A new level of respect and thanks goes to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with his latest reality series Wake Up Call debuting tonight on TNT at 9pmET/PT. The show is an emotionally charged journey that gives a good kick in the ass (in a good sense) to people who have been faced with extreme challenges. While some compassion is given to their personal hardship, Johnson provides a tough-love approach — in his candid, can-do-anything style — as he believes these individuals can and should be doing better.
Johnson is certainly an ideal host / lead interventionist for the series as he speaks from experience. The series begins with a brief intro from Johnson on the premise of the show and why he believes in it, where he shares how there was a time in his life when he was looking at multiple arrests and his dreams of being a professional football player were shattered. “I had $7 bucks in my pocket. That’s when I made a choice. I rebuilt myself and I started over,” Johnson says. “This show is about real people picking themselves up and saying I can do better.”
Saying “I can do better” is message that resonates in many factors of life, and certainly one that can be applauded and applied outside of the parameters of a televised reality series. For these select individuals, who are part of the eight-episode series — it’s a life changing opportunity.
In the premiere episode, Wake Up Call: Terrell: Hits Keep Coming (Friday, Dec. 12 at 9pm) we meet 18-year-old Terrell Moore from Coconut Creek, Florida. His mother is in prison, his dad abandoned him years ago, he’s given up on school (the last grade he completed was 8th grade) and he’s turned to alcohol and marijuana to suppress his hardships. He does, however, have a dream — to become a UFC fighter. So begins his much-needed Wake-Up Call.
A group of people who have invested in Terrell’s life in the past come together for an intervention, where they urge him to commit to making some changes in his life and push him to take advantage of this incredible opportunity. To do so he needs to be willing to put in the work — and it’s not going to be easy. Terrell’s journey is filled with tears and frustrations, as you see a kid who is being given a “golden ticket” in so many ways, yet struggles to get a handle on his life. As a viewer, you too become vested in wanting to see Terrell succeed.
“At the end of the day I’m doing this because I’ve been in his shoes and I know what he’s going through,” Johnson says. “When I was 14 I was getting arrested and getting into fights, doing a lot of stupid things that I shouldn’t have been doing. If you don’t step in now he’ll end up in prison or wind up dead. It’s as simple as that. I don’t have all the answers, I’m clearly not Dr. Phil (but clearly I am better looking — and more humble).”
The episode includes staggering facts and examples on high school dropouts and overall sends a strong message on the importance of education. If you’re a parent make Wake Up Call a must-see for your teenager.