It’s Thursday night and I’m locked out of my apartment. I was heading home to write my Blossom review but instead find myself exiled at the bar. Hello, Lobo!! That’s the name of the bar-restaurant where I end up, my confidence boosted by the two mezcal cocktails I had at my office happy hour.
I explain to the bartender and a waiter idling near my seat that I'm locked out and that I’m writing reviews of Blossom. The bartender does a great Joey Lawrence “whoa.” I’m sitting next to a woman that watched Blossom in her youth. They all seem to know Blossom first hand, even if they haven't thought about the show (or Mayim) in years. None of them are familiar with what Mayim is up to now.
I tell them about Mayim’s content factory and her problematic feminism. The waiter brings up Scott Baio and his recent controversy. All of our cultural memories are so different. I remember Scott from VH1 reality shows. He was always only a dirtbag to me.
I want to dig into something in a later season of Blossom so I download the Hulu app and play “Paris: Part IV” right there. When I finally do get home, I fall asleep watching Parts I, II, and III. The premise of these episodes is that Blossom and her brothers are seeking contact with their mom, who left the family sometime between the Pilot of Blossom and Episode 1. She’s living in Paris, working as a singer in a club.
Honestly WTF. These episodes are so insane. While Blossom discovers her sexuality with a young French man and navigates her complicated relationship with her mother, her two brothers are running around town with the HEAD of a DEAD MAN in a SUITCASE being CHASED by THE MAN IN THE HAT and a mysterious woman.
The brothers are in Bolivia, calling their father from a shady bar, asking to borrow money. To no one’s surprise, the Bolivians present in the episode are depicted unfairly. The real climax comes as the brothers (somehow back in France?) are running to the top of the Eiffel Tower, chased by both the man in the hat and the mysterious woman who both want the suitcase with the head.
The terror of the boys’ experience comes in the form of scenes in the action genre, completely uncharacteristic to Blossom, full of scary foreigners, blow darts and chase scenes. Blossom’s terror comes in the dual forms of the realization that her mother will never live up to her imagined ideal and the death of her sexual naivete. This terror, of course, is never coded as such but is instead dramatized through conversations full of disappointed sighs.
There’s no laugh track in these episodes, so even the jokes that should work fall a little flat. I laugh at Blossom’s jokes alone.