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!
Uptown, I see a lot of brothers and sisters living on the streets….
Well, not really. But I can agree that we’re living in one world….
Episode 2.6 “Cyrano de Bengerac”
(Directed by Mary Lou Belli, originally aired on October 23rd, 1999)
Good God, this was so painful!
Ben wants to date Roxanne (Ashley Yegan) but Roxane is into poetry and plays and she can basically speak in coherent sentences. Ben, meanwhile, is Ben. Actually, I’ve noticed that Ben’s level of intelligence and maturity tends to change from episode-to-episode, depending on the needs of the story. In this episode, Ben was required to be an absolute idiot.
Knowing that Neal is smart, Ben recruits his brother to tell him what he needs to say to win over Roxanne. Neal agrees, on the condition that Ben read the play Cyrano de Bergerac. This leads to the exact same scenario that showed up at least once in every single TNBC series. Ben puts in an earpiece and goes to a play with Roxanne. Neal sits a few rows away from them and tells Ben what to say. Unfortunately, the earpiece starts to pick up other signals and Ben dumbly repeats everything that he hears, even the stuff that makes no sense and which is obviously not being sent to him by Neal. Roxanne is still impressed enough that, even after she notices the earpiece, she’s still willing to dump Ben so that she can go out with Neal. Sorry, Ben! At first, Neal isn’t willing to betray his brother but then Ben reads the play and tells Neal to go for it.
Meanwhile, Dave tries to bond with his adopted daughters by taking them all camping. Of course, it’s a disaster because Marci and Sui don’t like sleeping in dirt and Jane enjoys starting to trouble. Since I’m not really into the whole camping thing, I could relate to their horror of having to sleep outside. That said, the main message here appeared to be that Dave is an idiot and his daughters, who are all approaching adulthood, are thoroughly incapable of taking care of themselves. Perhaps it’s time for someone to call social services again.
Anyway, as I said at the start, this was a painful episode in which everyone was required to be even dumber than usual. Let’s move on.
Episode 2.7 “Its All Geek To Me”
(Directed by Mary Lou Belli, originally aired on October 30th, 1999)
Oddly enough, this episode was not included on Tubi. I had to go to YouTube to watch it. I was hoping that maybe this would be a controversial episode that was pulled from syndication because someone made an offensive joke or something like that. Instead, this episode was One World at its most jejune.
Sui is failing history and running the risk of getting kicked off the basketball team. (Wait — she plays basketball now?) Neal arranges for her to be tutored by Billy (Michael Thomas Dunn). Billy is kind of nerdy but sweet and when he asks Sui to go to the Dave Matthews Band concert (90s alert!), Sui agrees. But then everyone gives Sui a hard time about “dating a geek” so she lies to get out of it. Didn’t the same thing happen to Zach Morris when an overweight girl bought him at a date auction? Why was everyone on TNBC so shallow?
Anyway, Sui learns the error of her ways and she and Billy share a kiss with the entire football team watching. “Wooooo!’ the audience exclaims.
Sui learned an important lesson about peer pressure and Billy will probably never be seen again.
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