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    Thursday, April 29, 2021

    Smark TV: Knowing Your Role in Young Rock's Episode 10

    I enjoy Young Rock episodes that deal with the Johnson family's sports endeavors. Whether it be Rocky's wrestling career, Lia's stint as a wrestling promoter, or Dwayne's college football days, these are the ones that separate the show from being your run-of-the-mill family-oriented sitcom. So it's safe to say, this week wasn't a disappointment—at least in terms of how the show played out.

    Dwayne is ever relatable this time around because I've been where he's at. I was once a young person who dreamt of improving my family's way of life. I'd like to be able to give back to my family. And sure, as the episode passed, his expectations and dreams fell lower and lower. 

    However, it did make the character feel more human in terms of this aspect of his life. Who'd have thought that the future Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson suffered from bouts of mediocrity throughout his career? It's such an unexpected turn of events considering all the success he's had in his life and career, so it was nice to see a humanized version of him going through these road blocks.

    The way it seems, 10-year-old Dwayne feels like the more star-studded side of his life, while Teen Dwayne was where he was more carefree. College Dwayne is where reality hit him hard and taught him so many valuable lessons, and that's the part of the show I enjoy the most. Sure, I might not love the frequent and erratic time skips, but we definitely get a different kind of plot and treatment every single time that it does feel fresh—even if it's disjointed at times.

    Again, it all boils down to family first. While we tackle so many different storylines that sometimes I can't even track which ones were resolved and which ones weren't, the show is ultimately about Dwayne and his love for the Johnsons, the Maivias, and the extended family (wrestlers and friends). Even when dreaming of how he would pull up his family into better living conditions, he did all these small things that make the character so lovable.

    It's always a mark-out moment when small in-jokes and cameo appearances make it into the script, and this week was no different. Seeing Dwayne bust out the "Know your role and shut your mouth" line was a treat that the wrestling fan in me totally enjoyed. Even witty one-liners by Ata and Rocky seem to make everything entertaining when properly used within the show's context. 

    Star power isn't a question as well. We're shown that Dwayne also forged college relationships with future NFL stars Warren Sapp and Ray Lewis—and Lewis was portrayed as a hell of an NFL player even during his freshman days. We even got a Hemsworth brother in there, with Luke Hemsworth playing a younger version of former NFL coach Dennis Erickson, Dwayne's college football coach.

    I like seeing the Johnsons and their adventures with everyday people—and even known personalities of that time period—but I also enjoy how the show isn't making everything too unbelievable. The truth is, Dwayne, Rocky, and Ata weren't larger-than-life celebrities during this time in their lives. Seeing them interact with bigger stars or future famous people while they struggle in their own personal lives makes the show a little closer to reality—and closer to my heart, too. It's just a shame that the series doesn't really follow up quickly on hot plot points.

    This week is a fun watch only because it dials back on the zaniness of things and grounds the whole family. I wasn't watching a future megastar. I watched the story of a college athlete who has dealt with his share of real-life problems. It kind of makes you want to root for someone like that because deep inside, we all like to think that anyone can succeed and achieve their dreams. That's what makes the feel-good moment this week.

    On a final note, I honestly enjoyed how the actual footage from Dwayne's college football games were interspersed with the footage they shot for the show. Those were some good videos. Plus, we also got to see how Rocky Johnson moonlighted as a wrestling trainer as well. So, maybe we'll see Dwayne's wrestling training at some point?

    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: Knowing Your Role in Young Rock's Episode 10 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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