Before, Blossom



Before a flower blooms, eventually dies, and rots, there is a Blossom. And before there was Blossom, there was the pilot of Blossom.

I’ll be reviewing episodes of Blossom throughout the month. So, let’s start at the beginning of the beginning: the opening sequence of the pilot, which aired in July 5, 1990, months before January 3, 1991, when it would be picked up mid-season for its run.

The show, if you’re not familiar, starred Mayim Bialik as Blossom, the young, strong-willed daughter of a single father and sister to two older brothers.

This pilot is the show before the show happened. Blossom is Mayim Bialik before Mayim Bialik happened.

And Young Mayim Bialik is a feminist icon. According to Wikipedia, she had a hand in deciding who was cast as her father and as her brother on the show. Plus, Blossom was originally pitched as show about her character’s brother before it became a show about her. Young Mayim saved America from a show centered on a “young Holden Caulfield” character.

The show’s original iconic opening sequence, where Blossom can be seen dancing in her bedroom, was first filmed to the the tune of Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” before the song was changed to Dr. John’s “My Opinionation,” in time for the pilot.

In the opening credits of the pilot, the new song, “My Opinionation,” is overlaid on the dance number Bialik recorded to “My Prerogative.” Her dance is out of sync, as are a lot of things in this pilot. Later in the show’s run, the original nuclear family cast would be replaced by a single father and absent mother, portrayed by different actors.

The act of watching Blossom is an attempt at recovering an innocent past. An antediluvian Mayim. A time before the PhD in Neuroscience, the NYT opinion pieces, the vlogs, The Big Bang Theory. And watching the pilot is like dipping into a primordial black hole, the kind of black hole formed during the inhomogeneous phase of the Big Bang.

Ashley D'Arcy is a contributing editor at Newest York.