Retro Television Review: One World 3.11 “Roots” and 3.12 “Say Cheese”

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

This week, with the end of the series in sight, the Blakes confront the past.

Episode 3.11 “Roots”

(Directed by Mary Lou Belli, originally aired on December 2nd, 2000)

When Dave and Karen go out of town for the weekend, the Blake children decide to turn their house into a Bed & Breakfast.  Like, how the Hell do you even do that on short notice?  It’s like the Blakes decide to do it and then, an hour later, they’re full booked and Marci has a registration desk set up.

Meanwhile, a far more serious storyline is taking place.  With the help of St. Neal, Cray tracks down his grandfather and is shocked to discover that his grandfather is black.  Cray is so shocked that he runs out of the Warehouse.  (Of course, their first meeting was taking place at Miami’s “hottest under 21 club.”)  Cray explains to Neal that he’s not a racist.  He was just shocked to discover that he wasn’t the same ethnicity as his adoptive parents.  However, anyone who has been watching this show knows that Cray is not Caucasian because he’s clearly not.  (In real life, Brandon Baker is half-Filipino.)  So, it’s kind of hard to believe the Cray was that stunned to discover that he was a person of color.  Fortunately, it turns out that Cray’s grandfather has the patience of a saint and forgives Cray for running away from him because of his skin color, which …. I mean, that’s really fucked up, isn’t it?  Cray’s grandfather comes over for dinner and explains that Cray is a fourth black, a fourth Puerto Rican, and half-white.  Again, his grandfather seems like a very nice man but again, Cray ran out of the Warehouse specifically because his grandfather has black skin.  WHO IS THAT FORGIVING!?  The grandfather tells Cray about his family and tells him that he’s always missed him.  (“Awwwwww!” the audience says.)  Cray accepts his black grandfather and says that he loves him.  (“Awwwww!” the audience repeats itself.)

To be honest, TNBC was always at its worst whenever it tried to deal with racial subject matter.  One World had the most diverse cast of any of the TNBC shows but the characters were still often just stereotypes.  TNBC shows were required to wrap up their stories in 20 minutes and that’s not really something you can do when it comes to dealing with race in America.

Episode 3.12 “Say Cheese”

(Directed by Mary Lou Belli, originally  aired on December 16th, 2000)

Jane’s birthday is coming up so Dave wants to get a picture of the entire family together.  This leads to everyone discussing the past three years and …. you got it.  It’s a clip show.

I think this was originally meant to be the final episode of the show and it would have been a nice note to wrap up on.  However, because TNBC always showed episodes out-of-order, there would be one more episode of One World.  We’ll review that one next week and then, it will be time to move on to another show!

One response to “Retro Television Review: One World 3.11 “Roots” and 3.12 “Say Cheese”

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 1/2/23 — 1/8/23 | Through the Shattered Lens

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