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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 this reality competition featuring tattoo artists competing for a major cash prize contains some of the expected drama that comes with this sort of thing, but is milder than some. It also positively highlights the skill and creativity that goes into the art form of tattooing. There is some strong language, and the stronger words are bleeped. On occasion, clients scream in pain. Artwork sometimes features nudity.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
INK MASTER is a reality competition featuring 10 skilled tattoo artists competing in New York City for $100,000. Hosted by Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, the artists' skills are tested in every essential discipline of the art form. From tattooing raw meat and cars to demonstrating their skill set by permanently inking "living canvasses" (people heroically donating their skin for challenges), each competitor must demonstrate that they can produce beautiful and well-executed art in a limited amount of time while pleasing clients. In-between challenges, the gang draws up more drama as they live under one roof in a NYC brownstone. Their art is judged by Navarro, as well as master inkers Chris Nunez and Oliver Peck. The artist failing to impress during elimination rounds must close up shop, while the others go on to ink their way towards the money prize and the title.
Is it any good?
The series, which is being promoted as the "first tattoo competition on TV," features larger-than-life contestants vying for cash by participating in challenges under unique circumstances and extreme time limits. Its focus on the tattoo world makes it feel a little edgy, too. But the show also stresses the real skill and creativity that goes into body art, and underscores the fact that the people competing are true artists.
The typical reality competition can be a little grating at times, but for those fans of Project Runway or Top Chef, who like this style of show, it's an entertaining and well-produced product. It isn't for everyone, but viewers interested in body art and the tattoo industry will find this entertaining. Meanwhile, those who usually don't tune into these kinds of things can also learn a lot about the the art form, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about tattoos artists. What kind of training does sometimes have to have in order to be considered a tattoo artist? How do they develop their individual styles? Is the ability to work with clients as important as their craft?
Why do you think these tattoo artists have agreed to participate in this show? What to they stand to gain or lose by being on television?
Why is getting a tattoo a big decision? What are the health risks involved? Would you ever get a tattoo?
For kids who love reality television
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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.