Noir: Episode 3 in Review

In keeping with our weekly Noir evaluation, I have finally gotten around to organizing my thoughts about this week’s episode, the third entry in the new NRA web production. On the whole, this week’s show was much better than the previous two. Let’s take a closer look at this week’s content:

The show opened with Colion and Amy talking about how closed-minded the media can be about the firearms community and how many people misunderstand firearm owners and their motives in general. To illustrate this point, the two reminisced on their introductions to firearms and how their current interest has grown from that first experience. Compared to previous episodes, this opening segment was far more dynamic and more closely resembled a typical conversation between two gun owners than anything we have seen yet. It was an excellent way to begin the show and allowed both hosts to air some grievances with the media without coming across as whiny.

After a lengthy discussion around the portrayal of gun owners in the media, Colion and Amy transitioned to a critique of Jay-Z and Beyonce’s new video trailer for “Part II (On The Run)” or simply, “Run”. Colion lamented the video’s reckless misuse of firearms, emphasizing the fact that Russell Simmons railed against his portrayal of firearms, but has been quiet regarding the entertainment industry’s much more negative firearm usage. Colion’s experience with this double standard has certainly given him some perspective on the issue. Like the first section, this segment seemed to work well in that both Colion and Amy were engaged in the discussion.

The first of two guest segments this week featured NRA Manager of Hunting Policy, Darren La Sorte. In addition to lobbying for the NRA on behalf of hunters, La Sorte is also a shooting instructor in just about every major discipline. During his appearance on Noir, he, Amy, and Colion discussed bringing new people into shooting and how to attract those who thought of shooting sports as stationary, slow paced activities. Darren highlighted new dynamic shooting sports, such as 3-Gun and how adding a time factor in addition to accuracy scoring can enhance the experience for shooters who are looking for something a little more adventurous. At the closing of the segment, the three addressed shooting as a skill and how it is similar to any learned discipline that may be found useful when we least expect it. In comparison to previous guest appearances, this week’s was substantially better. As we would expect from a quality guest, Darren drove the conversation rather than Colion. I hope to see more of this in the future.

After La Sorte’s appearance, the show cut away for an advertising “break”. The Colion-narrated Daniel Defense ad that followed was, in my opinion, over the top. If the show wants to advertise, have someone other than Colion do the spot. The man does a great job of selling the shooting experience and his YouTube gun reviews are solid, but seeing as how he is the host of the show, it was difficult for viewers to tell where the commercial was going and the whole thing seemed a bit cheesy.

After the rather lousy commercial, the show’s second guest, Chris Cheng appeared on-set. Chris has been involved in a little bit of everything. He starred on History Channel’s Top Shot, worked for Google, and co-founded a charity (Home for a Home) to build homes for those in need. Chris most recently made news when he revealed last year that he is gay. In his appearance this week, Chris discussed the issue of “smart guns” and his perspective on the devices. He highlighted how tech people tend to look for problems and apply technical solutions to them. In the end, all agreed that the tech is fine as a choice, but requiring it would be a huge overstep.

All in all, this week’s episode was far better than the previous efforts. The format worked and felt more natural. I love Colion’s monologues, but it was nice to see that side of the show toned down some. The guests did an excellent job of driving the conversation and adding something interesting to the episode. I just wish the commercials could have been left on the cutting room floor, so to speak.


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