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!
When we last checked in with One World, Jane was dating Ben’s no good brother and Ben was dating a recovering alcoholic named Alex. How much drama will this all lead to? Let’s find out. After all, we’re living in one world….
Episode 1.11 “The Thanksgiving Show”
(Directed by Chuck Vinson, originally aired on November 28th, 1998)
The holidays are approaching and the Blakes are a family divided.
Cray is heading to Disneyland with a previously unmentioned friend, “Bobby DeVito.” (I assume he’s a mix of Robert De Niro and Danny De Vito.) Ben and Marci are throwing a charity benefit for the homeless at Miami’s hottest under-21 club, The Warehouse. Offended that Ben is only using his benefit to promote his music career, Neal is planning on giving out food to the homeless on his own. Meanwhile, Sui is waiting to hear whether or not she’s gotten a try-out with the U.S. Olympic team and Jane is worrying that the Blakes won’t have the type of big, traditional Thanksgiving that she’s always secretly wanted.
Sui’s an Olympic-class athlete? Where did that come from? And Jane is secretly obsessed with turkey and yams? Again, it kind of comes out of nowhere. But you know what? This was actually a pretty effective episode and both Michelle Krusiec (as Sui) and Arroyn Lloyd (as Jane) gave good performances that convinced the viewer that yes, Sui could go to the Olympics and yes, under her tough exterior, Jane actually could be a lover of big family holidays. And even if the benefit storyline was a bit heavy-handed, it was still heartfelt and sincere. Sitcoms are kind of notorious for bad holiday episodes but One World did a pretty good job as far as Thanksgiving was concerned.
This episode ended with a cliffhanger as Sui was injured in an auto accident. How would this effect her Olympics dreams? The answer was in the very next episode.
Episode 1.12 “The One Where Sui and Alex Walk”
(Directed by Chuck Vinson, originally aired on December 5th, 1998)
Sui returns from the hospital and, saying that rehab hurts too much, she abandons her Olympics dreams. But then, for some odd reason, Cray decides that he wants to play the harp and Sui figure that if Cray can handle everyone in the world laughing at him, she can handle the pain.
Actually, I know that sounds like I’m being snarky but this was a pretty good episode and the entire cast really delivered, even when the dialogue got a bit heavy-handed. Speaking as someone who has broken her ankle more than a few times, this episode did a very good job of capturing the fear and uncertainty that comes from recovering from a major injury.
Meanwhile, Alex left Ben because it was totally obvious that he’s in love with Jane. And Jane left Bryan because it was totally obvious that Jane only liked Bryan because he shared Ben’s DNA. Now that they’re both single, will Ben and Jane get together?
We’ll find out next week!