Tattoo School
Credit: TLC

TLC is giving its controversial special Tattoo School a series order.

The competition series will put students through a two-week crash course in Louisiana on the art of tattooing, undergoing challenges that mimic situations they might find themselves in as a working tattoo artist.

Tattoo School first aired as a special last summer and drew some outrage from professionals in tattoo circles. “The industry should be in an uproar over this show because it jabs a knife right in the heart of the industry,” fumed one site. “[Two weeks of training] just isn’t safe or logical for anyone to pick up a machine.”

Safe? Logical? C’mon, man, it’s reality TV! Anybody who volunteers to get a tattoo from a student with a week of training on a reality show deserves to be etched with a jittery-looking dolphin for life.

The winner will receive — not making this up — a golden tattoo gun that’s built to “last for the winner’s entire career.” Between this and last week’s new project, Obese & Expecting, TLC wins the award for the most fun press releases lately. Tattoo School premieres Thursday, May 24 at 10 p.m. Here’s a first-look clip:

Some more official detail about the show from World of Wonder: Based in Shreveport, LA, the renowned World’s Only Tattoo School provides prospective tattoo artists with a once-in-a-lifetime, two-week intensive course on the art of tattooing. Instructed by Dr. Bill Pogue, who has over 38 years of teaching experience, the class includes an array of artists with different goals and expectations…. Each challenge will test a specific skill or technique that is required to become successful in the business. From sketching to inking human VIP clients, the students will be subjected to all aspects of tattoo artistry. Upon graduation, the student with the best final, original tattoo is gifted with a golden gun, which will last for their entire career.

Read more: