Face Off on SyFy is yet another Project Runway-type ripoff reality show, this one focusing on special effects makeup artists. (Get the feeling they’re running out of niches?) Of course I watched the first season last year, because really now, and it was a lot of fun, but it’s so oddball that I was afraid it wouldn’t get picked up for a second season.
But! Luckily! Season 2!
Aside: I almost missed the start of Season 2 because SyFy (I hate typing that every time) did a poor job of advertising it. I only saw an ad a few days before, and it didn’t even have an air date—just “January 2011.” I had to look it up, which just goes to show how excited I was for the show. (Thursdays at 10, icyww.)
My favorite part of the first episode, honestly, was when last year’s winner, Conor, showed up as a guest judge and it turned out he had been hired by one of the permanent judges, Ve Neill; both are currently working on The Hunger Games. It’s honestly so rare for winners of these shows to actually go on to become something in their given industry (Christian Siriano being the notable exception) that it’s awesome to see that he won this goofy little reality tv show and is now employed doing what he loves.
But back to the show. I don’t know why this one is so cool versus all the other copycats like Work of Art or Project Accessory. I think it might be because there is so. much. art involved. They sculpt and paint and design costumes and create characters and it has to be pretty and functional and tell a story all at once. The judges have exacting standards. The characters, er, people (at least last season) are the right mix of likable and dramatic. It’s simply fun to watch (especially if, like me, you have a professional artist on hand to go “ooooh that’s a bad decision” and then watch things go bad).
I think it helps that the show is so new that the challenges haven’t become monotonous yet. Project Runway, much as I love it, can get pretty predictable. You know every season they’re going to do certain challenges; with Face Off, everything is still new and exciting.
So. On the one hand I’m being selfish and advocating for this show because I want lots of people to watch it so it doesn’t get canceled. On the other hand it is actually a remarkably entertaining show. So! The moral of this story is if you aren’t watching Face Off you should give it a try. Because I mean really, look at this shit: