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Watching the preview for Doomsday Preppers on the National Geographic channel, I feared that RF’s predictions of a sandbag job would come true. Talk about trailer trash; the commercials practically screamed “CRAZY PEOPLE WITH GUNS, OMG!” When I finally sat down and watched the first episode I discovered that the show wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be . . .

“Reality” shows edit their raw material shows to highlight the less desirable or socially acceptable features of their subjects’ personalities. Jake Zweig’s “game face” and tantrums on Top Shot and Snooki’s mere existence on Jersey Shore are but two examples of “stars” manufactured in the editing room. To their credit, Preppers‘ producers hadn’t used the tricks of the trade to make the aspiring survivalists look extra crazy.

DP’s creators seemed to take a fairly balanced approach to the subject. For us, the subject isn’t whether or not the S will HTF. It’s guns.

For the most part I’m happy with the Preppers‘ producers’ portrayal of firearms and their use. They talked about “last resort” and “self defense” and showed some fairly safe training sessions. They made it very obvious that the DPs were willing to use guns to protect themselves—without suggesting that were looking to start any fights.

But that was mostly just talk. Once the DPs hit the range, it became pretty obvious that most of the subjects neglected their firearms training in favor of the other aspects of “prepping.” They were just showing off for the camera. One family even stored their firearm inside its case in a bug-out bag, rendering it virtually inaccessible in an emergency (instead of storing it in a locked yet easy-to-open safe).

Take this family for example. It’s entirely possible that these women have never fired a DA/SA handgun before. But what’s more likely is that the producer of the show wanted some footage of “chicks with big guns” and asked them to fire it—despite not really being into that whole “gun” thing. To me, this girl’s expression is more “oh God, what am I doing” and less “hmm, gotta hit that target.”

In terms of things that go bang, NatGeo’s portrayal of Prepper people and their guns showed their subjects as level-headed and realistic people. There wasn’t one mention of “the blue helmets coming to take our guns.” Which is good for us, but bad for NatGeo. DP lacks the High School craziness and conflicts that more carefully scripted shows use to flypaper eyeballs.

The commercial for the episode three indicates that there’s tons more firearms-related footage to follow. Which is a bit strange as the next episode is entitled Back to the Stone Age [still above]. Anyway, despite the Valentine’s Day date, I’ll keep watching. I get the feeling that I’ll be part of a diminishing audience. Maybe they should have called Doomsday Preppers something more literate and played it more for scary laughs, like Waiting for Jake Zweig.

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  1. “To their credit, Preppers‘ producers hadn’t used the tricks of the trade to make the aspiring survivalists look extra crazy.”

    One of the simplest tricks is to interview the less articulate among us in order to portray everyone as “just a bunch of dumb hicks.” How did the people sound?

    • I was actually impressed with how NATGEO went about the entire process. The people they interviewed, regardless of how they looked, sounded VERY articulate; despite the subject matter being, unorthodox.

      My wife and I consider ourselves “Preppers”, and even came away with an idea or two. We found it entertaining.

      Their were 1 or 2 naive subjects. The young lady who thought she was going to bug out with what looked to be a 60lbs pack to “Mexico”, for example. But her followup indicated she learned better.

  2. Anyone else notice the “enhanced” muzzle report of the .22’s when the one family was testing there shipping container home for bullet resistance?

    • all of the guns i saw on the show sounded like that. i also laughed when they tested the strength with .22s. i mean, yea the .22 is the worlds most popular cartridge, but in a SHTF situation, im imagining more times than not, the 7.62×39 cartridge will be the most popular cartridge.

    • It was great that they had a “bullet proof home”. I am fairly certain that my brick home can deflect 22lrs… but I hope they aren’t using those 308 -22s that were shown in DP…. They sounded like they were loaded reallllly hot.

  3. I have to say when NatGeo does something they tend to do it with Integrity, watch their Show about CBP, or the Alaska State Troopers they dont Hype up whats happening on either show, its about portraying what the individuals work life is, not create drama.

  4. I would avoid going on “Doomsday Preppers” like the plague.

    I don’t think it’s smart to advertise.

    “Security through obscurity” as my cop nephew says.

    • Advertise to the neighborhood or community that you are a prepper with lots of goods for a social/economic/political collapse and there will be lots of people in your yard looking for help and some demanding that you share.

      • this is exactly why i would never share what i do or don’t have in my possession outside of my immediate family. OPSEC is the key phrase here.

  5. i sat don to watch this last week, and i want not too impressed, aside from the obnoxious plus sized woman who was pretty entertaining, i get the feeling that i could do better if i diverted the time and resources to this kind of planning, the only problem is that new firearms purchases get in the way!

  6. I didn’t watch the show, but they were just interviewing one of the subjects on Fox news. Did the program show how he managed to shoot the tip of his thumb off? Something about a “malfunction” with a new weapon he wasn’t familiar with? I’m assuming he didn’t try to pull a Bugs Bunny, sticking his finger in Elmer Fudd’s barrel???

    Ps. Please don’t feed the trolls…


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