LA Ink (2007– )

TV Series  |   |  Documentary, Reality-TV
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 2,097 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 13 critic

Kat Von D has come home to Los Angeles to fulfill her dream of opening up her own tattoo shop. The news has spread and celebrities, rising starlets, punk rockers, musicians and tattoo ... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
 Herself (69 episodes, 2007-2011)
 Himself (36 episodes, 2007-2010)


Kat Von D has come home to Los Angeles to fulfill her dream of opening up her own tattoo shop. The news has spread and celebrities, rising starlets, punk rockers, musicians and tattoo collectors alike are lining up for some of Kat's famous black and grey ink. In a city known for its tattoo culture, LA Ink is sure to stand out - drawing clients from all over the world and from all walks of life. But with popularity comes headaches, drama and a lot of hard work. Playing by her own rules, Kat lives a fast-paced, rebel lifestyle. Hers is a life of freedom: she sets her own schedule, picks her clients, sleeps late,and parties all night. For her shop to be a success, Kat will need to learn how to balance her lifestyle and her business while managing a colorful staff of renowned artists. LA Ink will offer a rare glimpse into an LA that is seldom seen, through the eyes of a true insider. Written by Jiilo_Kim

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7 August 2007 (USA)  »

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The number of tattoos and piercings are inversely proportional to the IQ.
24 January 2012 | by (Serbia) – See all my reviews

If your English vocabulary is limited to 150 words or less, this TV show is perfect for you. (Or put in plainer English: "You speak not many words, LA Ink great for you.") You don't even have to know the difference between "don't" and "doesn't". In fact, you don't even have to know that "doesn't" even exists as a word. Tell you what: forget that I ever even mentioned it.

The tattoo artists presented in LAI must subscribe to some unwritten code about not being aloud to use the word "doesn't". It might have something to do with them trying to appear as though they have a thing called "street cred" in spite of being quite well off – but I'm just not sure. Perhaps the wrong usage of "don't" is completely innocent. Either way, it does reveal much about them – as if the way they dress and act didn't already.

Every time a woman calls another woman "dude", it cracks me up. It never fails. A common occurrence in the childish world of skin-drawings and ink-poking.

I guess a woman needs to have the hands of a Ukrainian sailor or Welsh miner in order to tattoo professionally. Kat Fondue looks like a sk**k out of a bad Ken Loach kitchen-sink junkie drama. She is a cross between a Goth chick, a confused hobby-punk, an insecure Emo, a man, and a badly burnt woman. Dozens of tattoos on a female body don't constitute a fascinating mosaic – they look like she was rolling in a pool of liquid blue crayons with some mud thrown in for good measure. Kat looks as if she hasn't washed in weeks. I'm sure this is something she is extremely proud of.

"This tattoo will be a celebration of how I feel about myself right now," says a customer. Translation: "I just feel like having one because it'll look cool." At least that woman was comparatively honest; just take a look at this explanation: "This tattoo is dedicated to my brother who lost both his legs saving school kids from charging rhinos during a safari gone bad." Translation: "I just want a tattoo because it looks cool and will impress people." Can't they just give the real reason instead of all this pathetic pretense? In that sense, LAI is almost as predictable as "Love Boat".

It's a pretty damn laughable notion that you need an exalted, "deep", pretentious, "spiritual" (it's that word again), and above all "selfless" reason for paying Kat Fondue to stick hot needles into your skin. We all know why people really get them; it's all about vanity, fashion-slavery, and low IQs. Anyone can make up some sad story about why they need the tattoo, but what it's really about is having a celebrity like Kat Fondue stick metal objects into your body on a nationally broadcast TV show. This simple but idiotic (and expensive) act makes certain types of individuals feel as if they'd joined the "hip crowd", i.e. had their 3 seconds of fame (while enduring hours of pain). Hence the inferiority complex and the exhibitionist impulse to be at center of attention having a lot to do with it too.

Kat's more anonymous customers are well aware that they don't stand a chance of making it on the show unless they make up some cockamamie heart-rending reason for getting a tattoo, so they make up whatever tear-jerkerish BS they can, and voilà: you survive the editing room. In that sense, LAI has evolved into a bizarre and unique show, whose recipe is pretty much taking that whole quasi-tough tattoo-bum biker sub-culture and then dipping it into some truly lame schmaltz which one normally gets in soppy Hollywood chick-flicks. So I can well imagine this show's demographics ranging from bored (and boring) middle-aged housewives to puberty-stricken teens to aging (hence increasingly sentimental) Hell's Angels.

Even more pitiful are those grade-C celebs who come to the show just to promote their newest out-of-the-charts single or B-movie that no-one cares about, or in a last-ditch attempt to remind the viewers that they still exist, hoping perhaps to use LAI, and a few other similarly daft shows/appearances, as a last-ditch attempt to rekindle their flailing semi-careers. They can't sell their souls to ensure the success of their latest show-biz product, but what they can do is sacrifice a piece of their skin for it.

How goofy must it feel to have a woman looking like a Goth Emo stick a hot metal objects right above your ass while you tearfully recount whatever sentimental twaddle you'd prepared by heart as your raison-de-tattooeaux? I can't even imagine it, but I can certainly see it.

No-one will deny the talent that Kat Fondue and her employees possess, but shouldn't they rather be drawing their neat little pictures on paper or on a canvas instead? Skin is a living, breathing organ, the largest one there is, I'm not so sure it was intended for inky butchery. No wonder it sometimes rebels by getting infected. It is trying to tell its daft owner something.

What I'd like to see is an antidote show to LAI, a TV series which follows people who are trying to get rid of their old tattoos. It could be called "L.A. Laser", and would feature people with touching (but also funny) stories of how dumb they once were for allowing themselves to mutilate their skin, and all in the name of fashion and "hipness". "L.A. Laser" should be situated right across the street from "L.A. Ink". Its workers could watch as their future customers leave Kat's place. And they would smile, and we'd smile along with them - at least those of us who aren't slaves to idiotic fads. /Qwerty100/18_reasons_not_to_get_a_tattoo

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