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    Saturday, April 17, 2021

    Smark TV: More Karen in Young Rock's Episode 8

    I'm not entirely sure how to feel with what I just watched. At least I felt like last week's episode was mildly entertaining even if it felt over-the-top for the tone of the series. This week was so out of left field that I don't know how this one fits in. Sure, it continued one previous episode's cliffhanger of Dwayne not showing up for his date with "Fine Ass" Karen, but by this point in the series, I'm mostly just excited with other aspects of Dwayne's life—Karen is not one of those topics.

    I honestly felt that this episode could've been a standalone. The intro was out of nowhere. It made me question myself a bit as if I was watching a different show. And while I did mention that the story continued from a previous cliffhanger, it's one plot point that I think I've had enough of. The last few weeks built up momentum to where I was expecting a payoff. Instead, I felt shortchanged that I was looking for so many things. Where was General Jackson this week? Where was Randall Park? How does this even fit in his campaign? It's such a silly yet dull take that I can't enjoy how it was presented.

    For the second week in a row, instead of resolving the plotlines one by one, it seems that the show is trying hard to open more stories for us to ask the hows, the whats, and the whys. For what it's worth, we do see more of Dwayne's backstory as we see how he began playing football. We saw how High School Dwayne embraces his unique physique and explores the opportunity to go to college through football—though we also know that College Dwayne still retains a lot of the bad habits that haunted him in his teen days.

    As much as I hated this week's show, it does show the Johnson family's struggles with money and how they adjusted once Rocky slowly realized that his star was slowly fading. In a way, we get to see that even someone as self-absorbed as him can adjust for the sake of his family. I understand that the vision of the show is to focus on family values, however, they're dangerously trudging into boring territory and this is one of my worries.

    A notable moment was the reveal of Karen's twin—though you could argue that it's one more Karen that I wish I didn't see. I'm already bored of the Karen character and seeing her twin Lisa felt like it was too much. Maybe it's a representation of having too many Karens in the world? Maybe I'm thinking too much about such a shallow episode. That's how uneventful this week was.

    The thing that bothered me was, you can miss this episode and you wouldn't miss any story beats. Sure, you won't find out what happens to Dwayne and "Fine Ass" Karen but, the truth is, we know it's a high school romance that doesn't have a good ending since she isn't really mentioned in any of the College Dwayne parts. While I do wish that they could stick to more of the wrestling parts, there are other things that I wish they could just continue with since they've already introduced a lot of story points.

    Maybe instead of doing the "family" and "good values" route with a little of the light-hearted comedy, they could stick with what works and flip it—more comedy, less serious values, and more cohesive storytelling. I'd say the first five or six episodes did a good job of mixing it up but keeping things cohesive, so if they could continue doing so, that'd be lovely. For now, my disappointment is at a high and my mood is at a low.

    Show Grade: C-

    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: More Karen in Young Rock's Episode 8 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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