Young Rock is an American television sitcom based upon the life of professional wrestler and actor Dwayne Johnson, also known by his ring name "The Rock".[1] The series is created by Nahnatchka Khan and Jeff Chiang and premiered on NBC on February 16, 2021. The series has received generally positive reviews from critics. In April 2021, the series was renewed for a second season.[2] A holiday special episode aired on December 15, 2021, ahead of the second-season premiere on March 15, 2022. In May 2022, the series was renewed for a third season,[3] which is scheduled to premiere on November 4, 2022.[4]

Young Rock
Young Rock title.png
Season 1 episode 1 title card showing Adrian Groulx as a young Dwayne Johnson
GenreSitcom
Created by
Based onDwayne Johnson
Starring
Narrated byDwayne Johnson
ComposerNathan Matthew David
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes24
Production
Executive producers
  • Brian Gewirtz
  • Nahnatchka Khan
  • Dwayne Johnson
  • Hiram Garcia
  • Dany Garcia
  • Jeff Chiang
  • Jennifer Carreras
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production companies
DistributorNBCUniversal Television Distribution
Release
Original networkNBC
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseFebruary 16, 2021 (2021-02-16) –
present (present)

PremiseEdit

The sitcom is set in a frame story where Johnson is running as a candidate in the 2032 United States presidential election. Each episode involves Johnson participating in an interview or other conversation which leads him to flashback to a story from one of three periods of Johnson's life (with occasional episodes where all three periods are shown). In the first season, Johnson is depicted as a ten-year-old in Hawaii; as a high school student in Pennsylvania; and as a college student and football player at the University of Miami.[5]

Cast and charactersEdit

MainEdit

RecurringEdit

1982Edit

(Note: All the wrestling recurring characters who appear in 1982 also appear in 1987 and the 1990s)

1987Edit

1990sEdit

2032Edit

  • Randall Park as a future version of himself who has retired from acting and now is the host of his own news show The Straight Line with Randall Park
  • Kenny Smith as a future version of himself, now a solo sports show host, unlike Inside the NBA
  • Rosario Dawson as General Monica Jackson, the VP candidate for Dwayne Johnson's presidential campaign
  • Ata Johnson cameos as a future version of herself during an interview between Dwayne and Randall, and in the season 1 finale.
  • Ed Orgeron cameos as a future version of himself during an interview between Dwayne and Kenny Smith
  • Chelsey Crisp as Casey, a member of Dwayne's campaign staff (season 2–)
  • Christopher Chen as Sandy, a member of Dwayne's campaign staff (season 2-)
  • Michael Torpey as Senator Brayden Taft, Dwayne's opponent
  • Jenna Kanell as Jamie, the camerawoman on The Straight Line with Randall Park (season 2, episodes 4 and 11)

Guest starsEdit

  • Bryan Probets as Principal Bogg (season 1, episodes 2 and 5)
  • Carly Daniels as Color Blind Karen (season 1, episodes 2, 8 and 11)
  • Gaby Seow as Big-Hair Karen (season 1, episodes 2, 8 and 11)
  • Jordana Beatty as Bonnie (season 1, episodes 2, 5, 8 and 11)
  • Karen Ceesay as Superintendent Broward (season 1, episode 2)
  • Michael Torpey as Senator Brayden Taft (season 1, episode 9; mentioned in season 1, episode 11)
  • Luke Hemsworth as Coach Erickson (season 1, episodes 10 and 11)
  • Heather Maltman as Rookie FBI agent (season 1, episode 11)
  • Clayton Watson as Calgary Man (season 1, episode 11)
  • Sean Astin as Man (1990s) who sold Dewey a mattress/Julian, an old schoolmate who 2032 Rock has a Twitter war with.

Wrestler cameosEdit

EpisodesEdit

Series overviewEdit

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
111February 16, 2021 (2021-02-16)May 4, 2021 (2021-05-04)
SpecialDecember 15, 2021 (2021-12-15)
212March 15, 2022 (2022-03-15)May 24, 2022 (2022-05-24)

Season 1 (2021)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Working the Gimmick"Nahnatchka KhanJeff Chiang & Nahnatchka KhanFebruary 16, 2021 (2021-02-16)1015.32[9]
In 2032, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is running for President of the United States. To prove he is like the everyday American, he sits down for an interview with Randall Park, now a journalist, and begins discussing his childhood. Johnson flashbacks to his life as a young boy in Hawaii, where his famous father Rocky Johnson, a wrestler, just won a match; they later go to Rocky's mother's house to talk to the rest of the family, to the dismay of Johnson's mother. Johnson then flashbacks to his teenage years in Pennsylvania, trying to impress girls by stealing and making himself appear wealthy, while dealing with his parents struggling to make income. Johnson also reminiscences about his college years, playing for the Miami Hurricanes', but not before his father shows up to the team's gym trying to make his son look good.
22"On the Road Again"Daina ReidJeff Chiang & Nahnatchka KhanFebruary 23, 2021 (2021-02-23)1063.61[10]
Continuing from the previous episode, Johnson continues to talk about his past in the interview with Park. As a high schooler in 1987 Pennsylvania, Johnson is continuing to lie about his wealth to impress girls, specifically a popular girl named Karen. He asks her to go on a date to his father's wrestling match, but when they attend the match, they realize it's in the middle of a flea market with very few spectators. Despite this event being slightly embarrassing to Johnson, Karen finds this interesting and continues to date him. Meanwhile, Johnson's mom Ata hangs out with a rich client whom she cleans her house for.
33"Forward, Together"Jeffrey WalkerJen D'AngeloMarch 2, 2021 (2021-03-02)1023.22[11]
Talking to his campaign manager (in 2032), Johnson begins talking about how life drastically changed when his father became famous for wrestling. Flashbacking, his younger self and his family learn from his grandmother, a wrestling promoter, that she is organizing an Island-wide wrestling tournament. However, one of the booked wrestlers backs out, claiming his mother is sick, but was actually offered more money by Greg Yao, another wrestling promoter. Rocky Johnson is also offered promotion by Yao, but Rocky is afraid he'll be left behind in the changing business. Meanwhile, Johnson's mom Ata, after being encouraged to do so, decides to pursue a career in singing on reality television, starting with singing at a restaurant.
44"Check Your Head"Jeffrey WalkerPatrick Kang & Michael LevinMarch 16, 2021 (2021-03-16)1092.96[12]
55"Don't Go Breaking My Heart"Daina ReidErik DurbinMarch 23, 2021 (2021-03-23)1072.90[13]
66"My Day with Andre"Jeffrey WalkerDavid SmithymanMarch 30, 2021 (2021-03-30)1032.58[14]
In an convention in 2032, Johnson announcing his running mate for vice president named General Monica Jackson. Flashbacking it to 1982, Dewey is spending a day with Andre the Giant, while Lia and Rocky prepares their plans for the huge Island Battle Royale. Andre had asking Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat (Ivan So) and Sgt. Slaughter to battle them in the battle royale. Meanwhile, Ata is creating an original song as her quest for stardom that showed us the quirky side of the mom of the household.
77"Johnson & Hopkins"Jeffrey WalkerErik DurbinApril 6, 2021 (2021-04-06)1102.63[15]
88"My Baby Only Drinks the Good Stuff"Daina ReidErica OyamaApril 13, 2021 (2021-04-13)1082.78[16]
99"A Lady Named Star Search"Jeffrey WalkerCindy FangApril 20, 2021 (2021-04-20)1042.64[17]
In 2032, Johnson and rival candidate senator Brayden Taft (Michael Torpey) had a debate. Flashbacking to 1982, Ata wanted to audition for Star Search. Rocky takes an unorthodox approach to helping Dewey deal with some bullies after Kenny (P.J. Holt) cut the part of the surfboard. Lia had a conflict with rival wrestling promoter Greg Yao.
1010"Good vs. Great"Jeffrey WalkerErica OyamaApril 27, 2021 (2021-04-27)1112.40[18]
1111"Election Day"Jeffrey WalkerJeff Chiang & Nahnatchka KhanMay 4, 2021 (2021-05-04)1052.36[19]
On Election Day (in 2032), Johnson leads Taft by 4 point margin to become the next president. Johnson talks to Park ahead of his acceptance speech. Flashbacking, Dewey became the president of the Rocky Johnson Fan Club, Rocky said that her mother's Star Search audition is so pretty famous. Ata visited the Greg Yao's office to pay the price until the end of the day. Rocky and Dewey meet their parents back home to Hawaii and they meet Randy Savage. Lia was arrested for extortion after her feud with Greg. Meanwhile, in 1988, Dewey accepting his calls from coaches that he wanted to accepting him in the University of Georgia, the University of Notre Dame or the University of Southern California. Dewey had accepting the call from the University of Miami to become a football player on the road to his NFL stardom. Then in 1995, in Tampa, Dewey prepares his shot at the NFL Draft while he is in college. He watching the draft while he announcing Warren Sapp as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he did not called, then on day 2, they did not called after they announced the final draft selection has been picked. Dewey instead wanted to played for the Calgary Stampeders while in the cold. Johnson completes his interview with Park and they met the future version of Lia to attend their press conference.

Special (2021)Edit

No.
overall
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
12"A Christmas Peril"Nahnatchka KhanJen D'AngeloDecember 15, 2021 (2021-12-15)2023.06[20]

Season 2 (2022)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
131"Unprecedented Fatherhood"Nahnatchka KhanJeff Chiang & Nahnatchka KhanMarch 15, 2022 (2022-03-15)2012.55[21]
142"Seven Bucks"Jeffrey WalkerErik DurbinMarch 22, 2022 (2022-03-22)2032.32[22]
153"In Your Blood"Jeffrey WalkerCindy FangMarch 29, 2022 (2022-03-29)2052.07[23]
164"In the Dark"Cherie NowlanEric ZiobrowskiApril 5, 2022 (2022-04-05)2082.02[24]
175"What Business?"Jeffrey WalkerPatrick Kang & Michael LevinApril 12, 2022 (2022-04-12)2042.30[25]
186"Kiss and Release"Jeffrey WalkerDavid SmithymanApril 19, 2022 (2022-04-19)2061.92[26]
197"An Understanding"Cherie NowlanJen D'AngeloApril 26, 2022 (2022-04-26)2092.14[27]
208"Corpus Christi"Jeffrey WalkerHiram Garcia & Brian Gewirtz & Dwayne JohnsonMay 3, 2022 (2022-05-03)2112.14[28]
219"Backyard Brawl-B-Q"Jeffrey WalkerLaura McCrearyMay 10, 2022 (2022-05-10)TBA1.88[29]
2210"Rocky's Code"Cherie NowlanErik DurbinMay 17, 2022 (2022-05-17)TBA1.87[30]
2311"You Gotta Get Down to Get Up"Jeffrey WalkerPatrick Kang & Michael LevinMay 24, 2022 (2022-05-24)TBA2.34[31]

Note: In the Eastern and Central timezones, due to news coverage of the Robb Elementary School shooting, this episode was not broadcast, though it was rebroadcast on May 29, 2022, in its entirety.
2412"Let the People Decide"Jeffrey WalkerCindy Fang & David SmithymanMay 24, 2022 (2022-05-24)TBA2.36[31]

Note: In the Eastern and Central timezones, due to preemption for a speech from President Biden, this episode was joined in progress. It was also rebroadcast on May 29, 2022, in its entirety.

ProductionEdit

 
Dwayne Johnson, who plays himself and is also an executive producer

DevelopmentEdit

On January 11, 2020, NBC gave a straight-to-series order to Young Rock, a comedy series based on Dwayne Johnson's early life created by Johnson and Nahnatchka Khan and produce the series with Jeff Chiang, Dany Garcia, Jennifer Carreras, Hiram Garcia, and Brian Gewirtz with Khan and Chiang writing the pilot.[32] In November 2020, production on the series commenced in Australia.[33] On January 15, 2021, it was announced that the series would premiere on February 16, 2021.[34] On April 30, 2021, NBC renewed the series for a second season.[2] A holiday special episode titled as "A Christmas Peril" aired on December 15, 2021, ahead of the second season premiere on March 15, 2022.[35][36] On May 12, 2022, NBC renewed the series for a third season,[3] which is scheduled to premiere on November 4, 2022.[4]

CastingEdit

Three actors were cast to play Johnson at three ages from his youth.[37] On September 30, 2020, Johnson revealed that Bradley Constant was cast as 15-year-old Johnson, Uli Latukefu as 18–20-year-old Johnson, Adrian Groulx as 10-year-old Johnson, Stacey Leilua as Johnson's mother, Ata Johnson, Joseph Lee Anderson as Johnson's father, Rocky Johnson, and Ana Tuisila as Johnson's grandmother, Lia Maivia.[38] On August 3, 2021, Matthew Willig was promoted to series regular for the second season.[7]

ReleaseEdit

MarketingEdit

During the 2020 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, an inflatable CGI float featuring Dwayne Johnson in his 20s was unveiled in promotion of the television show.[39]

Home mediaEdit

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released the complete first season of Young Rock on DVD and Blu-ray on March 29, 2022.[40]

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has a rating of 90% based on 31 reviews, with an average rating of 7.70/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Anchored by a winsome ensemble, Young Rock is an endearing peek behind the curtain of both Dwayne Johnson's childhood and the wild world of wrestling."[41] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 66 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[42]

RatingsEdit

Season 1Edit

Viewership and ratings per episode of Young Rock
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Working the Gimmick" February 16, 2021 1.0 5.32[9] 0.4 1.38 1.4 6.70[43]
2 "On the Road Again" February 23, 2021 0.8 3.61[10] 0.3 1.07 1.1 4.68[44]
3 "Forward, Together" March 2, 2021 0.7 3.22[11] 0.3 0.96 1.0 4.19[45]
4 "Check Your Head" March 16, 2021 0.6 2.96[12]
5 "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" March 23, 2021 0.6 2.90[13]
6 "My Day With Andre" March 30, 2021 0.6 2.58[14]
7 "Johnson & Hopkins" April 6, 2021 0.5 2.63[15] 0.2 0.66 0.7 3.29[46]
8 "My Baby Only Drinks the Good Stuff" April 13, 2021 0.6 2.78[16] 0.2 0.67 0.8 3.45[47]
9 "A Lady Named Star Search" April 20, 2021 0.5 2.64[17] 0.3 0.67 0.8 3.31[48]
10 "Good vs. Great" April 27, 2021 0.5 2.40[18] 0.2 0.61 0.7 3.00[49]
11 "Election Day" May 4, 2021 0.5 2.36[19] 0.2 0.56 0.7 2.92[50]

SpecialEdit

Viewership and ratings per episode of Young Rock
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
12 "A Christmas Peril" December 16, 2021 0.5 3.06[20] TBD TBD TBD TBD

Season 2Edit

Viewership and ratings per episode of Young Rock
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Unprecedented Fatherhood" March 15, 2022 0.4 2.55[21] TBD TBD TBD TBD
2 "Seven Bucks" March 22, 2022 0.4 2.32[22] TBD TBD TBD TBD
3 "In Your Blood" March 29, 2022 0.3 2.07[23] TBD TBD TBD TBD
4 "In the Dark" April 5, 2022 0.3 2.02[24] TBD TBD TBD TBD
5 "What Business?" April 12, 2022 0.4 2.30[25] TBD TBD TBD TBD
6 "Kiss and Release" April 19, 2022 0.3 1.92[26] TBD TBD TBD TBD
7 "An Understanding" April 26, 2022 0.4 2.14[27] TBD TBD TBD TBD
8 "Corpus Christi" May 3, 2022 0.3 2.14[28] TBD TBD TBD TBD
9 "Backyard Brawl-B-Q" May 10, 2022 0.4 1.88[29] TBD TBD TBD TBD
10 "Rocky's Code" May 17, 2022 0.4 1.87[30] TBD TBD TBD TBD
11 "You Gotta Get Down to Get Up" May 24, 2022 0.4 2.34[31] TBD TBD TBD TBD
12 "Let the People Decide" May 24, 2022 0.5 2.36[31] TBD TBD TBD TBD

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit