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Television series

Top Shot: Season One

Gun porn, but amusing for a while

Rod Lott January 19th, 2011

What do you get when you combine 15 men, one woman and enough weapons to arm an insurgency? "Top Shot," a History Channel series that's nothing if not well-loaded. Its first season is now available in a four-disc set.

Like every other reality show these days, it uses "Survivor" as its template. Heck, even former "Survivor" runner-up/current good ol’ boy Colby Donaldson serves as host, presiding over all marksmanship matters. The premise rounds up 16 people already well-skilled in shooting — a cop, a Marine, a student, etc. — and goes through several challenges in order to eliminate them — but only figuratively — before crowning the ultimate winner. (Instead of granting them a cool "Survivor" million, however, "Top Shot"'s budget can muster only one-tenth of that.)

While I’m not the target market for this series, several of its elements amused me. From an obstacle course that utilizes weapons from various wars to a slingshot challenge and a Wild West shootout, the whole affair strikes me as oddball. However, its contestants take things very, very seriously. I’m just not sure how, since the elimination ceremony — in which each player takes aim at a name-embossed circle to cast a vote of “see ya” — is kind of a hoot.

That amusement only goes so far. This is a show recommended to and readymade for military men, weapons buffs, Bass Pro Shop frequenters and anyone else who gets off on gun porn, which “Top Shot” certainly is. —Rod Lott

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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