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!
Are we still living in One World? Let’s find out….
Episode 2.8 “Treasure of the Sierra Lotto”
(dir by Mary Lou Belli, originally aired on November 6th, 1999)
After the Blake kids pool their resources and buy a lottery ticket, they agree that, if they win, they’ll give the money to the poor. Guess what happens? They don’t win the big jackpot but they do win $50,000! Suddenly, no one other than Jane feels like giving the money to the poor. Jane gets so frustrated with everyone’s greed that she announces that she doesn’t want any of the money and….
Uhmmm, when did Jane become an activist? Seriously, Jane has spent a season and a half being self-centered and greedy but suddenly, she’s obsessed with giving money to charity. The only person who is willing to stand with Jane is St. Neal, who refused to contribute any money to the lottery pool to begin with. So, why exactly is he even allowed to have an opinion?
(At least Neal has been annoyingly self-righteous since the first episode. Jane apparently developed an entirely new personality from out of nowhere.)
While all of this stupidity is going on, Dave is offered a contract to pitch in Japan! Will Dave abandon his chance to make a career comeback for his annoying foster children? Of course he will! What a chump. Maybe if Dave had spent a few months in Japan and made some money, his adopted children wouldn’t have to play the lottery just to have enough money to eat. Ever think about that, Dave!?
Anyway, Jane steals the lottery ticket and uses the money to start a free lunch program at the “hottest under-21 club in Miami,” The Warehouse! It’s amazing that it only took Jane a day start a free lunch program and she was somehow able to do it all without any other members of the family noticing. (Marci is assistant manager at the Warehouse so you would think someone would have mentioned it to her.) Anyway, the Blakes forgive Jane for stealing the money. St. Neal looks around the Warehouse says, “This soup kitchen looks a little understaffed.” Everyone pitches in to help and…
God, I hated this sanctimonious, painfully unrealistic episode. If you give a bunch of teenagers $50,000, there’s a lot that is going to happen but none of it is going to involve opening up a soup kitchen. Let’s move on.
Episode 2.9 “A Walk On The Wild Side”
(dir by Mary Lou Belli, originally aired on November 13th, 1999)
Jane’s old friend from the streets, Lori (Joanna Canton), shows up and stays with the Blakes for a night. Lori tells Jane that her foster family is totally lame and Sui, Marci, and Cray prove her right by convincing themselves that St. Neal is actually a serial killer known as the “Miami Mangler.”
Eventually, Lori tries to convince Jane to rob The Warehouse but, when Jane says that she can’t steal from the place that employs her family, Lori accuses Jane of being a sell-out. Jane makes plans to run away from home but Ben talks her out of it. Meanwhile, Neal is revealed to not be the Miami Mangler but instead to be an aspiring magician. Neal does a really simple magic trick and the studio audience goes crazy.
This was a weird episode. The whole thing about Jane being tempted to “walk on a wild side” seemed like it was taken from an entirely different episode from all the stuff about the Blakes thinking that Neal was a murderer. Jane and Lori broke into The Warehouse after it closed. A scene later, Neal invited Marci, Sui, and Cray to come see him at the Warehouse, again after it closed. Why is this family always hanging out at The Warehouse after it closes? It all made little sense. Jane should have gone to Chicago with Lori.