One of the more sharply written sitcoms of the past five years, "Blossom" hits a surface bump celebrating its 100th stanza with Brenda Hampton's script. The bubbly brew's gone flat.

One of the more sharply written sitcoms of the past five years, “Blossom” hits a surface bump celebrating its 100th stanza with Brenda Hampton’s script. The bubbly brew’s gone flat.

In the seg, pregnant Shelly Russo (Samaria Graham), wife of Blossom’s brother Tony, shows up with labor pains. Friend Six (Jenna Von Oy) and brother Joey (Joey Lawrence) are on hand with Blossom (Mayim Bialik), but ambulance driver Tony (Michael Stoyanov) is held up.

At the same time, dad Nick (Ted Wass, who directed the episode to only so-so effect) and British wife Carol (Finola Hughes) are facing an immigration officer for an OK on their marriage. Wass and Hughes share a weak scene in the office of the government rep (Brian George), but it’s the program’s doubtful best moment.

The big joke supposedly comes off when grown people, including Shelly, crowd into a midget car headed for the hospital: Shelly’s baby is on its way during a traffic gridlock. Blossom tries calming everyone, Shelly looks in pain, and Joey and Six are irritants.

Phyllis Diller is around as Tony’s partner, but even she can’t wrestle much humor out of the feeble material. Stoyanov looks sincere, and Finola Hughes indicates that Carol’s a solid comedy character. Blossom’s suspended between the Carol-Nick and the Shelly-baby routines without much chance to show any strong comic invention.

Series’ humor stumbles with this chapter. As Carol drawls, “I fail to find the humor in this.”

Blossom: Oh Baby

(Mon. (28), 8:30-11 p.m., NBC)

Production

Taped at Sunset-Gower Studios by Impact Zone Prods. and Witt/Thomas Prods. Exec producers, Judith D. Allison, Paul Junger Witt, Tony Thomas, Don Reo, Allan Katz; supervising producers, Susan Seeger, Jonathan Schmock; producer, Kenneth R. Koch; director, Ted Wass; writer, Brenda Hampton; creator, Reo; audio, William Kennedy; lighting designer, Alan Walker; production designer, Edward Stephenson.

Crew

Music, Frank Denson; main title, Mike Post, Stephen Geyer.

Cast

Cast: Mayim Bialik, Joey Lawrence, Michael Stoyanov, Jenna Von Oy, Samaria Graham, Courtney Chase, Kevin Jamal Woods, Finola Hughes, Ted Wass, Phyllis Diller, Brian George, Darion Basco.

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