Retro Television Review: One World 1.5 “Community Service” and 1.6 “The 12 Steps to Ben”

Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a new feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past!  On Fridays, I will be reviewing One World, which ran on NBC from 1998 to 2001.  The entire show is currently streaming on Tubi!

The Cast of One World

When last we checked in with Miami’s favorite foster family, Jane was apologizing for trying to steal a watch for her foster father’s birthday.  It was a sweet moment.  Let’s see if the show continued to build on that momentum.

Because you know what?  We’re living in one world….

Episode 1.5 “Community Service”

(directed by Chuck Vinson, originally aired on October 10th, 1998)

“This party blows!” Jane declares, “There’s no fights!  Nothing’s been broken!  No one’s fallen off the roof!”

Yes, the Blake children are throwing a party because their foster parents are out for the night.  Unfortunately, the music gets too loud so the police come by and issue them a citation for disturbing the peace.  The Blake parents convince the judge to give their children community service.  “Community service is for punks!” Jane declares.

Marci, Jane, Neal, and Ben end up volunteering at the hospital, where they learn how to help the sick.  Neal and Ben both fall in love with a doctor who, shockingly, doesn’t want much to do with teenagers who are doing court-mandated community service.  Marci nearly kills a patient when she sells him a hot dog, nachos, and a cigar.  Jane bonds with an initially hostile boy her age who is terminally ill.  This episode would have been super depressing if not for the fact that the hospital set was obviously the same one that was used in Saved By The Bell when Zach had to have knee surgery.

Fortunately, the B-plot was more fun.  Sui had to bake a cake for a class but, unfortunately, Mrs. Blake was stuck in bed with the flu.  So, Mr. Blake had to help Sui with the baking and yes, it was a disaster.  I laughed because I knew Sui’s struggle.  Baking isn’t as easy as the commercials make it seem.  Plus, Sui’s the coolest member of the family.

At the end of the show, Neal and Ben ended up delivering a baby in a stalled elevator and Jane takes the dying kid to the Warehouse so that he can experience “Miami’s hottest under 21 club.”

Episode 1.6 “The 12 Steps To Ben”

(directed by Chuck Vinson, originally aired on October 17th, 1998)

I guess Jane’s new boyfriend died after the end of the fifth episode because the sixth episode finds her in love with her new stepbrother, Ben.  Unfortunately for Jane, Ben has a new girlfriend, Alex (Jordana Spiro).  Unfortunately for Ben, Alex is an alcoholic.  Unfortunately for Alex, Ben is a recovering alcoholic and he tricks her into going to an AA meeting.  In other words, the Saturday night date is now assumed.  That’s the first sign of a committed relationship.  They’re as good as married now!

Every TNBC show always had at least a few episodes that centered around drinking.  Unfortunately, they always made it looks like everyone was having too much fun whenever they were drunk so I imagine they probably inspired most of their viewers to think, “I can’t wait until I can try that!”

Since the main plot was pretty heavy, the B-plot featured Marci and Sui selling candy bars and …. getting arrested.  These kids sure did get arrested a lot.

Wow, those two episodes were kind of heavy.  Will One World ever lighten up?  We’ll find out next week!

One response to “Retro Television Review: One World 1.5 “Community Service” and 1.6 “The 12 Steps to Ben”

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 9/12/22 — 9/18/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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