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Best Ink



Tattoo competition features edgy art, conflict, language.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series highlights the unique skill and creativity necessary for producing high-end tattoos, but in a competitive environment. The show addresses some of the challenges that come with working with clients and within the creative community.

Positive role models

The artists span personality types, from very sweet to rude and confrontational. Lots of arguing, insulting others work, and criticizing one another's personalities and behavior. Some constructive criticism from judges (though some occasional yelling and cursing, too).


Contestants occasionally argue. Blood is sometimes visible during inking sessions. Tattoos often feature violent images, like bloody eyes, devils, etc.


Tattoos sometimes contain sexualized or semi-nude images. Work is performed on intimate parts of the body, but no sensitive areas are shown. Occasional references to pin up girls and strip clubs. The female host dresses in provocative clothing.


Plentiful language, including words like "hell," "piss," and "ass." Curses like "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped, but obvious.


Tattoo industry-related products and publications, including Tattoo magazine, are visible.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Clients sometimes bleed a lot while getting tattooed thanks to drinking the evening before.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that that this tattoo competition series highlights the artistry and skill tattoo artists should strive for in their profession, while also containing some strong language ("piss," "hell"; stronger vocab bleeped). Expect mild arguing, competitive jabs, and lots of edgy tattoo images. Blood (as a result of the tattooing process) is sometimes visible, as are people's bare hips, stomachs, and other body parts (sensitive/private areas aren't visible).

What's the story?

BEST INK is a reality series featuring 10 of America's top tattoo artists competing for cash and recognition in the professional tattoo community. Each episode, which is hosted by Kimberly Caldwell, features the inkers participating in a \"feature challenge\" designed to test their creative skills while offering them a potential advantage in the competition. They must then show their range of technical skills while tattooing people. The judges, veteran tattoo artist Joe Capobianco, model/entrepreneur Sabine Kelley, and guest tattoo professionals specializing in different aspects of the craft, choose the winner of each challenge. But it's the contestants who must vote for the inker to be eliminated. The tattoo artist who makes it to the end of the overall competition gets the title, a cover story in Tattoo magazine, and $100,000.

Is it any good?


The series highlights the unique nature of the art of tattooing as well as the various skills artists must master in order to be successful in the field. It also offers some insight into some of the challenges that come from wanting to be true to the art form while still trying to satisfy paying (and sometimes difficult) clients.

The main focus is on the challenges, but occasionally the personal stories behind people's tattoos are briefly shared. Contestants are often hypercritical of each other's work, which can lead to some interesting elimination choices, too. But overall, the tattoos these inkers produce are the most dramatic parts of the show.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about tattoos. What are some of the taboos and/or stereotypes surrounding body art? What are some of the risks associated with getting a tattoo?

  • What is the appeal of this kind of show? Why are there so many reality shows about tattooing?

  • What kind of training does someone have to have to be considered a professional tattoo artist? How do they develop their individual styles? Why are there more male than female tattoo artists? Is this changing?

TV details

Premiere date:March 27, 2012
Cast:Joe Capobianco, Kimberly Caldwell, Sabina Kelley
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byZdelZorro666 October 17, 2014

It's like Ink Master but gayer

Not worth it
Kid, 11 years old March 7, 2015


This show will make you CRACK UP!!!! And it's fine for kids, stop being silly common sense, there is NO swearing! Just pure laughs! Also, watch Tatoos After Dark, these shows always make me and my 8 year old brother laugh until we cry!
Kid, 10 years old November 29, 2014

Appropriate but boring

This show is fine in the episode I watched and there was no swearing. But me and my brother found it kind of boring. It wont entertain kids, because it is about people getting tatoos. Parents, I would just watch the show first.


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