Rarely, but sometimes, TV worth it

Perhaps you never have been able to watch, or have no interest in watching, the original sci-fi series “Face-Off.” With the limited amount of television that I actually watch, and the fact that it’s usually limited to sports, the occasional deliberately chosen movie, and news programs, it’s a wonder that I ever did, or that I even found it.

However, find it I did, and I’m glad I was able to discover this particular show. It is, indeed, a reality show, and those generally do not cross my field of vision, at least not more than once. This show, however, like another reality show, “Amazing Race,” takes a viewer into the realm of a fantasy world that many of us wish we could enter. In this case, it involves constructing some truly amazing costumes and disguises to create movie fantasy characters. Since I’ve never gotten involved, nor wanted to, in much of theatre that didn’t involve set construction, and have certainly never approached the costuming aspect, it must be that the show appeals to me as a person who likes to create three dimensional art in wood.

I can only imagine what it would be like to create some of these movie characters in wood.

There is an awesome British woodcarver by the name of Ian Norbury, whose complex wood sculptures resemble the creations that contestants are sometimes assigned to create.

This, however, is how “Face Off” is played: Contestants are assigned a category, say Superheroes From Another Planet. With a certain amount of time, a model {person} to work with, and the necessary materials, they have to create that character for a panel of judges, said panel composed of top notch Hollywood costume and special effects professionals. Needless to say, the stakes are high, to include a chance to work in first rate Tinseltown projects.

It’s not the costuming part that I like to watch, and it certainly isn’t the sometimes tough way the topnotchers critique the work of the hopefuls, who are usually already professionals at some level and, I suppose, can take the verbal bluntness. It’s got more to do with the 3-D art that the contestants turn in.

“Amazing Race,” in case I left you wondering way back there, is another reality show in which teams compete in a kind of scavenger hunt, except that this one involves huge distances and serious challenges. In a world of truly bizarre shows like “Mob Wives,” and a world where there’s truly too much to do and too little time to spend much of it staring at the small screen, it’s great to note that there are occasional well spent hours.


Clyde Davis is a Presbyterian pastor and teacher at Clovis Christian High School. He can be contacted at:


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