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 Black Ink Crew features interpersonal drama between staffers of a Harlem-based, African-American-owned tattoo parlor. Expect lots of strong language, some sexual humor, and mature themes, including scenes in strip clubs, and conversations about child illegitimacy. Drinking and cigar smoking is visible, and arguments are frequent. Tattoos sometimes feature weapons, drugs, and other adult-themed imagery.
What's the story?
BLACK INK CREW is a reality series about the day-to-day antics of the staff at an African-American-owned and -operated tattoo parlor in Harlem, N.Y. It stars Ceaser Emanuel, the owner of Black Ink Gallery and Tattoo Parlor as he inks clients and oversees his staff, including Puma Robinson, the gallery's wild public relations manager; Alex, the parlor's fiery receptionist; Sassy, the event coordinator; and Walt and Ted, the shop's managers. Also joining the gang is the talented O' S--t, and Dutchess Lattimore, the shop's only female tattoo artist. From inking creative tattoos on colorful clients, to partying and arguing with each other, the group is working together to build the business into something that they can be proud of, and where they can be both coworkers and family.
Is it any good?
Like most tattoo-themed reality shows, Black Ink Crew offers a glimpse at the kind of artistry that goes into creating images and inking them on clients. But the show's real focus is on the personalities of the crew, and the somewhat dysfunctional way they interact with each other both professionally and socially.
Some of clients are interesting, but there usually isn't enough focus on them and/or their personal stories to make them stand out. Despite some references about the tattoo parlor's role in the African-American community, the show doesn't delve into this, either. Overall, its the cast's constant bickering and flirtations that make the show mildly entertaining.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about tattoos and tattoo parlors. Why is getting a tattoo a big decision? What are some of the stereotypes associated with people who get them? How does the media portray the culture of tattoo parlors?
Do you think the way the staff behaves on the show is the way they act when actually running the business? Or is their behavior a way of generating some reality show entertainment?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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