The best part of the holidays is letting go. Letting go of your worries for a few days to enjoy stuffing your face at Christmas and getting off your face at New Year's.

Letting go of alarm clocks and deadlines and emails. Letting go of Facebook and Twitter and any concerns about having a big ol' second helping of dessert.

These past holidays I took letting go to the extreme. I let go of the remote...

It's not like I had much choice in the matter. In an uncharacteristic moment of selflessness I'd agreed to spending a large chunk of the holidays with my partner's family at their palatial holiday home in the Coromandel.


Maybe the festive spirit got the better of me, maybe the lure of the great Kiwi summer was too strong to resist, or maybe Hayley's threatening look after I'd detailed plans to not leave the house all summer had worked.

Whatever it was I found myself trundling out of Auckland shortly after unwrapping the presents on Christmas morning.

For days and nights we ate, drank and were merry with the fam. The beach was across the road, the boat was frequently in the water and the view of the ocean from the couches on the deck was superb. More so when sipping down head-spinning Caipiroskas in the afternoon sun.

It wasn't until later in the week, once the novelty of our company had worn off a bit, that the giant HDTV flickered into life.

Because I was busy putting my daughter to bed I missed the usually agonising process of getting a dozen people to agree on something. Returning from the children's wing I found everyone happily settling in to watch the first episode of Shooter, one of the rare shows that Netflix drip feeds out on a weekly schedule instead of dumping all at once.

It starts strong. The show's an action-thriller that sees early-noughties pretty boy Ryan Phillippe playing the laughably named Bob Lee Swagger, the best dang sniper the US marines ever produced.

It opens with him assessing the security of a site the President is due to visit. There's cool graphical overlays of sniper projections and calculations as Swagger narrates the science of sniping and spells out exactly what would make for the most advantageous position for a marksman to take the shot and cap the President.

Ryan Phillippe stars as Bob Lee Swagger in Netflix's action-thriller Shooter.
Ryan Phillippe stars as Bob Lee Swagger in Netflix's action-thriller Shooter.

Unfortunately for Swagger all this is merely an elaborate ruse by his former best pal, now a shady secret service guy, to frame and arrest Swagger for an actual assassination attempt.

It's hardly a spoiler to reveal that he quickly busts out of jail and goes on the lam as he tries to uncover the conspiracy against him and clear the good Swagger name.

If this sounds like the plot of a bad b-grade action movie it should. It's based on a long forgotten Mark Wahlberg flick of the same name.

So, yes, it's dumb. But I can't entirely shoot it down because it's also entertaining. Though perhaps not in the way Netflix intended...

I can't help but laugh every time Swagger is addressed or referenced, which is a lot. His ludicrous surname delivering unintentionally comedic lines like, "Your obsession with Swagger has clouded your judgement!" regularly.

As if that wasn't enough there's also a character called Jack Payne to chuckle at. "Keep Payne alive," has to be my fave so far.

Sadly, I don't think the show is supposed to be this funny. Swagger is mostly sullen, it's clearly ridiculous and everyone talks very, very dramatically.

It's cheesy, the story suffers from an abundance of convenience and its main mystery isn't all that intriguing.

But that said, the shooty action scenes are pretty good, the fist fights suitably hard hitting, and it keeps moving at a crack shot pace.

I'm now staring down the barrel of episode five and still wanting to see more.

Turns out I just had to let go of the idea I was watching a good show and embrace it as action parody. Let go of your expectations and Shooter might just hit the target.