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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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).
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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.
Talk to Your Kids 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?
- Premiere date: March 27, 2012
- Cast: Joe Capobianco, Kimberly Caldwell, Sabina Kelley
- Network: Oxygen
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: October 14, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Top Chef for tattoo artists has tough talk, edgy images.
Tattoo reality show is tamer than you might think.
Tattoo reality spin-off is both sympathetic and salty.
Sexy, girl-powered Miami Ink spin-off.
For kids who love reality television
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