Ambassadors episode 2 review

The Pick-up Artist season one review

Published by jamdog on 10th August, 2007.

 The Pick-up Artist season one review

The Pick-up Artist

VH1

Unlike a lot of so-called "pick-up" artists Aerial Telly doesn’t like to talk about his successes with women. He’s a very classy guy and would rather drink his own piss than talk about his many conquests. But things being the way they are, there is a whole industry of so-called experts selling their alleged "advice" to meek and needy "men" looking to improve their love lives. One of the more credible gurus around is Erik von Markovik, better-known by his stage name Mystery. The focal point of Neil Strauss‘s whistle-blowing account of the seduction community The Game, Mystery is a dark genius, prone to fits of suicidal depression in-between macking the dames and travelling all over the world teaching his methods. Mystery getting his own dating makeover show was almost inevitable and The Pick-up Artist seeks to reach the parts other valiant efforts such as the BBC’s Would Like To Meet, couldn’t.

"They send them into a club rigged with hidden cameras so both we and the master pick-up artists can see exactly how fucked up they are. These guys are easily as clueless with women as Aerial Telly readers."

The problem with The Pick-up Artist is that it sticks too rigorously to the reality TV blueprint. Each week one of the chumps gets eliminated. This runs entirely against the philosophy of pick-up and self-improvement leading to lots of scenery chewing from Mystery who can’t stop himself repeating "one of you…. WILL BE GOING HOME" in case we’d missed this cheap, pointless, cruel, tacked-on feature of the show. Mystery and his two wingmen J-Dog and Matador give the guys a fashion makeover so that they stand out from the crowd. They send them into a club rigged with hidden cameras so both we and the master pick-up artists can see exactly how fucked up they are. These guys are easily as clueless with women as Aerial Telly readers.

 

"’So, how did your family do in Katrina?’. ‘Not great’ his target replies ‘Two dead’. "That’s awesome!’ says Ted in a scene we don’t see ‘Wanna make out?’ "

Mystery is fond of telling his charges "we can only open doors for you – we can’t drag you through them" and this is aptly demonstrated by Fred, a 45 year-old loser looking for the woman of his dreams. Fred lucks out and finds that, just like him, the girl he speaks to is from New Orleans. After high-fives and "small world"s his next gambit is "So, how did your family do in Katrina?". "Not great" his target replies "Two dead". "That’s awesome!"says Ted in a scene we don’t see "Wanna make out?"

"What’s the fucking point in kicking out the very people who are potentially the show’s biggest stars? Idiot producers can’t depart from The Format even when it’s plainly detrimental to the show’s aims."

The Pick-up Artist is a pretty good show. Although it’s hamstrung by reality TV conventions it does get across some of the concepts of Mystery Method pretty well and regularly subverts the regular dating show advice with the field tested real life material that the poon hounds swear by. The all-purpose suspense music and cutaways to concerned faces are pretty distracting. The show’s stated concept that we are trying to find a Master Pick-up Artist is a direct contradiction of the makeover concept. Unlike The Apprentice where a selection process picks the best business has to offer and a weekly elimination makes sense, The Pick-up Artist picks the most in dire need of help and the weekly elimination makes no sense. I’d like to see how some of the really useless guys develop over the weeks. What’s the fucking point in kicking out the very people who need the help the most and are potentially the show’s biggest stars? Idiot producers can’t depart from The Format even when it’s plainly detrimental to the show’s aims.

"It won’t stop your girlfriend making a beeline for my bed the moment your back’s turned but it may just light the spark that catches fire in your heart that begins turning you into a real man."

Nonetheless, I’m going to recommend that you watch this. It won’t stop your girlfriend making a beeline for my bed the moment your back’s turned but it may just light the spark that catches fire in your heart that begins turning you into a real man. Aerial Telly remains the eternal optimist.

The best thing about it: Some pretty solid makeover and sarging advice from the experts.

The worst thing about it: Sending a poor, no-hope, lovelorn chump home every week in the name of formulaic television.

The verdict on The Pick-up Artist: Dating just got personal.

Marks out of 10: 7.5

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Tags: Categories: American reality TV

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