Saturday, January 14, 2012

SyFy's Face Off Fails to Impress

I normally don't tune into shows like American Idol, Biggest Loser or Dancing with the Stars. I find them pointless and a waste of time. SyFy has spun off its own geeky version of such shows with Face Off. On the show makeup artists strive to design the best creature under a time limit with the hopes of winning prize money and a position as makeup artist on the next big blockbuster movie. I admit I found the process of creating prosthetics, masks and the makeup interesting. What I didn't like was the game show quality SyFy has built into the show from the last season. During the course of Face Off, some poor makeup artist is voted off the island at the end of the episode. They even go so far as to copy Survivor in the granting of "immunity" to one of the artists if they win the first creature-design challenge.

Face Off also is weighed down by a lot of contrived in-fighting among various artists, catty behavior among the girls and ego machismo antics among the men. No wonder many of them run out of time and are in a hectic flurry to finish their creations when they waste so much time fighting amongst themselves. This lends a rushed craziness to a lot of scenes which might make the show more exciting, but also a bit frustrating to watch if you want to see exactly how they created the creatures. You see a sculpted mask here, a paint job there but no indication of how they went from rubber latex mask to full paint job complete with wardrobe.

I also like to think talent is encouraged and fostered in this country rather than put in a game show style format to be ridiculed by a panel of stern-faced hard-assed judges. The popularity of such shows like American Idol, where talented performers are berated and mocked makes me feel that although audiences like watching talent they like the insults and humiliation more. Watching is easy, trying to go out and accomplish your dream with the possibility you could fall publicly on your face takes a lot of guts. Talent and courage should be applauded not mocked. But maybe the high ratings for such shows speak for themselves.

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