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!
This week, the first season of One World ends with a new couple and the second season begins with a shocking break-up. Let’s dive right into it …. because we’re living in one world….
Episode 1.13 “Love is a Many Splintered Thing”
(Directed by Chuck Vinson, originally aired on December 12th, 1998)
As the first season comes to a close, Ben and Jane finally go on their first date together. Unfortunately, because they are both foster kids, they’re not allowed to live under the same roof if they’re dating. Ben is willing to move out but Jane doesn’t want to be responsible for breaking up the Blake family. At first, they decide to set aside their feelings for the good of the family but then they decide, “Eh, who cares?” And good for them! Nothing should stand in the way of true love.
Meanwhile, Sui tries out for the Olympic soccer team and …. doesn’t make it. But she gets a pep talk from an older player, who assures Sui that she is the greatest young soccer player in the world and that she’s destined to be a big star. While discussing knee injuries, the older player says that she’s been to rehab “more times than Robert Downey, Jr.” Ouch! Take that, future Iron Man!
Finally, Neal gets the phone number of a girl named — hey! — Lisa but then he loses it when Cray and Marci accidentally donate his pants to charity. When he sees someone who might be wearing his pants, he enlists Cray to pick the man’s pockets. Cray ends up getting arrested as a result. Are these kids ever going to get off probation?
Anyway, as far as season finales go, this one wasn’t bad. The dialogue got a little bit heavy-handed, as often tended to happen whenever TNBC tried to get dramatic. But, after 12 episodes, the cast definitely felt like a real family and the chemistry between everyone was believable. Jane and Ben seems like they’ll be a great couple!
Or will they? Viewers in 1998 would have to wait an entire spring and summer to find out! However, readers today can find out right now.
Episode 2.1 “Love and Foster Kids Aren’t Always Blind”
(Directed by Mary Lou Belli, originally aired on September 11th, 1999)
Two months after he and Jane became a couple, Ben is no longer living with the Blakes. He’s moved into an apartment so trashy that it floods whenever it rains. However, he and Jane are now a couple. Unfortunately, Jane is no longer in love with Ben. It turns out that, according to Jane, “trust and love aren’t the same thing.” After Jane and Ben break up, Ben can safely move back into the house. Yay!
But wait, the Blakes have adopted another teenager, Eddie. And Eddie’s blind! Surely they’re not going to kick out a blind kid. Oh wait, it turns out that Eddie’s just faking to get special treatment. Once Neal figures out that Eddie can see, it becomes perfectly acceptable to kick Eddie out and back into the system. Ben moves back in and, like magic, the show is back to where it all started. Well, that was convenient….
In fact, it’s all a bit too convenient and considering what a good job the show did bringing Ben and Jane together, it’s hard not to be disappointed with how cavalierly it broke them up. Seriously, if Jane and Ben can’t make it, what hope is there for the rest of the world!?
We’ll find out next week.