Top Shot

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Mon­day, 9.30pm, A&E As I be­lieve I men­tioned last time, de­spite the ti­tle, this un­for­tu­nately is not about pho­tog­ra­phy. In­stead it’s a paint-by-num­bers elim­i­na­tion re­al­ity pro­gram, fea­tur­ing 18 Amer­i­can marks­men (and women) who line up to shoot com­pet­i­tively un­til only the man or woman crowned top shot is left stand­ing. In­cred­i­bly, the pro­gram is in a fourth sea­son. Melo­dra­matic host (and former Sur­vivor con­tes­tant) Colby Don­ald­son tells hope­fuls tonight they will be fir­ing ad­vanced sniper ri­fles, short-range flint­lock pis­tols, grenade launch­ers, Civil-War-era can­nons and prim­i­tive weapons never be­fore used on the show. But wait, there’s more. Don­ald­son refers smugly to a big sur­prise he has in store. ‘‘ In past sea­sons we’ve been in­spired by his­tory; this sea­son we’re go­ing to make it,’’ he says. ‘‘ Which one of you will rise above the oth­ers to claim the $100,000 prize and the ti­tle of top shot.’’ Hey, Santa, pass us that re­mote. ma­chine gun and in this se­ries he jumps around Aus­tralia with more kick in his step than most foot­ball play­ers. Robin­son is here to ex­plore our coun­try, to tell sto­ries and to un­cover the hid­den his­tory that sur­rounds the places we take for granted. Well, that’s the idea. I don’t mean to sound un­grate­ful, but what would have been the prob­lem with get­ting some­one who ac­tu­ally knows what he’s talk­ing about, who has lived most of his life in th­ese places and could add to the schol­arly yet some­how su­per­fi­cial knowl­edge with ac­tual lived wis­dom? I guess the pro­duc­ers were count­ing on our ac­cep­tance of Robin­son as a sort of honorary Aus­tralian. This whirl­wind Aussie marathon in­cludes 10 towns and cities in 10 episodes, and if you watch all of it, you’ll be awake un­til 2.45am, with the lit­tle man’s high-pitched voice ring­ing in your ears well into Box­ing Day. You’ll very prob­a­bly also know a lot more about our his­toric towns than you did be­fore. Things be­gin tonight in Fre­man­tle be­fore Robin­son heads off to Mel­bourne, Ho­bart, Bendigo, New­cas­tle, Carl­ton, Bris­bane, St Kilda, Wool­loomooloo and Ade­laide.

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