‘Young Rock’ and ‘Kenan’ give NBC a just-so-so comedy tag team
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‘Young Rock’ and ‘Kenan’ give NBC a just-so-so comedy tag team

“Young Rock” would have worked better as a film, essentially the opposite of “Dwayne Johnson: The Wonder Years Edition”. The wrinkle that helps set the show apart is that it touches three different formula periods – played by different young actors at the age of 10, 15, with Johnson and as he did at his college in Miami Has kicked off the football days – the wrestler played the role of actor for the 2032 presidential term, as reported by a future version.

Johnson is narrating his history for an acclaimed interviewer (“Fresh of the Boats” Randall Park), who casts the real man in the series. The commemoration includes his father Rocky (Joseph Lee Anderson), a wrestler back in the day; His mother (Stacey Lillua), part of a wrestling family; And his wrestlers Pal – often seen walking outside his house – include big names (literally) such as Andre the Giant (Matthew Willig, not even that big, but quite big) and Iron Sheikh (Brett Azar).

The young Dwayne was introduced in Hawaii in 1982, before wrestling turned into a cash machine. Still, wrestlers talk fiercely about the “do-it-yourself gimmick” – that is, sell the show to viewers – and react with horror if anyone dares to use the word “fake”.

To call this vanity project would be an understanding, but Johnson’s inherent prospect goes a long way, and he points out that it is not all that happy, citing the misunderstanding that he learned along the way.

“To understand me, you will understand where I come from,” he explains.

Frankly, it still feels like a minor build to stretch into a series (a film would have made more sense), but three different timeframes – or four, if you count the future – So offer a reasonable amount of potential ground cover.

Any way you cut it, “Young Rock” is a gimmick of its kind. How long will the producer and the star continue to work and cook fresh wrinkles, where the show’s future begins to fade.

Don Johnson, NBC's Chris Redd and Kennan Thompson's & # 39;  Kenan's & # 39;  (Casey Durkan / NBC)

Conversely, “Cannon” lies in the here and now, which shows the more vulnerable side of its star, but has beautiful stale sitcom trappings around it.

Playing as the host of a local morning TV show in Atlanta, Thompson brings out the cheerful personality associated with that role, but struggled at home. His wife has died, and he is having two children with the help of his father-in-law (Don Johnson, fun but a little less unemployed) and brother (fellow “SNL” player Chris Redd).

Kenan is struggling to keep it all together, and ratings for the show are slipping. “We are worried that you haven’t fully processed your grief yet,” their producer (Kimrey Lewis) tells them, but there is not a very compelling answer to open up about her feelings on air Try it. .

Produced through “SNL” patron Lorne Michaels Company, “Kennan” combines some fun lines – Johnson’s character suggests they look at the “Green Book” – and a primetime to get Thompson ready to go. Gives a chance that he can handle more and more. Just one liners. But the base and supporting players – including his wacky TV family – are so slim that the chances are very well eliminated by the pilot alone.

As it stands, “Cannon” may depend on the success of “Young Rock”, with NBC clearly hoping that viewers will show up for one and stick around for both of them.

In the context of TV, the old-fashioned timeliness strategy itself represents a better throwback to the timeline of “Young Rock” – a gimmick that would probably work better in the 1980s.

“Young Rock” and “Cannon” premiered on February 16 at 8 and 8:30 pm ET on NBC, respectively.

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