June 2nd was the series premiere of Ami James’ new show, NY Ink, on TLC. You may know Ami from his first show, Miami Ink (which was also the source for spin-off LA Ink). The show focuses on the establishment and goings-on of Ami’s new tattoo shop in New York City. For this installment, Ami is accompanied by a fresh team of artists and shop managers.
I remember when Miami Ink came out in 2005, I was initially torn between it and its counterpart, Inked, which had begun to air the same year on A&E. I watched a few episodes of each. Miami Ink seemed to be more about people getting tattoos and the meaning behind them, whereas Inked focused largely on the often shaky relationships between the artists themselves. Guess which series I decided to follow.
When I found out about NY Ink, I thought, “Cool, Ami’s got a new show. I bet they’ll focus on the tattoos.” I was wrong! Well, that’s not really fair to say. They do have the same aspects that I liked about Miami: the clients talk to the artists about what tattoos they want, opinions are given and necessary changes are proposed, the art is hand-drawn, stenciled, and finally tattooed while the client is casually interviewed. Generally, an interesting and detailed look at the entire tattooing process. But they seem to have added a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of drama. I guess they think drama sells, which, if you look at a lot of what’s on TV these days, must be true. (It’s also why I don’t watch much TV anymore.)
For more clips, visit NY Ink on TLC.
Don’t get me wrong, the work they do on the show is phenomenal. The tattoos come out looking great, and all the clients love the results they get. I just can’t stand the extra garbage that goes on while the artists aren’t working.
I’m not saying that Miami Ink was completely conflict-free. There was a bit every now and then. But it’s as though the producers of the New York edition said “Ok, this time, we really want drama. We don’t care what causes it, just make it happen.” It’s drama for drama’s sake—created out of nothing. And of course, there’s Ami’s old buddy—the local guy—who is “hired on the first episode”, and whose sole purpose is obviously to be an instigator.
As I said, I don’t watch much television as it is, so I don’t think I’ll be tuning in to this one, unless it’s during the commercial breaks.
Video: TLC via the official TLC YouTube channel