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August 31, 2015

The Pickup Artist: Episode 1 (series premiere)

by Varun Lella, posted Aug 7th 2007 1:16AM
The Pick Up artist(S01E01) "I am pretty sure a lot of us are going to crash and burn pretty horribly." - Fred, the 45-year-old virgin

Okay, let me start by saying I won't follow this show on a consistent basis unless you guys beg me to. Really there is not much of a point. There isn't a whole lot to analyze here, nothing to obsess over, nothing to make this an addictive reality competition on par with your So You Think You Can Dances and those Dancing with the Starses.

However with all that said, there is something disturbingly interesting about The Pickup Artist. Let me give you the low down for those of you who aren't up to speed. The show follows eight geeky, mojo-challenged guys as they attempt to gain some lady-snagging skills with the help of smoothness guru Mystery and his man-servants Matador and J-Dog. Each week someone will get eliminated until we are left with the master pickup artist.

The one thing that really surprised me about the show is its ability to avoid certain clichés from the get-go. VH1 could have easily gone with eight super nerds, guys so paralyzed by social awkwardness they can't even look at pretty ladies without perspiring. For example, Brady, Joe W. and Alvaro would be considered attractive in normal circumstances, but they each have small deficiencies that make them perfect candidates for Mystery's special brand of therapy.

In the first episode we get a little intro to the guys and their background. We meet Pradeep, the over-talker, and Scott, the stutterer. Let us not forget about the lovable teddy bears Spoon and Joe D. Including my intro shout out to Fred, I think that covers everyone. The boys are immediately put to the test when they have to try and meet girls in a bar. As our little soothsayer Fred predicted, there was a lot of crashing with an extra side of burning. Then, to drive the point home, our men Mystery, Matador and J-Dog (I can't help but laugh every time I hear that name) swoop in and show our nerds a taste of what they will be taught.

Now the idea of training guys to become "pickup artists" seems a little bit shallow, but to be fair it really does seem sincere at the heart of it. As Mystery says, "This is not about just picking up girls. It's about building a life." It is like a TV version of Hitch sans Will Smith. From the beginning episode there is not enough in terms of character development or tension to really grab audience attention, but hopefully the show will grow with time.

The thing that is most disturbing isn't all the lessons in mackittude, but rather the structure of the show itself. It doesn't really make sense to make this show a competitive elimination contest. If the idea is to help guys shouldn't all of them stay as long as possible to glean whatever they can. At the end of the series, it isn't going to matter to me who the master pickup artist is. I am going to care about how these guys come out of their shells, bloom into beautiful human beings and other growth metaphors.

So if you think this show is worth following, let me know. Otherwise, watch it if you are in to geeks and avoid it if you carry a general distrust of professional pickup artists or VH1 reality shows.

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great story.
also guys you can see all the episodes in this site:

October 14 2007 at 5:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ray Gordon: you know you ran from Mystery's challenge, he offered you to pay for everything, even agreeing to some of your crazy rules. Even so, you acted like chicken crap. All your chats are still saved in thundercat's site.

If you didn't have your head stuck up your butt, you would know by now that this is about, IN FACT, about building a life. Then you can create your own lines and methods.

September 12 2007 at 2:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Joe Doyle basically tells everyone that he won the show's $100,000 prize on his MySpace site. He lists his income as being six figures, and acting as his occupation.

August 16 2007 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ray Gordon (who posted above at 6:11 am) is a well-known malcontent on the Usenet newsgroup alt.seduction.fast (http://tinyurl.com/2ag4wm), where he spends all his waking hours insulting everyone else. While he denounces Mystery and accuses VH1 of shilling, he doesn't disclose that he himself sells a pickup program. Maybe if he didn't spend all his time flaming everyone on Usenet, he'd have his own TV show.

August 16 2007 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i know Joe W personally.. and i know that he aint no geek. this show seems cool.. but becoz i know one character i think it may be fiction. b/c joe w knows how to deal wit women.

August 10 2007 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

VH-1 has a special tracking link to Mystery's website on its "related links" section. Mystery usually pays 25 percent to affiliates who send him customers. VH-1 appears to be an affiliate, or if they aren't, their referrals are being tracked for some other reason (which would be what?). That makes the program smack of being an infomercial rather than a TV show, and it's running so many times a week.

The show also appears to be a lure for Mystery's commercial website, his books, $300+ DVD sets, $2,000+ workshops, and even more expensive personalized instruction. If VH-1 is taking a cut of this action they should admit this; Mystery is also the only link in the "related links" section. The whole thing stinks of stealth marketing.

Mystery himself is no prize, one of those guys who is nice only when things are going his way. VH-1 was nice enough to reward his emotional blackmail of Neil Strauss that was referenced in the game when he was threatening suicide because "living, costs too much." He knew who he was saying it to, and that amounts to "Make me rich and famous, Neil, or I'm gonna kill myself and it'll all be your fault."

I have talked to no less than three people who have told me that part of Mystery's workshop pitch involves using potential future employment with his company as a lure. If so, he's requiring people to purchase something in order to work for him, and that's a BIG no-no.

As for how Mystery got famous, most in the media don't know or seem to care that he did it via a website that excluded most of his competitors from advertising, yet claimed to be a "portal." The site had maybe four or six sponsors during the critical growth period, which is the main reason all the consumer attention and subsequent media attention was focused his way. Having Neil Strauss run interference through the mainstream media and giving them the greenlight to make Mystery famous over the other 50 guys doing this (many of whom created material that will inevitably be attributed to Mystery) is another factor.

Read The Game and you'll see that Mystery once threatened a reverend with a knife because the Reverend complained about the noise Mystery, a guest in the building, was making outside of his apartment. You'll also see that Mystery threatened to throw his roommate, Herbal, through plate glass when he learned that Herbal had sex with Katya, Mystery's girlfriend at the time. This is how the man behaves when he can't control a situation, like a classic domestic abuser.

That the public worships a man like this, and rewards suicide threats while overlooking domestic violence and questionable business practices is absolutely disgusting, though not surprising, given the apparent affiliate partnership between VH-1 and Mystery, each of whom helps the other make money even without an agreement like that, but with it, VH-1 creating the very celebrity on which it will cash in when it feeds Mystery customers.

His method? Worthless now. It's been televised. Men are dreaming if they think this will work just like they're dreaming if they think they can still win at blackjack through card-counting. Those who know Mystery and the entire sordid history of the seduction cartel-oops, community, that he helped build are the ones who are laughing at the ignorance of the media and those who cover it, who took a full nine years to even pay attention to something that's been under their nose all along.

There's a saying on Wall Street: if your cabdriver gives you a stock tip, sell all your holdings. The same is true about women if your cabdriver thinks he has GAME: time to get a new game plan, because now it's GAME OVER.

I hope women are proud of endorsing a man who is teaching men to stop being nice, stop being gentleman, and instead to be whining, selfish, emotionally blackmailing, suicide-threatening toddlers who get ahead in life by being literally impossible to coexist with if you don't let them do so.

A sad, sad commentary on America from all sides.

August 09 2007 at 6:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Real Hash

Yeah, the show was good. But, more importantly, I know Jay Hash (who recently posted (at 4:54am to be exact)), and although he's never been in a show of any kind, he has been in several acting showcases, at which I can assure you he excelled like no other who has come before him. He was also in A View From the Bridge, in which he impersonated Joe Pesci better than Joe Pesci impersonates himself. He has directed and written for the Pocket Playhouse, an illustrious theatre company with ample facilities. If you are interested in his production, see his director's commentary at http://oregon.facebook.com/photos.php?&id=11518269&s=6. It's really quite brilliant. To top it off, Jay Hash has been so successful in Eugene that he was able to fully fund the Star Trek wedding of his dreams. For more on this, refer to the link below: http://oregon.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30954908&op=1&o=user&view=user&subj=11508990&id=11508990. (He's the furthest to the left.) While The Pick Up Artist meets our greatest expectations, Jay Hash continues to rise above. Thank you, Jay.

August 09 2007 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whatever. I thought it was sleazy. Yeah, I wrote a review that I'm telling you about now.

August 08 2007 at 11:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think this show is going to be great. Like a realistic Beauty and the Geek without the dinghy girls. Mystery (seems) sincere toward the contestants. So far no nasty comments or mocking seen or heard anywhere in the show, a welcome relief from most reality TV. Competition may be the thing necessary to get these guys to really go the extra mile and not back down off the challenges. My husband and I (both late 40's) enjoyed it equally and are hooked!

August 07 2007 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you're interested in this sort of thing read The Game by Neil Strauss. It's a very good read about the world of pickup artists, and Mystery is one of the main characters, though not in the light he probably wants you to see him in. Ego versus confidence, not being accepted is the main reason people look into these things, and it's better for people to search for help than to suffer on their own.

August 07 2007 at 8:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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