By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Top Chef for tattoo artists has tough talk, edgy images.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series highlights the creativity and skill required to be an outstanding tattoo artist. It also highlights how important it is to be able to satisfy clients.
Positive Role Models
Some male artists exhibit sexist attitudes towards the female inkers. Contestants respect the others' talents and skill, but are very competitive and talk about "taking out" the others.
Violence & Scariness
Volunteer clients sometimes wince or even scream out in pain while being inked. Blood is occasionally visible. Some of the tattoos include skulls, weapons, or other dark imagery.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Tattoos sometimes include nude imagery (bare breasts); a client's butt crack is occasionally visible.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Words like "ass" and "piss" are audible; curses like "f--k" are bleeped. Obscene gestures are sometimes visible.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Work spaces feature each inker's artwork. Thunderbirds and other cars are sometimes featured, but their makes/model logos are not evident. During commercial breaks, individual contestants occasionally talk about their own businesses or tattoo community ventures.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Alcohol is occasionally visible at the house. Some tattoo imagery includes cigarettes or other indications of smoking.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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.
Where to Watch
Based on 3 parent reviews
Half and Half
Report this review
This show is not as good as I thought it would be
Report this review
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?
- Premiere date: January 17, 2012
- Cast: Chris Nunez, Dave Navarro, Oliver Peck
- Network: Spike
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: February 4, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
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.See how we rate