Good taxidermy can create stunning visions of predator and prey frozen in time. Bad taxidermy could spell a sour end to a good hunt. According to its official page, AMC’s upcoming show Immortalized will pit taxidermist against taxidermist in an unscripted–and surprisingly dramatic–competition of man vs. beast. Judged and hosted by expert taxidermists, long time hunters, art critics and few comedians, Immortalized is bound to have something for everyone.
“Personally, I think there are two sides to taxidermy,”said second-generation taxidermist Page Nethercutt. “There’s your commercial industry side, and then there’s the art form side, where you make an animal look more realistic, more natural in the way you display it. A deer hanging on the wall is not art. But you take that deer and you open his mouth and you have him reaching for a crabapple on a tree limb, and he sits on a nice walnut pedestal with a little habitat scene around him – that’s art.”
With an episodic, theme-based structure, Immortalized will feature four professional taxidermists dubbed the “immortalizers.” Every episode a challenger will appear to call out one of the professionals for a shot at glory. Every Immortalizer has their own unique strengths and creative fields, but will they stand up to new rising new talent?
North Carolina hunter and trapper Page Nethercutt started when he was a kid and has an affinity for African game. He is a champion taxidermist that describes himself as a straight shooter both in and out of the woods. Nethercutt’s pieces are realistic and dramatic.
Operator of the World Wonders Museum and rogue taxidermist Takeshi Yamda is known for works of fantasy. His work is featured in over 600 art exhibits worldwide but his favorite is a creation of half rabbit, half duck, and an additional half seal. He calls it Seara.
The Immortalizers will also include fashion taxidermist Beth Beverly and waterfowl expert Dave Houser.
“An experienced and knowledgeable taxidermist treats each piece that they receive with the utmost respect,” says Houser. “ Not only because the animal gave its life, but because you’re dealing with somebody’s trophy and emotions. We might not know it at the time, but this could’ve been the last time a guy hunted with his dad. Or it could be a child’s first deer, or a mother-daughter fishing trip. So you’re just thinking about all that as you’re working on the piece.”
The series will premiere February 14 at 10PM EST / 9PM CST on AMC.
Check out a special pre-air episode below: