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    Sunday, May 9, 2021

    Smark TV: It All Comes Down to This in Young Rock's Season 1 Finale

    Young Rock has always been a mixed bag for me. When it's good, it can be really great. But most of the time, it ends up becoming disjointed because of its storytelling techniques. It builds up to these wonderful moments and storylines yet never really tries to connect them towards a larger, more concrete arc. 

    Sure, the central theme of family values is there, however, considering that this is an episodic sitcom, it never really establishes a solid plot other than "Dwayne Johnson is running for president and here are his values." You somehow feel a little shortchanged because you get sucked into the cliffhangers, yet it really amounts to nothing. That's because, in this retelling of his childhood, you already know how he got to where he is, in a sense.

    Imagine my surprise when I found out that this week's episode was the season finale. Imagine me being more surprised when I finished the episode feeling dissatisfied because the show gave me blue balls. Remember Lia's alleged arrest? It was downplayed a little with 2032 Dwayne telling 2032 Randall Park that she actually beat the charges but stopped short of sharing why she really got deported. 

    How about Dwayne's running mate, Monica Jackson? No, sir. Not even a small cameo. What about "Fine Ass" Karen? Yeah, she makes an appearance, but we never really find out what happens to their relationship other than putting up another cliffhanger when Teen Dwayne asks her out to prom. The show leaves lots of tidbits like these scattered around that I've probably given up on following whatever the main storyline is.

    This week gave us all three of the show's time periods with Young Dwayne, Teen Dwayne, and College Dwayne all appearing. This also meant seeing all your favorite characters from each timeframe, the cliffhangers, and the stories in each one. It actually gave the impression that we were getting closure with all of the things being alluded to this season and that, for once, I felt I was going to get the answers I longed for. 

    Alas, it was not to be because they opened even more mysteries instead of actually solving the ones they'd already established. Maybe I'm just not used to this kind of format, but I'm completely sure there wasn't any closure to be had in this episode.

    I love the show for its zany characters, its Rock one-liners, its in-jokes, the cameos, and the fun stuff that the Maivia/Johnson family bring to the table. I'll still watch the show when season two comes out—but that's only because of the references and not the actual plotline. I've lost interest in what they'll try to resolve next season. It really feels like they tried to cram everything into season one expecting that there won't be a follow-up. I'd still love to see if Dwayne wins the 2032 Presidential Election and what he'll end up doing afterward. However, I think the show will be stretching it too thin by then. If it feels like a thin thread by now, I can't imagine next season when they try to fit in so many answers and build up even more questions.

    I honestly feel the show would've been better off as one long mini-series consisting of maybe 12 to 15 episodes. Maybe then, they could've made everything stick and feel cohesive. The way the stories are told, they're actually very enjoyable. However, when presented in this sitcom format, you're left wondering what to expect in the coming week.

    Did I enjoy this week's finale? Yes. A little. I got to see all my favorite characters. I got to hear another of Dwayne's famous catchphrases be used in a context fitting to the show. But did I enjoy the season? I'm a little stuck in the middle ground on that one. Like I said, I enjoy what the show brings. It's just that I don't feel religiously attached to it. I'm not as excited as I used to be.

    They could probably fix a lot of the criticisms by trying to focus on key aspects of the Johnsons' life. The producers could try to make the stories mean more by setting the pace straight and actually following through without any cop-outs. At this point, I wish they'd introduce more characters that could actually be a part of their lives.

    Show Grade: B-

    Season 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: It All Comes Down to This in Young Rock's Season 1 Finale Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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