YOUNG ROCK (2021) - Season 1, Episode 1 "Working the Gimmick"
Young Rock recounts the childhood, teenage, and college years of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as he does a press interview for his presidential run in 2032. The show never states that it’s entirely true, and after seeing the first episode, it’s about 50/50 on the likelihood that any of it is in fact autobiographical.
We are welcomed into the show with the idea that Dwayne Johnson is running for President of the United States in 2032 and is about to do an in depth interview with actor (turned host) Randall Park about his upbringing. The idea of “Working the Gimmick” comes up, and from there we are transported to The Rock’s childhood where he is a young kid amazed by his father’s wrestling and friends. We encounter a room full of iconic wrestlers and an interference with the word “fake.”
From there we see teenage Dwayne wanting to impress a girl at his school by stealing and buying a car with some huge setbacks. This second section is by far the most unrealistic of the episode, but it’s also the most compelling of the trio. We are introduced to new characters that could expand into interesting companions and older versions of characters we’ve already met.
In the third section we are introduced to college years Dwayne Johnson and see him try to beat the lifting score in the weight room to show that he’s just as great as his father unrealistically built him up to be.
Between each story we are given a minute with present day Dwayne Johnson telling his story to Park, and these scenes are there to provide a launching pad into the next story. So far the show is lighthearted and goofy, with some serious nods to some family distress happening in the future. Being a thirty minute show, Young Rock is over before you know it, and it’ll be interesting to see just how long this “interview” can go on for.