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    Thursday, March 25, 2021

    Smark TV: Moms Know Best in Young Rock's Episode 5

    Young Rock
    doesn't really follow the typical linear formula of most TV shows. In fact, in another switcheroo moment, Randall Park resumed his spot as this week's host—a role that former NBA Champion Kenny Smith occupied last week. The show wanders from story to story and tries to encapsulate a simple plot every week. In fact, that's why it was different this time around—because a cliffhanger from a previous episode was actually resolved.

    Continuing where the second episode left off, the fallout of Dwayne's actions opened a lot of deep-rooted issues which his mother, Ata, now has to deal with. In Rocky's absence, she is left to handle the growing teen and his social status issues. This is all a surprise to her since Dewey is seen at home as a simple and respectful young boy.

    In most families, the father is typically known as the disciplinarian, while the mother is mostly portrayed as the nurturing type. This was the problem that Ata faced because, in Rocky's absence, she wasn't sure how to discipline her son. Plus, during a phone conversation, it's implied that Rocky himself encouraged Dwayne's "machismo"—even letting out a subtle celebration after finding out about the fistfight. Meanwhile, Ata has been presented as having a softer nature and not really the strict disciplinarian type.

    All of Dwayne's misdemeanors are slowly unveiled throughout the episode, with my favorite moment happening when Ata lets out one of The Rock's iconic wrestling catchphrases. It eventually comes to a head when he tries to impress "Fine-Ass" Karen by stealing something valuable from Diane, Ata's employer. It's here where she finally figures out how to deal with her son during a deep talk with Diane and with Dwayne soon after.

    One important moment during all of this was Dwayne's apology to Kevin, which lightly portrayed the darker issue of systemic racism. I enjoyed how they dealt with it in a subtle but informative manner, like when Ata snapped a bit because of the small quips made by Kevin's father. Even the portrayal of an overly-religious family was believable despite the exaggeration milked for humor, with Kevin cursing Dwayne to eternal damnation being an entertaining exchange.

    I'm not yet sure whether this will be the last appearance of "Fine Ass" Karen. However, I feel that I need another episode to see how her relationship with Dwayne eventually falls apart. I'd love to see him deal with other love interests because he does seem like the playboy type. I also noticed that many good and entertaining moments tend to be shown when he's involved in a romantic storyline.

    Meanwhile, another big tease for the show is the introduction of a Vice-President character in the 2032 timeline. With how guest stars have been appearing left-and-right (see: Dwayne's former football coach Ed Orgeron and Ata Johnson herself), I'm inclined to think that the VP will be someone he's close to or at least someone we're familiar with. My guesses? Mick Foley, Steve Austin, or a very random guess could be Kevin Hart. Although, I'd much rather prefer Foley just to have another nostalgic moment that we wrestling fans can enjoy (Rock 'n' Sock Connection, baby!).

    I'm expecting more from Young Rock in the coming weeks. Hopefully, they can continue tying up loose ends from previous episodes. I'm guessing the VP reveal will be this season's central plotline so they can possibly extend the series longer. It would make sense since they can easily tie in the next episodes to build towards a sweet reveal in the series finale. If they don't, then it'll probably be a missed opportunity. But, seeing the direction feels like a turnaround, and I actually liked this week's showing, especially with many fun scenes like the bus ride and the telephone call.

    PS. Props again to that telephone scene. Kevin Makely's "Macho Man" Randy Savage is entertaining as hell.

    Show Grade: A

    Screencaps taken from Young Rock


    Miguel “The Migz” Llado is your resident Young Rock reviewer here at the Smark Henry offices. A lover of music, wrestling, videogames, and food, he lives his life tweeting his mind off (@the_migz) Instagramming random food items and locations (@tha_migz), and streaming videogames on Twitch (@the_migz) while he pursues his musical career via his YouTube channel (Migz Llado) and courtesy of his band The Mox (TheMoxGarageRock). You can also add him on PSN (MigzLlado) to show your WWE 2K (or any PS4) skills.
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    Item Reviewed: Smark TV: Moms Know Best in Young Rock's Episode 5 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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