Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Top Shot Season 2 - Thoughts & Ruminations

I was thrilled to hear Top Shot was picked up for at least two more seasons... the first season was a little hokey but it was fun to see "my sport" featured on regular cable TV and gave Mrs. Normal and I a shooting-focused show to look forward to each week. I had my gripes with the show but, given it was the first attempt at a large-network all-shooting reality competition show we gave it a wide berth.

We really enjoyed the mix of professional, military / LEO, and recreational shooters featured. It was interesting to watch the more specialized shooters who may have been favored due to pedigree or hype fall by the wayside and the folks with a broad base of experience with multiple platforms shine through.

We were disappointed with the prevalence of cheap oddball guns and the constant use of the Beretta M9/92... it was as if the guns in the first season were selected based on looks alone and what the one PA who owns a couple guns had laying under the bed. Why the hell would you take a cheap South African Sig knockoff when I'm sure the real deal would have been easy enough to use? Hell... the Mythbusters feature "funner" guns than the Top Shot crew did during Season 1.

This season, we're definitely holding it to a higher standard and it looks like the production staff is, too. Looks like they're definitely focusing on American Made - the .45-70 Sharps, Colt New Police, Thompson Submachine Gun, both old and new 1911s and now the M1 Garand have all been or will soon be front and center. Either someone ordered an extra-heapin' helpin' of some Freedom Fries during the brainstorming sessions or they are trying to make up for the TZ99 (South African Sig knockoff), Mosin-Nagant ($100 relic from Asia), and the SVT-40 (privet, comrades!).

The contestants themselves look to be a an interesting group. Pretty much a broad cross-section of the "shooting public" again including the nationally-ranked competition shooters and "average Joe" types (which seem to be holding up much better in the early episodes). The laid-back suthun' boys and hyper Type A micromanagers are back, as are the dude-tactular military guys and the random Joes.

Oh... and this time there are TWO ladies!! Count 'em, TWO!! Or... um... at least there WERE two before the end of the second episode. I was secretly rooting for Maggie over Athena and it looks like I was right. "20 years of USPSA experience" wasn't enough to keep the diminutive Lee from controlling the ubiquitous Tommy Gun better than the Navy rescue swimmer. At least Athena didn't cry after being sent home and the one lady left looks like she can actually shoot.

This week, I can't wait to watch Jay Lim break down on the M1 (probably another gun he knows nothing about) and we'll see if George "The Failboat" Reinas - can step up this week after a poor showing on the handguns through the first couple episodes.

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