Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Watch This Show! - Face Off


Face Off is back!

This is truly one of the great reality competition shows on television.  The new season premiered on SyFy tonight and right off the bat you can see why it's such a stand-out.

For me, it's because I'm watching people showcase a fantastic art form and perform a craft I could never hope to do in a million years, but I feel no jealousy, just absolute fascination and awe.  What these amazing artists manage to create from scratch within a matter of hours is incredible and incredibly compelling.  I look forward to this show every year, and week to week I can never guess who will take home the prize, leaders shifting from challenge to challenge.  No predictability here!
The premise:  12 special effects artists from around the country (and all ages, from early 20s to late 40s - like Project Runway, another fave competition show of mine, competitors are not limited to the younger age group) compete in a series of make-up/creature creation challenges - some are team efforts, most are individual - to win the grand prize of $100,000, a new Prius and the chance to lecture on their trade in New York and Paris.  Face Off is hosted by McKenzie Westmore (daughter of famed Make-up artist Michael Westmore) and judged by special effects make-up experts Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill and Parick Tatopoulos and creature concept designer Neville Page.  New to this season will be America's chance to help pick the winner - a choice I'm not thrilled with.  I prefer in this competition to leave it to the pros.

In the season premiere, the immunity challenge -to create an original face make-up using items found at a rooftop pool party - was judged by special guest Sean Austin, who is very familiar with make-up from his Lord of the Rings experience.  Then, the most Awesome. Challenge. Ever.: create an original alien that you would find in a modern day version of the Cantina scene from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.  The geek and SW fan in me couldn't wait to see what they came up with.  Result?  A-MAZ-ING!!
If you are anti-reality TV, don't lop Face Off in with that category.  This show is in a class by itself, showcasing astonishing talent, typical but compelling backstage drama, a jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring finished product presentation and engaging debate and judging session.

Bottom Line:  Turn on (the TV) for Face Off!

Face Off airs on the SyFy channel Tuesdays at 9 p.m. PST.

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