent faced protagonist. He was detested by Blossom's father because Vinny's from the "wrong side of the tracks." Those checkered-shirts and perfect teeth and All-American good looks are not what his daughter needed, thank you! I'm sure Nick was watching Nickelodeon that afternoon when Ted tried to go a week without using items influenced by Native American culture. Nick knows Danny was right, you fucking ingrate, show some respect for somebody else's culture.

JOEY Russo

Joey is, unfortunately, one of those brilliant shining stars of popular culture that we will all remember and roll our eyes at. When you're ninety-five years old and sitting on your porch, watching the flying thinking dog robots zip around fighting giant monkey cyborgs, turn to your freethinking automaton butler and say "WHOA!" He'll roll his eyes and go "God, Joey Lawrence, that show sucked." Then you'll make him go into that Mr. Belvedere routine and he'll shoot you in the face with a laser. "Whesssley!"

Anyway, Joey (played by Shakespearean Legend "Joey" Lawrence) was the Kelly Bundy to Blossom's Bud. He was the vacant sexpot, the secondary viewer proxy for the male contingent, who feel that women see men as brainless pop singers with feathered mullets that they want to have sex with. Or not, I'm not sure. The big thing about Joey's character is that he is a complete and unmitigated moron, but it's SUPERFICIAL...he's not ACTUALLY dumb...he's just PLAYING dumb! This is what was pushed down our throats for the aforementioned 330 moments of Christ punching, and was probably what they told Joey when it was time to renew his contract. Most of the time he was on screen he was trying to push the flippy ends of his hair past his butt cheeks so he could cram stubbly head into his ass.

There's Nothing My Love Can't Fix (for ya baby)

Since Blossom, Joey's been on a few failed television projects, most notably starring as "Joey" in "Brotherly Love." THAT sculpted pile of Disney crap proved the Lawrence parents were the dumbest human beings on Earth. Joey was the first one, and they were SOOO PROUD OF HIM that they had two more? That's like spawning an acid-spewing alien from your stomach and then eating a bunch of hive eggs so you can do it again. BEFORE Blossom, Joey starred as "Joey" in "Gimme a Break," as the white kid amongst Nell Carter's giant rolls of fat. Legend has it that Joey lost a lot during the filming of that show, including his desire to find women attractive. Why do you think the "WHOA! (laugh track)" always seems so forced?

Another legend has it that the Lawrences produced another Joey to replace the one Nell engulfed, either by eating or while carelessly placing the vacuum cleaner in the fish tank.

Ah, who cares about Joey Lawrence. Right now he's starring as "Joey" in "Unemployment Line." WHOA! (laugh track)


Syxx was in the nWo until she was fired (by FedEx) and jumped ship to the WWF. Now she wears gay overalls and dances around like a cowboy before she goes for (and subsequently, misses) the Bronco Buster.

That was an awesome reference to wrestling. I'm such a great writer!

In my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine on our hideous faces.

Anyway, Six (played by Jenna Von O˙) was Blossom's best friend, the "kooky one" who was always ready to defy all the morals and do all the bad things that Blossom herself would never do. Here's a short list of everything she did wrong:

1. Underaged drinking
2. Petty theft (which we'll get to in a moment)
3. Stealing job opportunities from Blossom
4. Bulimia
5. Wearing giant hats
6. Anorexia
7. Hooking up with David Schwimmer in a tree house
8. Speaking in tongues

And the list goes on and on. Jenna Von O˙ (as in, "Oy, I want to strangle her") was by all accounts a geek, but she was deeper than a geek. She was a hyper-enthusiastic geek with her grubby little hands in everything that was going on. For the more educated religious scholar readers of Whatever-Dude, there is some credence to the theory that Six is, in fact, the Antichrist. Everyone knows that to evoke a specific demon one must say it's name three times.

Six gave us (quite possibly) the greatest fifty seconds in television history. More on that later.

TONY Russo

Tony was the most groundbreaking character in television history. Not only was he a junkie with severe emotional scarring, but he LOOKED like a junkie with severe emotional scarring. Maybe I just don't know how to rate the physical attractiveness of men, but I was always scared that Tony's head was gonna split open and the Violator was gonna pop out.

Look at him, you know he's gonna try to rip your heart out.

Tony is to Joey as Six is to Blossom... the big drag on an otherwise wistful life. Tony was present on the show to tackle all the issues that the "normal" people couldn't handle. Drug addiction, gambling, interracial marriage, and alcoholism just scratch the surface. Other than 90210's Jennie Garth being raped and killing people every week, Tony's got my nod for most tragic. Later on in the series he got his act together, got married and started a family. He even got a steady job, driving ambulances and becoming a big Martin Scorsese allegory for Jesus. He even once turned water into wine, and then drank it all. Tony rules.

NICK Russo

Nick is the patronizing parental figure of the show, simultaneously making adults look like deluded hypocrites not able to make decisions for themselves and drawing dangerous parallels with David Seville from Alvin and the Chipmunks. Occupationally, Nick is a studio musician, who has a giant piano for Blossom to dance on. With his bad haircut and ill-advised earring, Nick was the show's big gimmick - a "shoot first ask questions later" parent who is too caught up in what's going on in his own life to realize that one of his kids is a junkie, one of his kids keeps a video diary to keep herself sane, and one of his kids is a Lawrence brother. Danny Tanner would just stand there spraying Windex in his eyes until he died, out of rage.

As touched on previously, Nick hated Vinny, because he was a bad kid. Vinny got into an Ivy League school, was always perfectly groomed, and was nice to Blossom. Nick was always grounding Blossom for leaving the toilet seat down but let Tony snort twenty grams of coke and drive an ambulance around. Carl Winslow would've given Nick the stinkface and done the Urkel Dance over his limp carcass, out of rage.

Nick Russo...America's worst parent. And take out that stupid earring.


We're gonna eat our prayers, say our vitamins, and kick your ass! Kick your ass! Kick your ass!

Vince Russo was the kind uncle who was always making Blossom and Six wrestle in pudding. Haw haw, just kidding! SWERVE!!! SCREW YOU HULKSTER!

Other characters included no less than the following:

- Sassy grandpa "Buzz"
- Interracial wife Shelley
- Nick's illogical European girlfriend/wife Carol
- Carol's EVER SO PRECOCIOUS brat Kennedy
- a bulldog named "Winston" because he's British
- Threatening ex-husband The British Bulldog

And so on. The very lame transparency of the show is what makes it so memorable. Everybody's got a gimmick, everybody is feuding with everybody else...those allusions to wrestling aren't too far from the truth. If wrestling was about a teenage girl going through puberty (and having dream sequences that feature Alf, no lie) it'd be the same damn show.

Blossom could be seen as Full House with less people, but it's more than that. Blossom was never afraid to be completely bizarre, devoting two-part episodes to dream sequences (like when Blossom believed she was in the Wizard of Oz) and one time when Joey played pool with God in Heaven's rec room. This could explain both why Joey Lawrence kept his job, and why the show stayed on the air so long. They were all just insane, God-fearing people.

They did, however, give us the greatest fifty seconds in television history. It turns out that Blossom and Six wanted to raise money to finance the purchase of a pair of designer jeans. I'm not sure who the designer was, it sounded like "Nikki Kyoshi," but maybe that's an Asian Porn Star. Who knows.

Anyway, they were having a garage sale and were suddenly (AND WITHOUT PREJUDICE) arrested for the panhandling of some hot toaster ovens! Yes, Six had lifted the toasters because she wanted to buy a pair of jeans.

After they're bailed out, and after Blossom asks the question on everybody's mind ("why didn't you just steal the jeans"), Six is reprimanded by her mother.

Mom: You have 30 seconds to explain what happened, and it better be good.

Six: Mom, the truth is I don't have any explanation. Some of the older girls at school were talking about how cool the Nikki Kyoshi jeans were, and how geeky the jeans I had on were, so I took the money you gave me for jeans, and I went to the store and I couldn't even afford a Nikki Kyoshi pocket patch.

Mom: So you went to the next logical step and started stealing home appliances!? Honestly, Six, stealing?? I never thought you and I would be in a conversation about stealing! I didn't think you were the kind of person who could do something as terrible as this!

Six: Mom, I'm not that kind of person, it's, like, when you go to school and everybody's wearing the kind of clothes that you want, and I don't have that kind of money, and you don't have that kind of money, and now with Dad gone, I mean... I'm not trying to blame this on the divorce, but we just don't have that kind of money.

Mom: I can't believe that you'd think that money is the kind of thing that will make you popular when you know what really counts is what kind of a person you are inside, and that doesn't come from labels, or the right kind of shoes or the right kind of material or that kind of stuff.

Six: Yeah, well, I've got what you're saying in theory, Mom, but in reality it's just not like that. [Mom: Whuh?] I can't just be this really good person who'd just dress up in a bag, and nobody cares about that and accepts me for who I am inside, and...

Six and her Mom in sync: ...I don't have to tell you you're in very big trouble... [Mom: You are] [Six: I know that] ...get out and and march yourself out the door and over to the house and up to [Mom: your] [Six: my] room and...

[fades / goes ultrasonic / drowned by crowd]

My name is Blossom, and my anti-drug is toasters.

There's more to this show than I could ever understand. So I'll just leave it up to our heroines, Blossom and Six, to explain things FOR me.

Blossom: Do you think she'd be just as popular if she didn't wear the jeans?

Six: She'd be more popular: she'd be naked!

(laugh track)

AIM NotAGoonie
WHOA! Please don't steal the toaster




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