In case you cannot already tell that my personal life must be deathly boring right now, I will continue on with my dating topic....
So this weekend, I caught the encore presentation of a new VH1 show called "The Pick-Up Artist". Like most new shows these days, this is yet another reality competition show. They have gathered up a group of geeky, shy and/or insecure single men and this guy who calls himself "Mystery" is going to teach them how to pick up chicks. Each week, the weakest link will be eliminated, which will only serve to increase their insecurities, which makes absolutely no sense to me. (If they are doing poorly, don't they need to stay on the show??) The winner gets $50k, and I presume, lots of one night stands with unsuspecting 21 year olds. Anyway, here is the trailer for the show.
I don't know if you can watch episode one on the VH1 website for the show or not, but the site does provide a good background on the show's idea, as well as photos of all the contestants. I am going to summarize the first episode here in this post.
When the show first came on, I thought, "Sweet! This fits in perfectly with my blog!" -- which should really point out how much of a nerd I am. Then I thought, "I bet this show is going to be really bad. It can't be better than 'Beauty and the Geek'." [Note: If you have not watched "Beauty and the Geek", I highly recommend it. The geeky guys get coaching from real, actual women, which is how I think every dating coach show should go.]
There are about 8 guys on this "Pick-Up Artist" show. None of them are going to be SOL. Well, except for the token Ultra Nerd, who seems to be one action figure and 20 years away from being a real-life Andy Stitzer. But the rest of them definitely have hope. A couple of them are pretty cute, actually. One guy claims a lot of girls think he's gay. One guy feels he's too old to be doing this, another guy totally freezes up anytime a cute girl is nearby. But for the most part, they just seem to lack confidence, a surefire way to fail at picking up girls. Like I said, though, there is hope for pretty much all of them.
After "meeting" all of the contestants, I was expecting the coach to be a modern-day James Bond: suave, adult, classy and very masculine. I pictured an incredibly attractive and charming Armani-suit-wearing Calvin Klein underwear model. "Oh, PLEASE be Julian McMahon!" I thought. Who comes out? Some Goth version of Kid Rock. He calls himself "Mystery". My eyeballs almost rolled right out of my head. I think I may have laughed out loud. He had SO many strikes against him, right off the bat, in my book:
1. What's with the pseudonym? How pretentious!
2. The only guys who can wear eyeliner and get away with it are Johnny Depp and David Bowie. But that's IT.
3. Guys who paint their fingernails black? EW. Creepy.
4. What's with the goggles, hats and other costume-y outfits??? It looks stupid. Like he's trying too hard for attention.
5. Long hair??? Didn't that go out about 10 years ago???
So as you can tell, he failed to impress me. At all. "That guy couldn't pick me up if he paid me a million dollars. This ought to be good. I can't wait to rip this 'expert' apart. He's probably just as clueless as his students," I thought, as I settled into my couch, along with my diet coke and animal cookies.
But my eye-rolling wasn't done yet. "Mystery" had assistant coaches: "Matador", a cocky, swarthy, Latino-type guy in a leather jacket and "J-Dog", who with his platinum-bleached hair and black stripes down the side of his head (yes, you read that correctly), struck me as The Guy Who Tries Too Hard, rather than some dating coach. He claims he's an engineer by trade. "Yeah, right. I know so many engineers who sport fur coats and dog-spike collars," I mentally sneered.
"I wouldn't touch any of these guys with a ten-foot pole," I thought. "They are all pretentious, cocky and gimmicky. They look like groupies for some Motley Crue Reunion Tour." *more eye rolling*
I almost changed the channel to alleviate my nausea, but then the contestants started to get under my skin. If there's one thing I'm a sucker for, it's an Underdog Guy. Much like "Average Joe", I was hooked instantly and rooting for all of them.
After all the initial introductions, they threw these poor, unsuspecting guys as-is into a large bar in Austin, TX. It was full of beautiful co-eds. Each one of the guys failed miserably-- boring approaches, awkward comments, depressing topics and entirely too much staring ensued. One guy turned into a complete wallflower and spoke to no one at all, preferring instead to be the Creepy Guy Alone at a Bar (NEVER EVER be that guy. EVER. It is pick-up suicide). In short, they all crashed and burned. I realize it is important to illustrate to the audience how pathetic these guys are, but it's not like they needed to be reminded! My heart went out to them. They were crushed! One guy was crying! I had no idea it was so challenging and stressful for some guys to even just simply talk to a woman! WOW. My eyes have been opened, and I think I will be a lot nicer to creepy jerks and losers who try and talk to me in bars.
But I digress.
My next thought was, "Wait. These guys are all saying they'd like to have girlfriends, but it looks like this show is trying to get them hook-ups or one-night stands. I'm thinking there was a miscommunication along the way. These are Nice Guys who just need some confidence-building. This Mystery guy sounds like he's going to turn them into players! We don't need more players!!! I wish they would show these guys they don't have to choose between Awkward and Asshole!!!! There is a third choice, and it lies in the middle. It's called Awesome. THAT's what they should be aiming for!!! This show is ticking me off!!!"
I almost chucked my remote at the tv at this point (Ok, not really, but it paints a nice image, right?). Then it cut to a shot of all the guys standing in front of Mystery and crew.
"I'm going to ask you guys a pretty personal question right now," Mystery said.
The guys looked at each other nervously.
"How many of you are virgins?" he asked, bluntly.
HALF THE CONTESTANTS RAISED THEIR HANDS.
I couldn't believe it. The youngest guy on the show is about 25, I think. I had no idea it was so bad. "Holy Shit! Forget girlfriends! These guys need to get laid!!" I thought. "I mean, they just need something to get them over the hump, so to speak. They do need this cocky asshole of a coach! WOW!"
This completely blew my mind, y'all. I mean, I could see firsthand how terrible they were at approaching women, but I thought for SURE they must have had some drunk night in college where they lucked out. Um, not so much! These guys need serious help. Some of them have never had girlfriends. Ever.
Mystery & Crew went over each guy's footage with them (the poor guys were filmed as they tried to pick up girls, as if they needed more stress added to the situation...). And although Mystery, Matador and J-Dog made me want to barf, I have to say, their critiques were DEAD ON. It was like they were taking the words right out of my mouth: "Why did you ask that stupid question? Why do you think that would work? Where is that conversation line even going? Why are you ignoring her friend? Can't you tell by the look on her face that she wants you to go away?" etc. Every criticism and comment illustrated the coaches' PERFECT understanding of how to approach a woman successfully. The best tip I heard? NEVER start out with introductions. Women don't like telling strange guys their name. You can get to names later. "Holy shit. That's absolutely right. I never realized that!" I thought.
To add insult to injury, for the last part of the show, Mystery and his Wingmen went into the same bar, about 30 minutes later and showed the contestants how it's done. The Nice Guys were blown away at their success. The Pick Up Artists (PUAs) were totally opposite in their behavior: confident, interesting, upbeat and fun. And although I cannot STAND the way they dress and look, I have to say that at least they would put me at ease. I can't say they'd be successful at getting my number, but I'd definitely rather talk to them than the insecure guys.
Needless to say, I'll be watching Episode #2 tonight at 9pm EST. Want to join me?
If you want more info about this Mystery guy, check out these websites:
Holy Cow, he's got a Wikipedia entry.
His "Venusian Arts" homepage [Insert eye-rolling here.] It claims to have free tips on there, but all I can find are descriptions of his seminars, which cost a SMALL FORTUNE and are SELLING OUT despite that fact. (This totally blows my mind that guys pay so much money for this!!!) I guess I shouldn't be surprised at all of the plugging. This guy is making a living doing this. This is America, after all.
There's also a blog, which has a video I presume is to illustrate the PUA lifestyle: an endless stream of random, half-naked and beautiful women in your bed. [Insert more eye-rolling and gagging here.] It's not really 100% work-appropriate, btw. I can't believe this is the "ideal" lifestyle for so many men. I would title the video "The Fastest Route to Herpes" if I had my way. Is this guy for real? Do men find this lifestyle fulfilling? Is this what men are honestly striving for?
I guess I don't understand men as well as I thought I did....
Anyway, make sure you catch the video of Mystery's interview on Conan O'Brien. (There's a link to it in the sidebar of the blog I just mentioned.) Conan rips him apart, and it's hilarious. As if I need another reason to love Conan O'Brien! I friggin love that guy. I was actually upset when he got married. That's who I want to approach me in bars! Where are the Conans of the world???