NY Ink, "Big Money, Big Dreams": a little less drama, and little more tattooing, please?

Quick Take: NY Ink, "Big Money, Big Dreams"
"Some things are more important than money." - Ami 

Review: NY Ink, "Big Money, Big Dreams"
(S0202) At the risk of sounding like a relic left over from the 20th century (or perhaps even earlier), I'm not into tattoos at all. I just don't really get their appeal. Sure, some of the artwork looks very, very cool, but never cool enough for me to want it on my skin for the remainder of my life.

Having said all that, I can still recognize that there is probably an audience (and not an insignificant one) out there who really enjoy watching people get tattooed. Hell, there must be a sizable market given the fact that there are so many tattoo-related reality shows.

Unfortunately for these tattoo-loving television viewers, it seems to me that most of these tattoo shows aren't really serving their audience properly. Shows like NY Ink, LA Ink, and Inked (how about a little more creativity when it comes to naming these shows?) seem overly focused on the personalities of the tattoo artists and the drama within the shop. Instead, I would like to see a show that focuses on the tattoos themselves.

I might not be a "tattoo guy" myself, but that doesn't mean I don't respect the artistry that creating an intricate, aesthetically pleasing tattoo requires. Instead of spending three quarters of each episode watching Ami worry about profitability, or Jessica prattle on about her daughter, or Chris act like a total jerk, why don't these shows take more of a step by step approach and show the audience all of the time and effort that goes into creating these tattoos. 

I'm thinking something along the lines of Bob Ross. The beauty of watching Bob Ross was getting to see the process of painting a mountain from start to finish. The way these tattoo shows work is someone walks in, tells the artist what they want, two seconds later the artist has sketched out the entire tattoo, and after a minute or two in the chair the customer gets up and leaves. That can't be the way it actually works. If I'm going to watch someone get a tattoo, I at least want that experience to be reflective of some kind of reality. I understand that these sessions can take hours, but I'm sure that there is a way to edit the footage in such a way that it is compelling and also time-constrained.

Take last night's episode of NY Ink for example. James Durbin from Season Ten of American Idol shows up at Wooster St. Social Club and asks Ami to tattoo a koi fish on his arm. The resulting tattoo is amazingly beautiful. However instead of showing the viewer all of the talent and artistry that went into the koi, the show focused on Durbin whining about Tourette's Syndrome and getting picked on-- something fans of American Idol hoped to never have to sit through again.

NY Ink airs on The Learning Channel, so I just think it would be nice for the show to teach us something. But alas, this might be too much to ask, given that reality television is the ultimate cult of personality. 

By Lucas High

About the author

Lucas High is a man on a mission. That mission: to watch television for a living. Drop him a line at lhigh2@gmail.com, on Facebook and on Twitter at twitter.com/LucasHigh.

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1 Comment
On: Friday, January 6, 2012
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

I've never been much of a tatoo person myself... a drunken evening in NYC's East Village aside 

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