Wake Up Call

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Wake Up Call TV Poster Image
The Rock gives tough love, second chances; rough vocab.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

People should be accountable for their life choices, starting over, and not giving up. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dwayne Johnson acts as a coach and mentor but admits he's not a therapist and doesn't have all the answers. 


Abuse, fighting, serving jail time, and the like discussed. Alligator wrestling, MMA fights, and other contact sports visible. Prison details shown. 


Men are shown shirtless. 


"Piss," "ass," "bastard";  "s--t," "f--k" bleeped. 


iPhones, local shops, venues visible. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol and drug use and dealing discussed. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wake Up Call contains inspiring messages about being accountable for one's behavior, not giving up, and working hard, but it also contains lots of strong language ("piss," "ass," "bastard"; curses bleeped). Negative behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse, street violence, and emotional eating also are themes. Violent contact sports (such as MMA fighting) are visible.

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What's the story?

WAKE UP CALL is a reality series starring Dwayne Johnson as he mentors people who are down on their luck to help them turn their lives around. It features people of all ages who have faced difficult circumstances and made some poor choices throughout their lives, including dropping out of high school, overeating, and doing drugs. Johnson offers them a chance to turn their lives around, but it's up to each person to work hard, confront individual fears, and be accountable for his or her actions.

Is it any good?

The reality series centers on Johnson, who uses his own troubled past as a context for helping people turn their lives around and who uses both sensitivity and tough love to get his points across. Appearances by personalities such as Jillian Michaels also are meant both to push and inspire.  

It's a little rough around the edges, but the messages it sends about holding ourselves accountable for the choices we make are both honest and worth paying attention to. Working hard and not giving up also are positive themes. Dwayne Johnson fans will like it, but everyone can benefit from some of the lessons offered here. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reality shows. Can reality series such as this really inspire people to change? Or are they designed only to entertain? What happens to folks featured on these types of shows when the cameras stop rolling?

  • Why would anyone agree to be on a reality show? What are the pros and cons of being on television?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality TV

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