After multiple delays, USA Network’s Shooter finally premiered this past Tuesday, November 15. And, although, many are still not sure, if this is the right time for a show like Shooter, this television series is set to air its first 12 episodes all through the end of this year and the beginning of 2017. So let’s look at some of the thoughts I had while watching this show, and if its even worth checking out.
First things first, a little background on this television show. Shooter is a USA Network’s drama, that is based on a novel by Stephen Hunter called “Point of Impact” as well as a film also called “Shooter”, that came out in 2007 and starred Mark Wahlberg. The television adaptation of this property stars Ryan Phillippe, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Omar Epps, Angelique Kenney among others, and is executively produced by Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson, who is also the executive producer for such shows as Ballers, Boardwalk Empire and Entourage. The show’s story follows Bob Lee Swagger, played by Phillippe, a decorated marine and expert sniper, who is trying to clear his name after he is framed for the murder of the President of the United States. The show was originally set to premiere on July 19, but, after the Dallas shootings on July 7 and a police officer being shot in Baton Rouge on July 17, USA made the decision to pull if you are ready to rethink your views and enjoy some good entertainment at the same time, the go ahead and watch Shooter form their schedule until a more suited time for the series to premier, because of it gun-heavy plot and main character’s pro-gun views. But now that it has finally aired, we can see the show and judge for ourselves, if there is a place for a show like this on television.
Right off the bat I will say, that it is very hard to judge a show from only 1 episode, however, that is why this is called the first impression, not a full blown review. So now that that is out of the way, I can get into my actual thoughts.
The very beginning of the show reminded me of “Twilight” and although the stories for both of these things are vastly different, you simply can’t not make the parallels with the wood shots, hunting vibes and the unlucky animal that is the target. But that’s where the similarities end, because in the next couple of scenes we see the main character, Bob Lee Swagger (talk about a name!) not only letting the animal go, but actually beating up the hunters, that wanted to shoot the wolf that got trapped into a bear trap. This, I think, was done to set up the character as a good guy not a soulless killer, which did its job of course, but still lacked something to really prove, that Bob Lee actually is the hero of this story what we should sympathize with.
The next shots were with his family, which again, seemed a little stiff. It could be because the show is so new and the chemistry between the characters haven’t really developed yet. However, there have been many freshman shows that did much better job at family dynamics and hopefully, as the time goes on, Shooter, to,o will step up its game in this aspect and we will see much better dynamics between Bob Lee, his wife and their daughter.
I also didn’t like the how the show was jumping between time lines without any indication as to when the scenes take place or what is showed in them. It is fine for a show that is at least couple of episodes in to do that, but to a brand new show there should be some indication as to what is happening in the scenes, because you can quickly get confused between learning who are the main characters of the show, finding out what is the premises behind it and trying to get immersed into the world that the show is setting up for us.
But now onto the things I did like about Shooter. Firstly, there was the whole job offer, which will later turn out to be a set-up. I thought this was one of the best parts of the episode, because it not only showed what the main character is capable off, but it also showed us, the viewers, all the detains, that no doubt will be used to charge Bob Lee for the murder of POTUS. I really liked all the scenes of him scouting the locations, training to shoot and even building a detailed plan in his shed, because usually, on shows like this, we don’t see how the character is being framed, we just see the aftermath of that. On top of that, the cut scenes after Bob Lee runs into the room with the rifle, also made me consider, just for a second, that Bob Lee really could be the shooter, which will also help the show later on to set up the reasoning behind why everyone thinks that Bob Lee actually did kill the President.
Secondly, I also liked how fast Bob Lee realized, that he is being set up, and how the first thing he said to the FBI agent after he fell was that he didn’t shoot the president. That not only showed how smart and quick-thinking Bob Lee is, but it also was a nice cliffhanger for the first episode of the show, because we didn’t hear what the FBI agent said in response to Bob Lee’s non-guilty plea or how the whole thing will move forward.
And lastly, I also loved the graphics of the show. Especially, when Bob Lee was scouting out the location where the sniper could shoot from. It wasn’t anything innovative or really new, but it still added a nice touch to the overall visual style of the show and made me feel, like I was a part of the whole planning process. And it is always nice to see shows, that develop their own unique style of portraying certain things, because it makes them stand out.
Overall, I would say that there is nothing wrong with the show, and you will like it if you like drama, suspense, crime shows, army and gun related shows and characters fighting to prove their innocence à la Quantico season 1. But, if you have anti-gun views, have suffered from gun-violence yourself or don’t like these types of suspense, crime dramas in general, then I don’t think that this is the show for you. USA really made a bold move to premiere this type of show even now, however, I think that, instead of condemning it, we should look at it as a way to start a conversation about the gun, violence as well as terrorism topics. So if you are ready to rethink your views and enjoy some good entertainment at the same time, then go ahead and watch Shooter.