I am not much of a fan of reality TV shows. My dislike is not on a ‘they suck because there’s no writers’ basis. My dislike is based on how they show the very ugliest of people, not just through bringing out the cut throat nature of some individuals, but also that there are people who want to watch that. Rabidly. And further still that people are editing things together to make people look even nastier or less intelligent (this is not true of all reality shows, but certainly more than I would like there to be).
Not to mention the quality of the content isn’t very high (again not always true but c’mon yo gotta give me crap like ‘real housewives’).
Before you worry this is just an endless ‘I hate reality TV’ rant, let me say there is one reality show that I love. I’ve been into it right from the start and have followed every single season religiously. Face Off.
For those unfamiliar with it, Face Off is about movie monster make-ups. A group of contestants compete – sometimes in teams, sometimes individually – to put together vampires, werewolves, orcs, and more than you can ever imagine(see Miss Ice cream to the left) for judging by professionals in their field.
The viewer gets to watch them go from conceptual sketch through sculpting, moulding, fabricating, and painting then finally applying it to a model. You learn about different painting styles, different types of moulding material (silicone, poly foam, ect) and get to hear the amazing back stories these talented people dream up for their works of art.
Now obviously as a lover of the fantastic and of art this show appeals me but it isn’t that alone.
This show is the only I’ve come across where nobody ‘plays the game’. True enough there are disagreements of creative opinion, and a few times there’ve been romantic entanglements, but no one is cut throat. They don’t waste their precious energy on playing mind games or being jerks, they just focus it all to creating the very best creature they possibly can and winning that way.
Even more shockingly whenever someone needs help, like cracking open a particularly stiff mould, other contestants take time out from doing their own work to help. Not just once or twice, but almost every single episode. It’s hard not to like that.
There’s also no cranky wanker judge who just hates everything and thus no need for the bleeding-heart, always too sweet to say you suck judge. The panel is made up of knowledgeable professionals who rate each work with care and intelligence.
I recommend the show to anyone who likes watching horror, sci-fi, and fantasy movies and loves the creatures within. You not only get to enjoy seeing the finished product but see how it’s made and even learn how as you go.
The finale of season six just aired and I already can’t wait for season seven to start!
Recently Syfy have also started airing a puppet/animatronic version of this show, The Jim Henson Creature Shop Challenge which so far is quite fun and interesting as well (the second episode was about the Dark Crystal <3 )
Does anyone else love Face Off? What appeals most to you?