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Category:    Home > Reviews > Reality TV > Antiques > Collectibles > Hunting > American Restoration, Volume Two (2012)/Duck Dynasty – Season One (2012)/Top Shot – Season Four (2012/A&E/History DVDs)

American Restoration, Volume Two (2012)/Duck Dynasty – Season One (2012)/Top Shot – Season Four (2012/A&E/History DVDs)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D/C/C     Episodes: B/C/C+



Now for more of that special brand of “reality TV” from A&E and The History Channel…



American Restoration, Volume Two (2012) continues to be my favorite of all the shows that deal with collectibles and memorabilia, as my thoughts on the first DVD set shows at this link:




Though some of the set-ups are obviously preset (even prescripted?), the gang at Rick’s Restorations has the most natural chemistry of any of these shows and Rick now has a wife, which can add to the amusements.  I continue to be amazed by the great items they find or are hired to restore, the amazing work that goes into them and results that show real heart and soul on all involved.  They are saving the past, preserving it and that includes some real choice pieces that anyone with a brain would appreciate and want to own.


This 2-disc set has 19 more half-hour-ish episodes, but sadly no extras.



New to the fold is Duck Dynasty – Season One which features the newly rich Robertsons and their family business, making groundbreaking, handmade, wooden duck call whistles that trick more ducks than anything before them and has increased any hunter’s ability to capture/kill them.  It seems an unlikely show, but then it is an interesting success story and shows once again a simple idea made by hand by people who care can lead to great success.


They are even a tight family, but I felt the show lost any potential to work early on by staying with the same “reality TV” formula and it became redundant quickly.  Back in the day, this real-life set up would have made a great piece for 60 Minutes and people would talk about it for weeks afterwards, but this series by its nature is not that probing and unless you are entertained by it the way it stands or really like the family, it falls flat.


Extras include additional footage that is OK.



Finally we have Top Shot – Season Four which I am surprised has lasted so long, but it has been popular enough and the makers have been lucky enough to keep finding people who know who to do some fancy shootin’ that they have come up with another good series of shows for the latest contest.


If you are unfamiliar, here is our coverage of the previous seasons on DVD:


Season One



Reloaded/Season Two



Gauntlet/Season Three




This can become a blur like MTV’s The Real World did in its early seasons, but the show takes itself and the talent present seriously without making a joke out of them and with most of the serious competition shows usually set in the world of cooking, I’d say this is as good as any of them.  I would still start with the first season and go forward chronologically, but you can watch any select set and you’ll be fine.


Extras additional footage, Contestant Bios and a featurette amusingly titled Behind The Bullet.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on all three releases have good color, a little styling and the limits one expects from DVD, but I would like to at least see Restoration hit Blu-ray, though Top Shot on Blu-ray would allow us to see the marksmanship even better.  All three are HD shoots.  The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound on all three are also about even with good location recording, good post-production editing and music & even sound effects that are usually not intrusive.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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