A Tattoo Artist's Take on the Ink-centric 'Blindspot'

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Unless you are a survivalist living in a bunker 50 meters underground you have seen advertisements for NBC's "Blindspot." In an epic marketing blitz NBC has covered every billboard, train station and website with images of actress Jaimie Alexander (playing a character simply known as Jane Doe) wearing almost nothing and covered in ink. Alexander's character wakes up in Times Square with no memory of who she is, how she got there or where all of her tattoos came from. It appears that much like how Guy Pearce's character used his ink in the movie Memento, Alexander's tattoos will almost act as their own character as they try to solve a mystery.

While we're totally pumped about the idea of a TV show revolving around tattoos, we weren't exactly thrilled about the ink once we started to inspect it in the previews and on billboards. Bits of it felt a little bit off. So we decided to turn to Tye Harris, the black-and-grey expert who won our Tattoo Madness Tournament back in 2014, to see what the makers of "Blindspot" screwed up, and what they got right, when they created the show's tattoos.

"It seems like a cool idea for a show," Harris says. "But some of the tattoos are a bit much."

One of the major points of contention comes from a single line in the preview (seen below). And while it may seem nit-picky to attack the show on one point it's a pretty major point—they build on the premise that Doe's entire body was tattooed all at once.

"I think it's pretty ridiculous that they would even try to convince people the tattoos were all done at the same time," Harris says. "I would like to watch the first episode and see exactly how long she was missing. Of course, she would have had to be missing for at least a couple of months to get all that shit on there."

Of course, if you're going to delve into a show that already has amnesia as one of its major plot points you're willing to suspend your disbelief a little bit. We're also willing to let it slide that all of the tattoos look brand new instead of healed. Maybe the show is a "24" type situation where it will all take place in a very short period of time. That being said, they are clearly trying to market the show to people who are into tattoos so it is the second inconsistency that irks us far more.

"It seems like they're zooming in on these tattoos and finding micro lettering with messages in them," Harris says. "When you just look at the tattoo it's just squiggly lines. We know this is impossible."

Exactly. If major plot points are based on hidden tattoos inside of other tattoos or tattoos that are impossible to create then we're going to have to find something else to do on our Monday nights. There's only so much creative license that we can give. It would be a real bummer for artists like Harris if people started thinking they could get elaborate and microscopic messages hidden inside their tattoos, so hopefully "Blindspot" keeps things relatively close to reality. We'll find out when the premiere hits on Monday, Sept. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on NBC.

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