While flipping through the channels Sunday afternoon, I came across a show I had never heard of before, called "The Pick-Up Artist" on VH1, so I decided to tune in. Granted, I don't watch much TV anymore, since I am taking three film classes this semester, my DVD player has been getting all the attention, so I'm sure I have been one of the only people in the dark about this show. This article on vh1.com provides more information, including a summary and links about the series. For those not familiar, the premise of the show is based on transforming eight "socially awkward nerds" into the "Master Pick-Up Artist." The host, Mystery ("former nerd turned best-selling author and ultimate pick-up artist") and his crew teach the guys a lesson about how to talk to/appeal to women and then send them off on little adventures to a bar or other social arenas to try out their new skills, or lack there of. Based on each guy's performance, there are elimination rounds and those who aren't making progress are told "Game over."
I know I have grossly overanalyzed this series, but there is bias in that the contestants are relying on the teachings and opinions of only one man, Mystery, in order to learn the "language of love."
Secondly, the show is clearly stereotyping poor nerds all over the world, though funny, it is up to everyone's personal judgment to decide what is considered "nerdy" and "awkward" and what is charming and attractive.
Lastly, the only females who show any kind of authority in the show, share their knowledge of lovemaking and the right things to do to grab and keep a woman's interest. Yet, they do all of this wearing only bras and panties or some kind of racy lingerie. Are we supposed to actually take them seriously?
Seems like an entertaining show, full of embarrassing moments, girls wearing next to nothing, and plenty of bragging rights for Mystery, but what about the messages the content of the show can send? What happens when this kind of bias content begins to make impressions on viewers' minds, most notably teens?
What kind of messages about the opposite sex will be impressed on young teenage boys' minds when they see a woman dressed in lingerie sitting in a "pillow room" waiting for each of the "masters in training" to come into the dark room to turn her on?
On the other hand, most teenage girls are already extremely self-conscious about their bodies and craving attention from boys. What will they think when they see these men slobbering all over half-dressed women, who just happen to be sex analysts?
Overall, great show for adults if you are in the mood to watch something with seemingly no intellectual depth and lots of laugh-out-loud moments of male humiliation.