Back when people took the time to write “best friends forever” unacronym’d, Blossom Russo and Six Lemeure were broadcast TV’s most dynamic teen duo. For five seasons, actresses Mayim Bialik and Jenna von Oÿ took their characters through the vicissitudes of high school and beyond, approaching everyday teenaged issues with a casualness and an honesty little-seen on television at the time. “I think now we’re so used to females on TV, and we’re so used to women being in the forefront of a lot of conversations,” says Bialik. “Which is terrific! But for me and Jenna, we were the lone wolves. Showing females that were both intelligent, and also engaged in a social life, and also still [being] like kids.”

Bialik and von Oÿ are back together with their fellow cast members for EW’s recent Blossom reunion, which you can watch here. When they start to discuss the Blossom-Six friendship, the two old costars fall into a familiar rhythm, even finishing each other’s sentences. “We were normal,” says von Oÿ. “We didn’t have boob jobs and we did not bleach our hair. That was the beauty of it, is we got to be ourselves.”

“We were awkward,” starts Bialik. “And—”

“We represented your typical adolescent teenager,” finishes von Oÿ, “who hasn’t found themselves yet. And that was a beautiful thing.”

“We got to kiss boys and also study hard and be proud of that,” says Bialik. “Or be with our families and also have a social life.”

For Blossom creator Don Reo, the characters’ fundamental approachability was key to the show. “Mayim looked like the audience, and so did Jenna,” says Reo. “They weren’t cookie-cutter, perfect, little, blonde Disney creatures. I think that was a big part of it. They were relatable, and the stories were relatable.”

Debuting the same year as a certain sudsy teen drama set in a certain fancy zip code, Blossom‘s decision to cast actual teens to play high school characters was practically an act of rebellion. “We were actually the age, essentially, that we were playing,” says von Oÿ. “That just wasn’t really the case for all of the shows on the air at the time. In fact, we were going through some of the things that our characters were going through simultaneously.”

“I wasn’t a classic leading lady look,” says Bialik. “That was difficult. There were a lot of reviews that said, ‘She’s so odd-looking, why would anyone watch this show?’ But that was what my life was like as a teenager.”

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