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Poster: Mr. Television
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One World aired from September 1998 until January 2001 on NBC.
Would you like to know one thing that I love most about doing this
blog? It's being able to look at television shows that were once
forgotten, and opening up a discussion about them.
In all likelihood, whenever I do a featured spotlight on a television
show that is obscure, I'll likely be the only one who remembers it.
But my hope is that someone out there will take a look at these shows,
and realize “hey, I thought I was the only one who remembered this
show”, or “oh my goodness, someone else knows this show”, or “I
thought I was the only one who knew this show existed!”
For today's look back on Saturday Morning, we're going back to the
TNBC era for this one.
TNBC, or “Teen NBC” was the block of live-action teen sitcoms that
aired on Saturday mornings between 1992 and 2001. And, I make no
apologies in admitting that I did watch TNBC. With Saturday morning
cartoons more or less off the air during TNBC's heyday, what else was
there to watch on Saturdays? And besides, if you could get past the
fact that the shows were low-budget and that all of the programs were
basically the same show in different settings, they were really quite
interesting. And, besides, there were a few TNBC stars who ended up
making a splash in the world of television and film years after the
TNBC franchise shut down including Kelly Packard and Brentley Gore
(California Dreams), Bianca Lawson, Natalia Cigluti, Lindsey McKeon,
and Sarah Lancaster (Saved By The Bell: The New Class), and Anthony
Anderson (Hang Time).
Not that today's blog subject has anything to do with the previous
paragraph, just stating that I feel that the TNBC block of programming
was somewhat underrated.
Today, we're going to look back at one of TNBC's final creations. The
show first began airing on September 12, 1998, and ran until January
2001. It was also one of the few TNBC sitcoms that showcased an actual
family unit, rather than having the stars be a whole bunch of high
(Though, let's be honest here...75% of the main cast were a bunch of
high school students.)
Here's where the “One World” part comes in. You notice that all six
children in the family are all of different races and backgrounds? How
people of different cultures could come together to become one big
family. It's almost as if it's a show that is dedicating itself to
But for whatever reason, the formula worked well enough for the
program to run three seasons, and the end result was a program that
was filled with warmth, as well as providing the strong positive
message that everyone belonged somewhere on this crazy planet.
“One World” takes place in the city of Miami, Florida. Dave Blake
(Michael Toland), a former baseball player and his artist wife, Karen
(Elizabeth Morehead) live in a gigantic house with their six
You see, for whatever reason, neither Dave or Karen had their own
biological children at the beginning of the series (though Karen would
eventually become pregnant during the show's final season). I don't
know what exactly the reason was behind why they chose to adopt rather
than conceive naturally, but I'd like to think it was because they
started off becoming foster parents, and fell so in love with all of
their foster children that they decided to become part of the family
So, who are the six children in “One World”?
They are Ben (Bryan Kirkwood), Marci (Alisa Reyes), Cray (Brandon
Baker), Sui (Michele Krusiec), Neal (Harvey Silver), and Jane (Arroyn
And, each child had their own distinct personalities and backgrounds.
As I talk a little bit about each of these characters, you'll see why
they became the way that they did, and who moving in with the Blake
family ended up being the best thing that ever happened to them.
Ben, for instance, ended up having the double whammy of being a
recovering alcoholic as well as having a gambling problem. Quite heavy
subject matter, given that on the program, Ben was portrayed as being
just eighteen years of age. Of course, Ben's personal struggles often
made him one of the strongest characters in the show. He was the one
who convinced Jane to stay with the Blake family when she wasn't sure
she fit in, and he took a girlfriend of his to her first Alcoholics
Anonymous meeting to help her deal with her drinking problem. When he
wasn't helping his friends and family, he was the frontman for a band
that would perform at various Miami clubs, hoping to be discovered as
a musical star.
Marci wasn't quite as developed as Ben was, but one thing that I
noticed about her was her flair for leadership and business. She ended
up becoming the assistant manager for a club known as The Warehouse (a
club where Ben's band often plays), and while there, she finds herself
having to stand up for herself when the club's owner begins making
comments about her race. But that was never too difficult for Marci to
do, because Marci's fiery personality meant that she more often than
not served as the official mouthpiece for the Blake
family...especially if someone had the poor sense to talk back to her
or anyone else in the Blake family. Although, her big business mindset
is questionable at times, even unethical. I mean, she tried selling
food at inflated prices to people before a hurricane hit!
The youngest member of the family is Cray. At just thirteen years old,
Cray sometimes felt as though he really had to do some crazy things in
order to make himself heard. He even resorted to stealing and trying
drugs in order to find some way to fit in. Fortunately for Cray, he
had older siblings and two parents who loved him to keep him on the
right track. Because Cray is the youngest of the family, a lot of his
storylines deal with adolescent like problems such as standing up to a
bully, or trying to make himself heard in a house filled with eight
Sui Blake was the Blake who had all the right moves on the soccer
field, but didn't exactly have the brains to do the same on her
schoolwork. This shopping addicted Asian beauty wanted nothing more
than to play soccer for the American Olympic team. She practiced day
and night, hoping to win a gold medal...but late in the show's first
season, Sui gets involved in an accident, and injures herself so badly
that her Olympic dreams are shattered. But thanks to her family, she
manages to move on with her life, and gets involved in a lot of other
storylines including taking on a job as a weathergirl for a public
access channel and having to deal with sexual harassment.
Neal Blake...erm, Smith actually (Neal was the only one of the Blake
kids who chose to keep his original last name) is widely considered to
be the most intelligent and sensible of all the Blake children. He is
incredibly bright, and even managed to design a computer game while he
was in his late teens. That's not to say that Neal hasn't gotten into
some trouble himself. He used to be a part of a gang before being
taken in by the Blake family, and he and Jane end up cheating on their
PSAT's...but for the most part, Neal is the voice of reason in the
And, then there's Jane.
Jane was actually taken in by the Blake family in the very first
episode of the series, and she had a bad attitude from the very
beginning, basically abusing and torturing the other Blake kids. Neal
and Ben tried to get her to fit in, but she wasn't having any of it.
It wasn't until a hurricane passed through Miami that Jane revealed
why she didn't trust them. She had lost her mother on her sixth
birthday, and ever since then she was passed around from foster family
to foster family, each one more apathetic and abusive than the one
before. With help from Ben, Jane realizes that the Blake family could
be trusted, and Jane soon began to fit in more. The road wasn't easy
though. Jane still had anger issues, and those were made clear when
she fought with Marci and Sui over trivial things, and beat up her
date because he happened to have the same name as an abusive relative
she knew. Jane was probably the most complex of the Blake kids, but
she was also the most developed. And even Jane had some tender
moments, such as when she helped spring a terminally ill patient from
the hospital she did community service work for so he could experience
life outside of his hospital room.
And, there you have it. That's our look back on “One World”.
To watch clips of One World go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=one+world+tv+show
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_13rt7_HdJw
� Date: Sun April 2, 2017 � Filesize: 51.1kb, 99.1kb � Dimensions: 1000 x 673 �
Keywords: The Cast of One World