The Pick Up Artist 2: The Return Of Kosmo
One of the most charming things on this show is the post-elimination consoling that the boys always do with each other. They exchange hugs and express their shock and sadness to see someone leave. It is the simplest example of what sets this show apart from most reality TV competitions in that everyone just seems to want to “improve,” rather than win. Winning is secondary to personal development. Which is such a refreshing change of pace from the typically selfish, self-involved nature of reality TV that you almost forget that as far as this show is concerned, “personal development” is defined solely by how much dull-witted trim you get at some shitty bar. But still, nice guys!
This week is about body language, so the first challenge involves hooking the boys up to biofeedback machines while the saddest actress in the world does a strip tease involving a Walgreen’s Sexy Nurse costume and homemade despair. What this has to do with body language is mostly beyond me, and this segment went on for way too long. Apparently everyone’s goal was to not have sweaty palms or a raised heartbeat because those were indicators that you’re a nerd or something. I seriously don’t get it.
Brian’s technique was to “picture her with a dog’s face” so that he would be “disgusted.” Which, actually, OK, now I do get it. In order to put a life of high-intensity social anxiety behind them and become pussy-drenched douchebags, these young men will have to render women subhuman in their mind. Of course, and perfect. It also explains the popular technique of “looking through/away from” the nurse.
Or looking “hatefully” and “borderline violent” at her.
In the end Greg wins by not being a creep, which seems counter-intuitive in the world of MPUAs, but OK, and his reward is to sit in the “surveillance van” with Mystery and Matador and Tara during that night’s outing at Phoenix’s most popular Wednesday night hotspot, and see where the other guys go wrong. Killer prize. I’m sure Mystery’s “surveillance van” smells really good and makes you feel really comfortable and at ease (in the way that sexual violence, or a high stakes Magic: The Gathering party makes you feel comfortable and at ease.)
For this week’s lesson on how to rudely talk at people over your shoulder so that they don’t realize how self-conscious and self-loathing you are, Mystery brings in Season 1’s champion, KOSMO! He has gotten a new haircut and a new gay voice since he was on the show. He explains that he’s really happy now because he spends his life teaching other men how to pick up women. So that’s nice. Kosmo, of course, was a total ringer, who was so shy and nervous around women that he had a headshot and an acting reel. (He’s taken them all down, now, though, because DREAM ACHIEVED.) In any case, it is uplifting for the boys to see someone who used to be in their shoes (he did not used to be in their shoes), who’s now where they want to be (they should stop wanting to be there). Although, I’m not sure how helpful Kosmo’s advice is:
WHOA. Smokin’ balls. That is probably the skeeziest, creepiest, most insane thing anyone will ever say on a show dedicated to turning people into skeezy creeps.
Mystery, dressed, as one friend described, “like he’s in a game of interactive chess,” explains that the goal on this week’s field test is to open a set by displaying consistent “high value” body language and then “isolate [the] target into a private location.” Like what? A dark alley? A dumpster? YIKES SOMETIMES ON THIS SHOW. Anyway, Greg crushes on this one after watching everyone else have middling success to spectacular flameouts from the “surveillance van.” He not only displays consistent high value body language and isolates his target in the private location of a non-existent VIP booth because this is a bar in Phoenix and it’s the middle of the week, but he even GETS A PHONE NUMBER! Nicely done, Greg. I am so happy/sad for you.
It’s down to Karl and Rian for elimination, and it’s here that Mystery says something that I found really “upsetting,” or at least contrary to the whole spirit of the show.
HEY! I thought the whole point of this misogynistic nonsense was that ANYONE could develop a set of strategic skills that would allow them to mask their true personality in an effort to get it wet with a chubby chick who doesn’t know better. Now all of a sudden it’s only in some nerds and not in others? FUCK, YOU MYSTERY. Who are you to tell Karl that he doesn’t have what it takes to become a Master Pick Up Artist (besides the guy who made the whole thing up?)
Godspeed, young Karl. Keep up the good fight. Don’t let Mystery stand in your way of becoming a master formulaic, anti-human nightmare in the effort to fuck a bunch of strangers for sport.