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    Friday, April 9, 2021

    Smark TV: Fast and Furious in Young Rock's Episode 7

    Fans of sitcoms like Brooklyn Nine-Nine may be in for a treat this week as Young Rock deviated from its usual style of comedy. In what was a lighthearted action-comedy romp, this week's episode put collegiate Dwayne in a humorous (albeit dumb) adventure to check which payphones were broken or working. It was a race against time as Dwayne and new character Hopkins traversed the whole university to try and get through all the phones before they were busted by the head of quality control, Amanda Chavez.

    Normally, I enjoy dumb topics like these because they're given an exaggerated yet comedic treatment—and they actually did with this one. However, maybe I've been trained to follow a more serious route by the earlier episodes that it's a little harder to imagine Dwayne doing a Jake Peralta-style heist. There were some funny moments—especially the ending—but it felt extraordinarily cheesy. Even as I was giggling at the '80s and '90s style action, it didn't sit right with me. Uli Latukefu does play the college Dwayne well so that's always a plus.

    Following from last week's underwhelming vice president reveal, I'm still unsure with how they're going to use Rosario Dawson's Monica Jackson in the show. It felt like she was an afterthought and just tacked on—though surely there's more that will happen with the character in the weeks to come. Appearing only during the final moments in the show (and a small mention at the beginning) these were the only times she was in the episode so that's another wasted opportunity.

    I've often mentioned in my previous reviews that episodes that utilize wrestlers from my childhood speak the loudest to me. They make the episode resonate with me more and they do help make the episode less boring because of the nostalgia factor. This week was no different as my favorite set of characters ("Macho Man" Randy Savage and Andre the Giant) were on set once again in a "wrestling family" scene. Macho Man's subtle mention of beef jerky reminded me of the early Slim Jim commercials involving him so that was a neat easter egg. In the scene, Lia talked about how she was disappointed in herself but our lovable gang of wrestlers encouraged her and lifted her spirits. It's another scene that goes on to highlight how family is important—this time, the wrestling family was in focus.

    There really wasn't much to see in this episode. Not a lot of questions were answered. In fact, watching this added more questions that needed to be answered. This week felt like a set-up for future events to unfold. It's here wherein we find out that Lia Maivia was deported back to Samoa and lived a very stressful homeless life for a few years. It was also established here that Junkyard Dog (who was shown to defect to Greg Yao's camp) got back into the family's good graces. Even Rocky and Lia who had a falling out during the previous episode were fine here. A lot happened in between and maybe that's just the point of this episode. I'd like to think that we're at the halfway point as this is the seventh episode. It's a filler episode that will probably lead to a lot of mysteries being answered in the coming weeks.

    I'd love to see the show build upwards by this point instead of this light comedic topic. I think a humorous heist-like episode could have fit in two or three episodes back, but I suppose it's still a welcome change of pace. It's just something that I didn't expect so even with the small points of enjoyment I had, I felt that it lacked the interest that I wanted. The pseudo-action scenes were too out of left field at this point that I felt like I was watching a different show if not for the characters and the plotlines mentioned. Perhaps the next episode can change my mind but for now, I'm a little iffy if this is the route they're going to take.

    PS. This week's famous figure from Dwayne's past is Pro Football Hall of Famer/NFL Legend Warren Sapp. The interesting exchange between them was fun but he might not be a household name for everyone to appreciate.

    Show Grade: B-

    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: Fast and Furious in Young Rock's Episode 7 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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