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NY Ink Recap: Ami James, Chris Torres Fight in New York

Posted by on June 3, 2011 at 9:06 AM EST

ny ink tlcNY Ink episode 1 aired last night on TLC and it was chock full of drama.

New place, same old drama.  That might be the tag line for NY Ink which premiered last night on the TLC network. NY Ink features Ami James of Miami Ink fame moving back to New York and opening up his dream tattoo shop. The episode starts with him doing a tattoo while the shop is still being put together. He starts assembling his crew and knows that they need do a lot of work in this place if he is going to be able to keep the doors open because of the extreme costs of doing business in New York.

The first people on board are Jessica Gahring  and Robear. She will act as the shop manager on NY Ink. She has plenty of tats and looks the part, but we find out she was working in a bank before this and has very little actual tattoo shop experience. Robear (yes, just one name) comes on board as the shop bitch. His job is to sweep the floors and keep things clean. He is openly gay and right away he and Jessica butt heads because she had the gall to ask him to actually do his job and sweep and mop. Ami James steps in and makes them both mop.

Tattoo artists Billy Decola, Tommy Montoya and Tim Hendricks join the crew on NY Ink. Ami seems to know Tim and Billy the best. He and Tim worked together some down in Miami. Speaking of Miami, there isn’t really anything mentioned about it. Maybe down the road we will find out what happened after the show ended, but there is no real bridge that brings the show from there to here

Ami runs into an old friend, tattoo artist Chris Torres, who is looking for work. Back in the day he helped Ami out so Ami agrees to give him some work in the shop. Within five minutes Chris starts to come off so much like a central casting bad New Yorker stereotype that it is almost funny. When the last artist in the shop Megan Massacre comes in Chris starts giving her hell. He says he doesn’t know if he can work next to a cute girl like this and she will distract him. Ami gets angry, but doesn’t say anything. He confides in Tim that men shouldn’t talk to women like that and that they should give women crap like that. Apparently he forgot how he treated Kat Von D back in the Miami Ink days.

A few tattoos come and go, probably the best of which is a headless horseman done by Megan. Tommy gets emotional doing a tattoo of baby feet for a woman. The baby was born early and died within minutes of birth. Tommy even has to take a break because he is tearing up.

Throughout the premiere of NY Ink Ami James keeps saying how he wants a drama free shop, but then immediately after that statement drama happens. If it isn’t Jessica and Robear going at it then it is Chris Torres causing problems and annoying everyone. Tim gives Ami a gift. It is a custom built tattoo gun with the NY symbol on it. He made it himself just for Ami and Ami is moved by the gesture. A little while later when he can’t find it in his drawer Robear suggests he checks Chris’s drawer and, imagine that, there it is. Ami is already pissed when later Chris comes in and tells Ami he lost his keys to the drawer and can’t get into it to get his gear. The two trade words and Ami walks away from him. Chris does his tough New Yorker act and Ami gets in his face and pushes him away. The episode ends with the two being separated.

If Ami James really wants a drama free shop he will just fire Chris Torres and that will be the end of it. Somehow I don’t think that will be happening.

For me NY Ink was just okay. The tattoos were decent, but not amazing and it seemed like the drama was either so fake or scripted and they just think the audience is dumb. So far NY Ink has started with a fizzle. Hopefully it will get better soon.



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