08 June 2010

Top Shot / Reality TV

I completely ignored the new reality TV for years. Never seen an episode of Survivor, and if I ever caught myself stopping on "cops" while channel surfing, I knew it was time to switch off. The early seasons of "Deadliest Catch" also had nothing for me.

But a couple years ago "Ice road trucker's" grabbed my interest. Not so much the idea of driving heavy trucks on ice, but more the really low speed limits (15mph) means the trip takes hours. Oh and don't forget the hills between the lakes ("portage") where you don't have much traction going up the hill and you can't get a running start because you'll blow out the ice for the next guy. Now the new season has also started, but it doesn't look significantly different than last season.

And then I found "Bullrun". It's a rally race grafted onto a reality show. The elimination round takes the form of obstacle driving course. There is a certain poetic justice seeing a kid show up in a $100k super car get sent home buy an old fart in a Hemi 'cuda. And the girl that brags about what a great driver she is also going home. Ha ha... you earned it. By the end I was pulling for the 'Cuda Old Fart because he'd proven himself (and his daughter as well, even though she pulls the bimbo rope-a-dope perfectly). Unfortunately the final challenge favored the modern super cars.

And Pawn Stars is absolutely fascinating... kind of an "Antiques Roadshow" meets "Let's Make A Deal". Needless to say, the cash desperation in the seller puts a lot of power in the pawnshop owner and they take advantage of it. This is not a bad thing, it's what keeps them in business. It's also an interesting take on the "liquidity" (popularity) of an asset. We buy and sell lots of guitars so we have a good take on the market. But we don't see many Antarctic survey markers so that's a tougher sell.

Which brings me to "Top Shot". Like many others, I'm pulling for the "local guy" (in a web sense) Caleb. Quite frankly I'm disappointed. To quote a friend speaking of a different subject "Four hours of material jam packed into three days of classes".

Show opens with The team challenge which is complete by 25 minutes after the hour. Break for 5-7 minutes of commercials. The loser team voting took another 10-12 minutes (yawn), break for another 5-7 minutes of commercials, then another 5-8 practicing with the elimination rifle. Winding up with the actual elimination round... and then a goodbye round (double yawn).

Ok, here's what I wished to see... more details on the weapons. Make me smarter while you're at it! Who used it, when and how? what about the sighting systems & the ammunition? What about the difficulties of a long range shot? What makes it better than the previous weapon? The winner talks about aiming 1 1/2 feet left of the target and missing, then immediately deciding the windage was not enough smokes the second target. Nice, but tell me something about how much the wind affects a shot.

Yea, I'm in for the duration if for no other reason than to pull for Caleb and the other NRA guy, but less than enthusiastic. I give the opening a 6 on a 10 point scale.

1 comment:

ExurbanKevin said...

My wife is sitting beside me as I type this. She walked in halfway thru this week's show and asked me to rewind it so she could watch it from the start.

She's hooked.

Maybe it's Colby, maybe it's the Survivor-esque format, maybe it's because I've met a few of the contestants, but she's watching it with me, something she's NEVER done for any of the Wednesday Night At The Range shows I watch.

And earlier this, my two sons chose to watch the recording of the first episode on our DVR rather than their usual kid's shows.

An entire family turned on to shooting because of Top Shot. That should warm the cockles of everyone in the NSSF and NRA.