Catch 21 is the most exciting new GSN show since Camouflage last year. Naturally that isn't saying much. But I was curious how this Gambit 2008 show would work. Here are some observations:
1) The hostess (Micky) seems to be really uncomfortable dealing the cards. She's handling like they're covered with Kraft RealMayo (and incidentally, wasn't their mayo always real?)
2) The questions are a little bit on the stupid side.
3) Alfonso isn't really a natural host, although I do prefer him to Patrick Duffy. He's very much about slowly enunciating the rules. This is a pretty simple game so he should try to move things along a little bit faster. Also, since Fresh Prince ended it appears that Alfonso caught 21...pounds that is. Like, three times.
4) In the two-player round, I was surprised that the trailing player no longer had to answer questions to stay in the game, it simply became a card game at that point. That was kind of lame.
5) An ad for the DVD of "21: The Movie"? Fitting, I suppose. Incidentally that movie is crap, read the book it's based on instead.
6) Burger King is all over this show too. I can't recall a show that has ever sold itself out as much as this. Oh wait, Wheel of Fortune.
7) The bonus round is passable, even fun, but again Alfonso's heavy handed handling of the rules is a bit of a downer.
8) The fact that the contestant has to risk the $5,000 to go for $25,000 basically guarantees that no one will ever win it. Also, the fact that there is no risk to go from $1,000 to $5,000 makes the later risk seem weird.
All in all I'd give it a 6/10. Hopefully Alfonso will relax in later episodes and we'll see the game flow a little better.