I of course dismissed him, but halfway through the premiere episode I can't help but agree with him. NBC seems to have a stock game show "look" and they don't shy away from exploiting it. It seems like all their shows have:
* The friend and family corner
* A money ladder
* Drawn out reveals
* People standing in front of numbers
* A play-at-home game during the commercials
* Melodramatic commercial breaks
Not to mention that between 1 vs. 100 and Identity there are even more similarities, such as "locking in" ("sealing in" on Identity) and "Helps".
Identity by itself is okay, it's semi-engaging but again I think the bit gets old very quick. Of course I said that about Deal or No Deal and here it is a year later getting great ratings.
Penn just doesn't seem to fit here, he seems even less suited for this kind of show than Bob Saget does on 1 vs. 100.
One thing I can't seem to get: When the person's identity is revealed, they show a tidbit like: "This stranger did such and such." Well, with the person's identity now known, how are they stranger anymore?
Also, I doubt they actually knew this when developing the game, but the overall format does come off very similar to a little known board game from the 1990s called "Real People" that I played a total of two times when growing up.