Metal Shop Masters

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A scene in Metal Shop Masters.
A scene in Metal Shop Masters.
Photo: Netflix


Metal Shop Masters




4/5 Stars


Seven metal artists battle it out in this competition show, torching, cutting and welding hardened steel to produce mind-blowing creations, all in a bid to win a $50 000 (R721 165) prize.


Netflix has hit the jackpot when it comes to odd reality competitions. Who would have thought that I would be binging a show on people who create art with metal? Not me, that's for sure. But there I was, happily devoting my entire Saturday afternoon to Metal Shop Masters. Honestly, I have zero regrets.

The show, which is in its first season, sees a group of metal artists take on extreme challenges to win a grand prize of $50 000.

Here's why this is the perfect show to binge in one sitting:

Let me start by saying that metal artists are badass! There's just something magical about watching someone weld, sculpt and grind away at a piece of steel, morphing it into an incredible piece of art – I'm talking robots, food-shaped braai stands and even post-apocalyptic, zombie-destroying vehicles.

It's a skill I know I could never master, nor did I think I had any interest in attempting to, yet for some reason, I could not look away from my screen.

There's also the captivating way the contestants swiftly snap their heads forward to shut their welding masks. I mean, if you thought Flashdance made welding look cool, you should see these artists.

Another thing I appreciated was the duration of the series. The season consists of six episodes, each just over 30 minutes long. So yes, you can binge the entire show in just three hours.

These bite-sized episodes are perfect for those who don't want all the frills and unnecessary theatrics that a Netflix reality show is often littered with. The challenge is set, you watch the artists work, and a winner is chosen – that's that.

Still, don't think you're going to emerge from this without getting attached. There's enough drama to keep you hooked, and if you're anything like me, you will be in your feels when your favourite contestant goes home.

The show is hosted by comedian Jo Koy, with Stephanie Hoffman and David Madero as judges.

Side note: what is it with reality competition shows and hiring comedians as hosts? I guess they're there to ease the tension and add a fun, quirky element.

The weird (and wonderful) thing about shows like this is you don't need to have any prior interest in or knowledge of the art form to be able to enjoy it. Heck, all I knew about welding going into this was you're not supposed to look at the sparks. But learning is part of the enjoyment.

If you've watched Netflix's Blown Away, this show is pretty similar and ranks quite high for me when it comes to reality competitions on the streaming platform. I have no doubt we'll be seeing a second season soon.

Listen, Netflix, if you keep making them, I will keep watching them.


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