Friday, January 28, 2011
So, twisted citizens of the Macabre Republic, have you watched Face Off?
And no, I'm not talking about an implausible action flick starring Travolta and Cage, but rather the new television program that debuted two nights ago. Hosted by McKenzie Westmore (and if that surname strikes a chord, this is probably the show for you), Face Off is a competition series in which up-and-coming special FX makeup artists showcase their talents in the hopes for breakthrough
Hollywood success (the premiere was a bit vague as to what the last artist standing actually wins). Thankfully, the show seems less obnoxious/oxymoronic than the usual "reality TV" fare; the first episode never gets heavy-handed in presenting the contestants' rivalries or the judges' personalities (although Glen Hetrick does have some Cowell-esque moments of brusqueness). The process of putting together the various make-ups is interesting to behold, and the final reveals (of creatures such as the human-elephant hybrid
pictured above) are certainly more compelling than those featured on What Not to Wear or Extreme Makeover. I also like the added wrinkle that the winner of the weekly challenge gets to confer with the judges and nominate a contestant to be eliminated.
After watching the debut, I have a deeper appreciation of special
FX makeup as not just a craft but a true art, one requiring a creative eye for the fantastique. For sure, I will be tuning in to see where the contestants' vision takes them in the coming weeks.
Face Off airs Wednesday nights at 10 on SyFy. The show's official website can be found here.