Warning! The following contains spoilers from the Wild 'N Out Season 16 premiere episodes. Read at your own risk!
With its host and creator having been fired by ViacomCBS for hateful and anti-Semitic comments on his podcast, and then rehired in early 2021, Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out returned to VH1 with Season 16's premiere. Like many shows on television in the past year and change, the improv comedy series made some format alterations, both to spice things up and to probably accommodate some restrictions that popped up due to the ongoing pandemic. The end result was Nick Cannon's series looking and feeling quite different during its premiere, and not all fans were impressed with the changes.
Viewers made social media noise early on and often during the two-episode premiere, getting vocal on Twitter about all the things they didn't like about Wild 'N Out Season 16 so far. Seems like an impulsively bizarre way to celebrate the show's return following the pandemic-delayed back half of Season 15. But unpredictability is key for improv, I guess.
In any case, the first thing fans noticed right off the bat was that three key cast members weren't present in the Wild 'N Out premiere, namely D.C. Young Fly, Karlous Miller, and Chico Bean, which left some viewers floored in the wrong ways.
Casting issues weren't the only elements that Wild 'N Out fans were upset about. The Season 16 premiere started off with a new game called "Baby Daddy, Baby Mama," in which the teams told jokes about...well...baby mamas. The consensus from fans was that the game went on far too long, and when it returned again in the second episode, many made it known it wasn't that entertaining the first time around.
Wild 'N Out is a show that prides itself on bringing in some of the biggest stars in hip hop, and that trend continued in Season 16's early episodes. Unfortunately for fans hoping to see everybody clowning around on the set together, guests like Fat Joe and Latto joined the action virtually and were relegated to a big screen off to the side. Wild 'N Out did try and hype things up a bit more with hologram musical performances by the guests, which was interesting, but not everyone was convinced it was as hype as the cast made it seem.
All of those complaints, plus the socially distanced audience, had fans seemingly in agreement on at least one thing: Nick Cannon's Wild 'N Out has changed too much in Season 16, and many would further agree it's not for the better. At least this early on in the season. Maybe it was too much too soon, or maybe this was just the cast and crew getting used to all the safety protocols meant to keep audiences and the cast safe. Whatever the case, many agreed that they preferred the old format of the VH1 series.
Change was one of the only constants here, beyond Nick Cannon himself, which is obviously not always readily embraced by the masses. But while many seem to have issues with Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out Season 16 right now, that may easily change as fans get used to the changes, or if the show brings back some of the missing elements later on. For example, for all the criticisms of the episode, the green screen game seemed to go over quite well.
The verdict is still out on Wild 'N Out Season 16, though one would think Nick Cannon (who made plenty of jokes about his baby drama) and other cast members might be sweating a little after scanning the social media reactions for the premiere. There's still plenty of episodes left to turn things around, though, so it's a little too early to make blanketed judgements.