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Blossom: Seasons 1 & 2 (DVD Review)

18 Jan, 2009 By: John Latchem

Blossom DVD

Street 1/27/09
Shout! Factory
$49.99 six-DVD set
Stars Mayim Bialik, Jenna von Oÿ, Ted Wass, Michael Stoyanov, Barnard Hughes, Joey Lawrence.

Our long national nightmare is over. “Blossom” is finally on DVD.

The sitcom that helped define a generation with its penchant for “very special episodes” could have been very different. According to creator Don Reo, the show was originally called “Ritchie,” and was about a teenage boy. Network executives wanted to focus the show on the script’s kid-sister character, named Blossom.

Reo’s inspiration was to make a TV version of The Catcher in the Rye, filled with stories of teen angst. With the focus on Blossom (Mayim Bialik) and her friend Six (Jenna von Oÿ), it became something of a teenage version of “Laverne and Shirley,” with lots of  “special episodes” about sex and dating.

Reo then began writing roles for guest stars just so he could meet them. And these early episodes are filled with guest stars.

The six discs include the first two seasons, comprising 37 episodes (or 38, if you count the original pilot episode, which is included as an extra).

By the time the show became a regular series in 1991, it had been retooled to be about a single father raising three children after his wife left him. Characters were renamed (Joey Lawrence’s Joey character was originally named Donnie), and the father was recast.

Just to make this a “very special DVD,” the set includes three featurettes: “A Very Special Show,” a retrospective; “A Very Special Friendship,” recalling the relationship between stars Mayim Bialik and Jenna von Oÿ; and “A Very Special Style,” an exploration of the fashions behind the show’s costumes.

The nostalgia trip alone is worth the price of admission, if only to look back at a bygone era to wonder what the hell we as a collective were thinking.

Three episodes also include some fun commentaries in which Bialik, Lawrence, von Oÿ and Reo spend a good amount of time laughing at how young they were and wondering why the traditional sitcom is disappearing when “Two and a Half Men” is so popular. They’re practically giving the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” treatment to their own show — affectionately, of course. And it's hilarious.

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