Hip-Hop Squares: Review

MTV2 debuted a new game show this past week, a spin on a popular classic. You’ve never seen Hollywood Squares quite like this before!


I have to say, this was fun to watch. I had my skepticism. But while I had that skepticism of “Can they actually make this type of version work?”, I was also really excited about the idea of a new version of Squares. The show has definitely been due for some type of revival. And well, I’m going to be honest and say that you’re lookin’ at someone who is still pressed over the cancellation of Hollywood Squares with Tom Bergeron back in 2004.

Peter Rosenberg works really well as the host. The celebrities are somewhat rowdy, but it fits with the mood they have going. What really shines here is that in spite of any changes made; flashy set, rap based theme song, hip, club, partying atmosphere… there’s still a game show proudly in display. The prizes aren’t that expensive, but we’re talking about a show in which the prizes were never really that much top priority. The celebrities are really what keep me coming back to a show like this. Not to mention this is a cable show. I’m side-eying the secret square game being called “The G-Spot” just a little, but that part of the game itself is still there of course, just under a different name. The bonus round (worth $2,500) has a unique twist of picking three stars in a row and guessing which star out of the three is bluffing.

The show has definitely evolved a bit more over the years with each new revival. While Bergeron/Whoopi era of the series wasn’t its original predecessor Marshall’s either in itself, we’re definitely seeing a more loose vibe here. The show does have a bit more, maturity to it, shall we say, but when you consider the fact that it’s aimed at a semi-mature audience (the show is rated TV-14), and it’s obviously there for a younger, hipper group of people, you’re going to see a bit more of a laid-back, clubby atmosphere to it. While that might not be for everyone, the mood doesn’t overshadow what’s there in the first place… tic tac toe with nine celebrities.  And that’s the way it should be.

The show airs Tuesday nights at 11:00 Eastern on MTV2. The ratings were through the roof for the premiere. A good sign that we could be seeing this Brooklyn-based version for a while.

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