October 20th: Blossom

Opinionations no one asked for.

No show held more sway over young women like Blossom. A look back through family photos of this era finds every girl of the time dressing like a Blossom stand-in, as though hoping against hope that they will be harvested from obscurity to be the floppy hat-wearer against whom various light-readings will be taken and mic movements rehearsed.

This is why I always wear a Miguel Cabrera shirt to baseball games - someone just might mistake me for him, and then, upon discovering it's only me, will still like the cut of my jib and sign me up to do some damage on the basepaths. By which I mean, losing every baseball game as quickly as possible. Anyway, it's...

Blossom

We know many things about Blossom Russo and her show - the historical record is relatively intact regarding this tale of a hat-wearing teen girl and her wacky family and friend. The most important thing to remember about Blossom is hats. Put one on, make it funky, and have the time of your life. The second most important thing to remember is to have a whimsically-nonsensical name, like "Mayim," or "Von Oy" (mit umlauts, por favor). Again, make it funky. The third most important thing is dancing - if your hat and name are appropriately funky, so too shall be your dance moves. The fourth and final most important thing to remember is whoa. You know as in, "Whoa!"

And that's about it - consider yourself a Blossom-master.

Space: Los Angeles, CA
Time: October 26th, 1992
Episode: "All Hallows Eve" Season 3, Episode 9

We open to find the season in full swing, thank goodness. Blossom's dad, Nick Russo, is doing as many families of the era (read: the Seavers), and decorating with live pumpkins. However, rather than creating spatial boundaries using vertical pumpkin-planing, he's gone full squirrel-in-autumn, gathering up as many pumpkins as he can fit in his hair, and then hoarding them in the hollow of his tree (read: the kitchen counter).

Yes, families luxuriating in the festive spirit, as families will do. Watch as they gather 'round the fridge for some good old fashioned - whoa! Yes, what you're about to see is correct - this is idiot-brother Joey totally facing Blossom! 90s-style!

Ooooh, that's cold, Joey. And she's the star of the show, so you just know the issues between them must be near-irreparable! And they are: turns out that Blossom may or may not have betrayed Joey's plan to go to some sleazy party dressed as a sleazy athlete - a sleazy good time all around.

Meanwhile, fuck-up brother Tony has a scheme he's trying to work with his old man, and Buzz, his old man's old man, in which they dress up like Wilson Phillips to win a fabulous $5,000 cash prize. First of all, Nick and Buzz can barely fucking believe it. Second of all, our buddy, Biker-Vest Skeleton is back, hooray!

Needless to say, they definitely spend the rest of the episode driving the cross-dressing gaggery into the ground, and that's about it. Just a lot of mileage out of Wilson Phillips jokes. Back at the house, however, Blossom and Six ready themselves to reluctantly woman the door for the trick-or-treaters.

Please note the extra love with which the Russo's have decked their halls. They've decided to work with a medium we've yet to see fully unleashed in our travels: cobwebs. Yes, what better way to haunt your house, than to coat it with a thick layer of fake spider-webbings. You'd be disgusted to the point of vomiting in real life, but you're delighted like a child on this magical evening. And speaking of seeing the world through the mind of a child...

There's this guy, grounded and plotting to sneak from his room to go to that sleazy party. They've managed to cram everything boys like into this representation of Joey's room: baseball, stereos, classic cars, globe-cartography, and plaid wall paper. This could be a quintessential snapshot of Americana, a'la Norman Rockwell, had Joey not so fully-committed to his 'look." Um, Joey? There's that rule about accessorizing and taking off one thing before you leave the house... you might want to consider it. Meantime, downstairs finds that gals abandoning their door-minding duties in order to watch Channel's very popular Horror Movie Marathon:

They find themselves frightened into practicality, wisely locking windows and slamming doors in the face of one Mr. Joey Matthew's-Brother Lawrence in amusing fashion. Ah, but it never gets old, watching some poor bastard fall off the side of the house over and over again. This eventually leads us to a one-man performance, in which Joey duologues with himself about his situation. You know, like a crazy person.

I never watched this show enough to know... is this standard-issue with Joey Russo? Was he always having full-length conversations, out loud, when forced with a major life-roadblock, or is this simply resultant of severe head trauma?

Regardless, he (they) decide to use the back door into the kitchen, leading to this scene, directly coded from the Italian Masters' school of posed-pageantry. We shall call it: The Unmasking Of Joey Russo:

Whoops! Sorry, Joey! Everyone is busted as Dad and the Gals finally make it home after a long night of trolling the local biker bar - surely the punishment for sneaking out and not manning the trick-or-treating door must be severe, correct? Or is it?

No, the answer is it is not. And Lady Nick brokers a fragile-but-Dad-approved peace, proclaiming amnesty in this touching Halloween scene:

It's just that simple, kids. Wear a hat and lie through your teeth for everyone, and your family may also remain intact.