Dwayne Johnson celebrates the promising start of Young Rock, which is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The NBC sitcom which is co-created by Johnson and Nahnatchka Khan, is inspired by Johnson’s upbringing and delves into crucial points in his life. The cast of Young Rock includes a trio of different actors stepping in and out of the main role.
The premiere, titled “Working the Gimmick,” offered audiences a glimpse of how the time-hopping of Young Rock will line up with the protagonist growing up. The episode featured a 10-year-old Johnson (played by Adrian Groulx) saying the wrong thing and learning a valuable lesson. Another storyline focused on Johnson, at 15 (Bradley Constant) struggling to impress his high school crush. And, towards the end, Young Rock jumps forward to see how an 18-year-old Johnson (Uli Latukefu) is adjusting to being a student at the University of Miami. All these threads are held together by the main narrative of Johnson, as himself, running for president in 2032. The series could have easily been overwhelmed by these setups, though the early buzz has been largely positive.
Johnson celebrated the show’s successful debut on social media. Replying to a tweet that highlighted Young Rock’s status on Rotten Tomatoes, which is currently Certified Fresh with over 20 reviews, the actor expressed his gratitude for the fans and families that tuned in. You can check out Johnson’s post below:
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) February 18, 2021
Young Rock was also a hit in the ratings. The series was watched by 5 million viewers. Along with Kenan, which premiered on the same night with 4.1 million, the two comedies doubled the performance of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist on average. In terms of the critical response to Young Rock, reviewers have specifically praised how the narrative was balanced between the four different timelines. Critics, who sampled the first two episodes and the sixth, also enjoyed the unlikely friendship that blossoms between the 10-year-old Johnson and Andre the Giant. That particularly comes through in the sixth installment, which will give fans something to look forward to.
Still, not every element of “Working the Gimmick” was met with praise. Some have argued that the framing device that plays out throughout the premiere, of Johnson being interviewed as a presidential candidate, distracts from the rest of the series by fueling speculation that the Black Adam star is considering a presidential bid. But, nonetheless, it is common for television pilots to feature awkward quirks and ill-advised storylines that are ironed out as the show progresses. If it’s the case that Young Rock continues to be a hit, perhaps the show will get the chance to figure out its flaws and improve on its myriad of strengths.
Source: Dwayne Johnson