On Monday, July 21st, GSN debuted the new original game show, Catch 21, combining pop trivia and the classic card game. This also marks the game show hosting debut of Alfonso Ribeiro, probably best known for playing the role of Carlton Banks on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
As far as Alfonso's hosting goes... I do like the fact that he's capable of doing the job, and judging from his appearance on GSN Live and the documentary that was made, he looks like he actually wants to be there. He's having fun on the set, and is friendly to the contestants, which are all definitely plusses. But I think he still needs a little work. He could really stand to shout less. But it's his first hosting job ever, so there's always room for improvement.
The format is pretty good. I always love the idea of pop culture and things of that nature mixed in with the questions, and this show is certainly no different. The questions seem to be easy enough for a game like this. And I must admit, I've watched so much Card Sharks in the past three or four years that I'm so used to the ace being the highest card in the deck and not the lowest.
The contestants on the episode I reviewed seem to be pretty decent... though they could stand to tone it down a bit as well. And judging from GSN's latest promo that uses the word "decaf," they seem to be using overexcited contestants to their advantage and I don't really like the idea of that. Of course, I want to see players that want to be there, but I don't like it when a show is too loud.
Minor notes: I love the set. It seems to be a thing nowadays ever since Millionaire for most game shows to have the coldest, darkest, and busiest sets ever made and that can get really grating over time. But Catch 21's is very colorful and bright, not to mention lively and it really fits the mood of the show. I also like that this show has an actual theme. I don't like the current trend where most game shows' themes have the same 7 or 8 notes repeated over and over.