Tuesday, December 30, 2008

VH1's The Pick Up Artist - A Rant

[This clown is "Mystery," the "master" pick up artist]

Oy Vey! Have you seen this absolutely horrible show? My girlfriend is sometimes fascinated with stuff like this, and can't turn away, kind of like watching a car wreck. So it was on this weekend, like episode after frightening episode, so I watched for a few minutes, then I had to wash my eyes out with bleach.

OK, the show is called The Pick Up Artist, and the premise is that the "master" transforms a bunch of socially awkward but basically nice guys (who just want to get laid once in a while) into pick up artists like himself (i.e., shallow manipulative assholes). One guy "wins" and "joins the team."

Here is how VH1 promotes it:
The VH1 series, THE PICK-UP ARTIST, is a tale of transformation. For these eight lovable losers, "socially awkward" is the understatement of the year. And when it comes to this lonely hearts club, desperate times call for desperate measures. Enter Mystery, best-selling author and ultimate pick-up artist--a former nerd from the Great White North who has discovered the secret to wooing women. Under his expert tutelage, he'll guide this group of hapless horndogs through the rough waters of romance and help them find the courage to overcome their biggest fear--talking to women.

In THE PICK-UP ARTIST, eight misfits will live together, learn together and love together as they compete for the title of "Master Pick-Up Artist." Over the course of eight episodes, the men will learn the ins and outs of the Mystery Method-- "how to open a set," "the number close" and "the kiss close" among others. Aided by his faithful wingmen, Matador and J Dog, Mystery will teach these average guys how to turn the women of their dreams into the women of their reality.

But this seduction school isn't confined the classroom. After each lesson, Mystery's awkward apprentices will put theory into practice, hitting bars, clubs and coffee houses in an attempt to make a love connection. Via hidden cameras, Mystery is always watching to see who's got potential and who's got to go.

In each episode, one contestant will be declared the winner of a challenge and granted immunity from elimination, while one sad sack will be sent packing. At the end of the eight weeks, one winner will be named "Master Pick-Up Artist" and awarded $50,000.

They may not all win the prize, but every pick-up protégé departs with the tools he'll need to change his life forever.

Who will rise to the occasion? Who will crack under the pressure? And who will become...The Pick-Up Artist?
Is the last guy stranding really a winner, or has he been turned into a scumbag male douche whose only goal is to use women and toss them away? Nice show. You can watch some video clips at their site - the guy who looks like the Cat in the Hat in the first clip is the "master."

So where to begin?

The basic premise of this show is that men are dogs and women are to be identified as available and willing, then conquered. Women are objects for sex and nothing else. And the women the guys tend to go for are seemingly shallow and possessing little self-esteem, other than in their looks. So maybe it's all a wash.

However, I can imagine there are young men and boys all over the country - otherwise harmless kids - who watch this crap and think this is their ticket to being the "ladies man" they have always wanted to be. They learn nothing about how to treat a woman with respect, as an equal, as a fully human being. It's all about the conquest and the sex.

And then we wonder why men act like such dumbasses sometimes -- it's because there are actually quite a few men who think this is an acceptable way to treat women.

This is just immature masculinity at its televised worst.

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