NY Ink

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
NY Ink TV Poster Image
Tattoo reality spin-off is both sympathetic and salty.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series is pro-body art. Clients share messages about love and survival. There are some sexist comments and opinions sprinkled throughout.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The artists are caring and solicitous of their clients; Ami James puts great emphasis on being professional, but not everyone is.


Arguments between the cast often lead to yelling, screaming, occasional shoving, and threats of more violence. James likes to box (in a ring). Clients sometimes cry out in pain when getting inked.


Clients are shown in various stages of undress as they get inked and/or survey their finished tattoos (no nudity). Occasional crude references to a woman's genitals and sadomasochism.  


Words like "crap," "piss," "bitch," and "douche bag" are audible while words like "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped.


The show is a promotional vehicle for Ami James and his tattoo parlor.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this latest installment of the TLC  Ink franchise features content here that's a bit stronger than that of its sister shows. It features lots of bickering, which leads to yelling, salty language ("s--t," "f--k" bleeped), crude sexual references, and occasional shoving matches. The show is pro-body art and offers no warnings about the risks involved. Clients share personal stories about the significance of their tattoos, including some bittersweet stories about the loss of children and other loved ones that may be too disturbing for young and/or sensitive viewers.

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What's the story?

NY INK features Miami Ink body artist Ami James heading up The Wooster Street Social Club, a vintage style tattoo parlor in New York's trendy Soho district. The creative and temperamental James has hired a new team of talented artists, including Tim Hendricks and Tommy Montoya, and the young Megan Massari. James' apprentice Billy, and assistants Jessica and Robear add to the colorful clan. Included in the fray is Brooklyn tattoo artist Chris Torres. Together they use their creativity and passion for tattooing to satisfy their clients, while learning how to get along.

Is it any good?

The series focuses on the celebrity body artist -- who began tattooing in New York City at a time when it was illegal -- trying to offer a more upscale inking experience than that of the average tattoo parlor. A lot of emphasis placed on the personal histories of their clients, many of whom are choosing to get inked as a way of communicating both loss and love. The cast's response to these narratives is compassionate, and they never fail to honor them with the best artwork they can create.

Unfortunately, while their digs may be upscale and trendy, the group's behavior isn't always the classiest. Like its sisters shows, wild pranks, endless bickering, nasty exchanges, and shoving matches are all featured here. But if you look past the artists' drama, you'll still find a show that has some heart. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about tattoos. What are parents' and kids' opinions about tattoos? Are people's attitudes about tattoos (and the people who get them) changing thanks to reality shows like this one? Why is getting a piece of body art a big decision? What are some of the risks of tattooing?

  • Why do people agree to participate in reality shows? What is the benefit to appearing on TV? Are there any downsides?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality and creativity

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