I need to know how and/or why you're watching 'Identity'

151231__penn_lI can’t bring myself to actually watch Identity, NBC’s new game show featuring Penn Jillette and a bunch of faker bakers masquerading as things like "Mall Santa" or "Shark Attack Victim" or "Self-loathing." Okay, not that last one, which would probably apply to all participants. Anyway, NBC wants the show to follow in Deal or No Deal‘s footsteps and become a big hit after airing every single night of one week. So I gotta know: Is it working? Are you watching? And if so: 1) Why? and 2) How?! Look at the scary photo of Penn! I wonder what he’s thinking. I was about to strangle you, viewer, but since my lazy eyes have diverted up into space, you’re off the hook… FOR NOW. Yikes!

I’ll admit: the premise of the show — judging a book by its cover, essentially — is actually intriguing to me. A few years ago, I determined, based on pure instinct, whether each of a group of people at a party liked or disliked pickles. I somehow got on a roll and guessed all 14 correctly. In a row. Probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done. But footage of me doing this would not make great or even acceptable television. And Identity looks even worse, if that’s possible. Correct me if I’m wrong. Deal?

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Comments (43 total) Add your comment
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  • kellye

    it takes penn about 20 minutes to actually reveal the freakin’identity of the people. its excruciating!! arghh!

  • bootsycolumbia

    Annie, you’re not wrong. Really, really boring show without a trace of suspense. Don’t bother watching it.

  • Jakeem

    I don’t mind the show at all, but I wouldn’t want to be one of the contestants. I was proud of the fact that I recognized Erin Murphy, who played Tabitha on “Bewitched, right off the bat.
    The key to airing this show every weeknight is that it will get good ratings because it’s the eve of the holiday season and there’s absolutely nothing else to watch.

  • mark

    I like the idea of the show, but get a decent host and speed it up…it takes way tooooo long to reveal the answer…fell asleep waiting. Could it be that they dont have enough money to pay off the winners so they figure the longer it takes each person, the fewer players they will have to pay off?

  • Bernard

    Annie, after 2 episodes, I declare “Identity” to be more like “Amnesiac”: it takes so long to reveal the identity of the participants that one forgets what’s going on. I think I cooked a whole Christmas ham waiting for some woman to name the go-go dancer.
    Penn looks embarrassed (unlike Shatner on Show Me the Money, who looked not only embarrassed but slightly amused he was getting paid for that mess), there were at last count 1,683 commercials, the participants need to be less obvious (who IS the circus performer? could it be the woman twirling a flaming baton??), and the show needs to be shortened by 30 minutes (although that might cut into the $10, 000 Whac-a-Mole game).
    With it’s meandering ratings, “Identity” is quickly losing its own.

  • alison

    “Identity” has great potential, but they need to find a better host, (Sorry, Penn) and speed up the process a little bit. By the time we’ve come back from a commercial break, I’ve forgotten which identity we’re “anxiously” waiting to see revealed. Also, they do not show the list of identities nor the “strangers” nearly enough, so it is hard to play along at home. I gave it two nights then moved on.

  • nOva

    This show is so bad. But of course I expected this once I learned NBC wasn’t willing to invest in decent scripted material.

  • sampson

    Watching it now. You guys are right, way too many commercials. The best this show could do for me is be a Tivo show. It’s just not worth all the commercials and stalling.

  • mike

    NBC would love to be another Game Show Network. Deal or No Deal will be run into the ground, just like ABC did with Millionaire. NBC should use their resources to better publicize their scripted shows.

  • Ilovejuice

    The show is horrible. Just like Deal or No Deal.
    Whatever happened to game shows where actual SKILLS or KNOWLEDGE were involved? I’m still waiting for them to do an updated spin on Name That Tune. I’d be all over that.

  • missdona

    Because I’m obsessed with his Trumpian hand gestures.

  • Nancy

    The idea of this show is not bad if you like to do the play at home gameshow, BUT it is very difficult to play at home since we hardly get to see the strangers or the identity list at all, let alone get to see them enough to have fun guessing along. And if you are playing from home, you guessed it , my indentity is the frustrated home player.

  • t3hdow

    This show looks like another attempt to cash in on the surprise success of Deal or No Deal, a game show that’s not that great to begin with. From the look of things and judging from these comments, I’m not missing much.

  • Joel

    They need to stop making game shows in prime time and give shows like Day Break or Smith an actual chance (and promote them better).

  • Todd

    There are too many commercials, and it takes WAY too long for the ID reveals, but I like Penn Jillette very much.

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