As I have written previously, the reality/competition show “Top Shot” on the History Channel played an important role in introducing me to gun culture. It showed me that guns are used for purposes other than killing, that marksmanship is an impressive skill, and that shooting is a safe and fun pastime/sport/occupation for many people. It significantly paved the way for my own foray (however limited) into guns and gun culture.
Some people in gun culture don’t like “Top Shot” because it is not simply about marksmanship, but also includes a healthy share of “drama.” It is, after all, a competition that takes place in the context of a semi-contrived reality TV show. The producers and editors work hard to develop storylines which include various conflicts that provide dynamism to the show’s narrative. I am a sucker for reality TV in general, so even though I know the drama is manufactured, I still end up rooting for some competitors and against others, thinking some are cool and others are jerks, yelling at the TV, live-Tweeting while I am watching, and so on.
On May 29th, History is bringing back “Top Shot” with a cast of 16 “all-stars” seeking “Redemption”: individuals who competed in but did not win in the first four seasons. I decided to re-watch the first four seasons of “Top Shot” leading up to the premier of Season 5, and just for fun will blog my thoughts.
Here is a rundown of the “all-stars” competing this season: