Tattoo Redo

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A scene in Tattoo Redo.
A scene in Tattoo Redo.
Screengrab: YouTube/Netflix


Tattoo Redo




2/5 Stars


Bad tattoos walk in. Great tattoos walk out. Top artists transform tattoo disasters into stunning cover-ups, with designs chosen by clients' loved ones.


I got my first tattoo when I was 21 - a little crab on the shoulder - and today have four ordained on my body, my newest one - a big octopus on my thigh - a little more than a month old. Anyone who has tattoos can tell you it's hard just to have one, and your social media feeds tend to have a good selection of tattoo artists and studios to help inspire the never-ending next one.

Unfortunately, as humans, we are fallible creatures, and not all tattoos are created equal. You might have been too young, the artist some random with a tattoo gun at a party, or it represents a part of your life you'd much rather forget. In walks Tattoo Redo, offering those wronged by bad tattoos another chance to recreate beautiful art on their body, with more meaning and done by the best professionals in the business. We have a goat-demon with a belly button for a nose, swear words on a mom, the words to a horribly offensive cheers and ex-lovers' names and dates. They truly are horrible tattoos.

There's one catch; however - the loved one you dragged with for emotional support is the one who gets to choose the cover-up, and you won't know what it is until the tattoo is done. The show then switches from the artistry of the ink to how well does your girlfriend of one year, lifelong best friend or co-worker really know you, and are you willing to put the relationship on the line for a new tattoo?

I have watched my fair share of reality TV, and the most important element of any show, regardless of its subject matter, is the personalities - the cast more than the host. Unfortunately, with a short format that cycles through three tattoos per episode, the host plays a bigger part than usual, and in this case, she drags the whole show down. A comedian I have never heard of before the show, Jessimae Peluso, just tries too hard to be everyone's friend, even the tattoo artists themselves. She's like that preppy Head Girl-wannabe from high school, whose rabbit energy just tires out everyone around them. The cheerleader persona never grows on you, even when she gets a secret tattoo herself, and in the end, I just tuned her out to try and focus only on the tattoos.

As for the tattoo artists themselves, they were much more enjoyable, each with their own unique style and speciality, while also including Black tattoo artists that are not very well-represented in the industry. They had some hectic challenges, and I can't imagine how long some of them took, although there was a bit too many flowers and butterflies for my taste. This is the part where those who are into tattoos and/or have tattoos of their own will find the show interesting, at least for some of it.

Then there are the people who come in, willing to show their horrible mistakes to the world. Some were more fun than others, and the show was clever in having a loved one (or one-year relationship) with them so that they can build up conversations for the boring part of actually getting tattooed. As for the reveals, the reactions seemed genuine, although I do find it hard to believe that not a single person hated their new tattoo. Perhaps they were just high from the pain (and oh boy was there pain) and were just too happy it's over. That kind of pain is hard to fake, even for a reality show.

If they only did one tattoo per episode, it would have gotten real boring real fast, and Tattoo Redo was still on the precipice of not being that engaging anyway. And that's the actual downfall of the show - it's the kind where you have one eye on the screen and one eye scrolling through your phone, only looking up to see the bad tattoo and the reveal of the new one. It could just as well have been a very expensive Buzzfeed article.


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