TV for Gun Nuts

Right now, I’m absolutely hooked on two TV shows for completely different reasons. The first show is Justified on FX which is available on Hulu; this is basically everything good about TV. It stars Timothy Olyphant as US Marshal Raylon Givens. The show follows his adventures in law enforcement and his tangled relationship with his former best friend turned criminal. Plus the good guy has a bitchin hat.

But the real reason to watch the show aside from the excellent writing and acting is the gunhandling. Olyphant acts like he’s held a gun in his hands, which makes sense because according to rumors he’s an undercover gun nut himself. It’s not just his character though – when one of the supporting characters used a shotgun, she actually held it tight to her shoulder like you should! Madness, I know. Anyway, if you’re not watching Justified, you should be.

Now, the other end of the spectrum is a show so bad, so over the top that it crosses back over in to “good”. What do I speak of? Why none other than “Deadliest Warrior” on Spike. The premise of the show is to “simulate” what would happen if “x” got in a fight with “y”. Battles have included ninja vs. Spartan, Jesse James against Al Capone, Green Berets against Spetznaz, Maori vs. Shaolin monk, and so forth. The show’s hosts collect “data” by having experts (and meatheads in some cases) demonstrate the weapons of each historical opponent on ballistic gel dummies full of stage blood, butchered pigs, cow ribs, etc. It’s all quite theatrical and culminates in the computer guy feeding the data (which is never revealed) in to his simulation which then sims out 1000 battles between the two opponents. The winner is the one with the most wins out of 1000, and you get to see the winner in a re-enactment of sorts of the battle. Like I said, it’s over the top and insane. Their knowledge of firearms is abysmal, and while their experts do what they can, there are just a lot of ridiculous shenanigans that occur.

But the show is FUN. Ultimately, that’s what is important, because the show embraces itself and rolls around in its own loving embrace of its ridiculous cartoon violence. And for that, I love you, Deadliest Warrior on Spike.


  1. In the first episode of Justified, Raylan Givens did a press-check before moving a 1911 from a bedside table into his holster.

    I knew I’d like the show.

  2. Justified is a great show. Also on Hulu, I like IRIS. It is a Korean show with English subtitles…espionage, special-ops, conspiracies. Sort of anime with real people.

  3. It would be nice if the gun stayed the same model though. I think it has changed at least twice. I don’t know why they do that. They must not have competent prop masters anymore.

  4. Watching both shows as well. And I was screaming at the TV the other while watching the SS vs VC episode of Deadliest Warrior when they were talking about the weapons. Not only am I a gun nut, but I’m also a history major. I don’t know who does their research or who the hell those “experts” were, but they goofed on most of the firearms, mostly in that they’d be using different guns. The SS would have been using MP40s, Lugers and STG44s, as well as KAR98s. Now it wasn’t unheard of for some German officers to still use Broomhandled Mausers, bu the SS had the very best. And the Vietcong would have been using a lot more soviet weapons rather than captured MAT49s. Come on, PPSH41s and 43s, SKSs, AKs, Mosin-Nagants! At least they got the Tokarev right. An while the full auto on the Broomhandle is impressive, it shouldn’t have weighed as heavily as it did on their “data.”

    Sorry rant over. Do still love the show, it’s good entertainment.

  5. Justified is really good. Deadliest Warrior is not. In the episode I saw, they pitted some sort of Sikh martial art agains the Roman Centurion. For the Sikhs they got data from actual martial arts practioners. For the Romans they just had their unskilled guys on staff swing crap around. Not exactly comparable skill levels. And they didn’t put their Romans in decent lorica segmentata either.

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