Great Scenes Of Game On TV

The rise of feminism in the West has manifested itself in many outlets, perhaps none more overt than in the entertainment industry. For the most part, American television and cinema has become an egalitarian wasteland flooded with stories of empowered chicks having their pick in the sexual market into their menopausal years and beyond, spineless men being forced into puppydog submission by their domineering wives, gender roles being completely reversed, beta persistence paying off to “win” the girl at the end, and beautiful young women pining over glittery vampires.

However, once in awhile, a gem stands out. And in this case, it comes in one of the unlikeliest of places — the long-running hit sitcom “Friends.” While cleverly written, “Friends” consistently parroted the popular feminist shibboleths of its day underneath the warm exterior of humor — that the player life was not one to be desired, that single motherhood should be celebrated, that past sluttiness shouldn’t be a deterring factor in committing to a girlfriend or wife, that pompous wedding ceremonies and ravish rings were the only legitimate way to kick off a marriage, etc.

The diamond in the rough came in a Season Nine run of episodes featuring a romance between Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and her co-worker Gavin (Dermot Mulroney). Gavin, the “jerk” (Rachel’s words) who filled in for her while she was away on maternity leave, displayed some excellent examples of Alphetiquette in his brief run on the show. Needless to say, if you’re someone who enjoys seeing solid game (as opposed to beta pandering) winning over the girl, you’d probably wish NBC replaced the hapless Ross (David Schwimmer) with Gavin as Rachel’s ultimate choice at the end of the series.

Here is a clip of the scenes of the episode in which Gavin is introduced, with dialogue and the Colonel’s commentary below:

Scene 1: 0:00-0:36

[Ross and Rachel, with their newborn child, head to Rachel’s office at Ralph Lauren, where she plans to be returning in two weeks. They discuss how their girl keeps being mistaken for a boy.]

The only problem with the entire pickup is unveiled right away: Gavin’s about to go after a single mom. But since it’s Jennifer Aniston, who maintained her looks well into her 30s, I’ll cut him some slack.

Rachel: Who the hell are you!?

Gavin: Who the hell are you?

Hoop 1 avoided. Gavin immediately shows he’s in charge of the conversation and he’s not playing by the rules of beta social convention by eagerly answering every question like he would in a job interview.

Rachel: I’m the hell person whose office this is!

Ross: Good one, Rache.

Guy: I’m Gavin Mitchell, the person who’s taken over your job.

Now he answers, brimming with confidence and authority.

Rachel: Excuse me?

Gavin: Oh, your baby’s so cute. Why did you put a pink bow on a boy?

Probably not a neg you’d read in The Game but it achieves the same result.

Scene 2: 0:36-2:31

Rachel: Wait a minute! What do you mean, you’re taking over my job?

Gavin: Well, while you were on your baby vacation I was doing your job.

Game principle displayed: reframing.

Rachel: A vacation? My idea of a vacation does not involve something sucking on my nipples until they are raw.

Gavin: Clearly you’ve never been to Sandles Paradise Island.

Game principle displayed: wit.

Rachel: Alright! Don’t get too comfortable there, because I’m back in two weeks! And I want everything back to the way it was. I can’t say that I care too much for the way you’ve rearranged my office.

Gavin: I can’t say I care too much for that smell you’ve brought in with you.

You’ll notice he never lets her lead the conversation. And he never goes on the defensive; he simply reframes.

Rachel: Excuse me?

Ross: Rache, we have a code brown situation.

Rachel: Can you please, please take care of it for me?

Ross: Alright, but you have to do one sometime.

Meanwhile, in Betaland, Ross is stuck changing diapers for his born-out-of-wedlock child while his baby’s momma gets hit on by an alpha right in front of him.

Rachel: Let me just get this straight! So I go have a baby and they send some guy in to do my job?

Gavin: Well, there was talk of shutting down Ralph Lauren all together.

Funniest line of the episode. He’s slowly chiseling away at the pedestal guys like Ross took years to craft for her.

Rachel: That’s right. You’re very cheeky for a temp.

Gavin: I’m not a temp. I was transferred here from another department.

Rachel: Oh yeah, what department was that? The Jerk department?

If a girl calls you a jerk, especially while bantering with you, you know you’ve activated her tingle sequence.

Gavin: Oh, they didn’t tell me about your quick wit.

If only betas understood that respect must be earned. A bad comeback deserves teasing, not feeble supplication. And women wouldn’t have it any other way.

Rachel: Did they mention that I’m rubber and you’re glue?

Mr. Zelner: (Enters) Gavin, Ralph loved your ideas.

Rachel: Oh, hi Mr. Zelner.

Mr. Zelner: Ah, Rachel, I see you’ve met Gavin. I must say, when you left us we weren’t sure what we were gonna do. But then, Gavin to the rescue. Super Gavin!

His boss is a great wingman. DHV for him so he doesn’t have to.

Rachel: That’s great. So now, Super Gavin, when I come back where are you planning on flying off to?

Gavin: Well, that’s up to Mr. Zelner. I’m sure he’ll make the right decision.

Rachel: (To herself) Oh, wow. Super ass-kissing power.

Mr. Zelner: Incidentally, when are you coming back?

Rachel: Uh…today.

Gavin: You said two weeks.

Rachel: No, I said to-day! See, for a superhero, not so much with the listening.

Scene 3: 2:31-3:20

Rachel: Alright. Now that I’m back, why don’t you just fill me in on what you’ve been up to?

Gavin: Well, I’ve changed your screensaver from that picture of N-Sync.

More teasing. Excellent.

Rachel: Hey, they were popular when I left!

Gavin: But mostly I’ve just been working on this big presentation for tomorrow.

Rachel: Well, I should be involved in that, so why don’t you get me up to speed?

Gavin: That’s gonna take weeks. Why don’t just let me take care of the presentation?

Never forget the critical importance of body language and vocal tonality in pickup. If you were to just read Gavin’s previous line of dialogue, you’d probably imagine him whining this line, pleading with Rachel to allow him to take care of the presentation. But when you watch the video, you see he gives her a back turn, throws out an authoritative hand, and speaks the question as though it were a statement.

Rachel: Oh, no no no no. I see what you’re doing here, alright, listen, this is my job buddy. Okay, I’ve had it for five years, and I know how it works, so why don’t you just catch me up?

Gavin: Fine.

Notice how his responses are almost always more terse than hers. Game principle displayed: the 2/3 rule.

Rachel: (Sits down in her chair) Oh god. You’ve totally messed with the back support of my chair. How do you fix this?

Gavin: Hey, you’ve been here five years, you figure it out.

He wins an Asshole Game gold medal for this line (and the delivery by Mulroney is perfect). In a situation where most guys would rush at the chance to aid (or, more accurately, impress) the damsel in distress, he doesn’t. Game principle displayed: Don’t be like everyone else.

Rachel: Fine, I will. (Pushes lever on chair, making it collapse) Alright, fill me in!

Note the smug, shit-eating grin at 3:15. Mulroney’s got his alpha body language down pat.

Scene 4: 3:23-5:15

Gavin: (Enters) Wow, you’re here already.

Rachel: Yes. Emma and I came in a little early to do research on the presentation. I actually made a few changes, but I think I’m caught up on everything. So ask me anything!

Gavin: How do you fix the chair?

The best way to psychologically maintain your status above hers is through humor. Never take her too seriously.

Rachel: Except that! (Mr. Zelner enters) Oh, hello, Mr. Zelner. We’re all ready for our presentation this afternoon.

Mr. Zelner: Good, because it’s in ten minutes.

Rachel: What? I can’t do that! I have the baby, and Ross is not gonna pick her up for another hour.

Mr. Zelner: Well, then Gavin can give the presentation, okay, we have to do it now. Ralph needs to leave early today. He’s going helicopter shopping.

Rachel: Alright well, there you go. You win, you win. You get to do the presentation, you’ll knock ’em dead, no one will ever remember that I worked here, and then Ralph will buy his helicopter, and Super Gavin will just fly right along side of him!

Gavin: You can do the presentation.

This is where Gavin switches gears, displaying his nice guy side. This works because he has already demonstrated enough value at this point. This is a prime example of Contrast Game. He continues to defy her expectations, which is actually more attractive to her than had he plowed through a constant onslaught of a-hole game. Game principle demonstrated: Push-pull.

Rachel: No, I can’t, I have a baby.

Gavin: I’ll watch her.

Rachel: Why would you do that?

Gavin: Because you worked really hard, and it’s your job, and you’re a little crazy.

Once he transitions, however, he makes sure to not abandon the tactics that got him to this point. This shows her the original approach was not an act, that he’s genuine.

Rachel: That’s really nice.

Gavin: I should tell you that crying women make me very uncomfortable.

Rachel: Well you’re not gonna like what’s coming. (Starts crying) I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Thank you, thank you.

Gavin: I’m really fine, don’t worry, I’m great with children. (To Emma) Gavin Mitchell. Pleased to meet you.

This is the first (and only) time he qualifies himself to her in the entire episode. I wonder how long it would have taken most men confronting the snarky, attractive woman whose job they’d taken over. And if you are going to qualify yourself, at least demonstrate a game principle while you’re doing it — in this case, protector of loved ones.

She leaves, smitten as a schoolgirl.

——–

There are no more videos on YouTube of Mulroney scenes from the other two episodes he was in (barring a grainy 46-second clip, again in the office, featuring mostly Rachel and Monica), but Gavin eventually kisses Rachel on her balcony. As a bonus for my readers, I’ll post the dialogue of that scene here as well:

[Rachel and Monica are standing outside on the balcony of their apartment. Rachel’s birthday party has just ended.]

Monica: Well, at least you have one thing to be happy about. That jerk Gavin from your office didn’t show up (Gavin shows up at the balcony windows).

Rachel: Mmm-hmm.

Gavin: Yeah, hey. (He comes in to the balcony)

Monica: Oh, we weren’t talking about you… No, no way to recover.

Rachel: No.

(Monica goes back inside)

Gavin: Nice party.

Rachel: Well, it was, and you would have seen it if you didn’t showed up at (looks at his watch) … 9:30? God! Oh, this party was lame!

Monica: (from inside) Again, you’re welcome.

Gavin: Look, I’ll just give you this and go.

Rachel: Oh, you bought me a present! Why?

Gavin: Well, let me explain how birthday parties usually work. There are presents, and a cake, perhaps a fourth or fifth person… OK, I… got you the present to make up for being such a jerk to you earlier.

More push-pull.

Rachel: Aww. Well, ok, well that’s very nice. And you wrote a card (opens the card). “From Gavin.”

Gavin: I really mean it.

Most girls view romantic gestures from a guy who hasn’t slept with her yet, much less kissed her, as not only unnecessary, but creepy. And certainly not a tingle generator. The card (and the accompanying joke) is perfect. And he did a good job rooting (by explaining how birthdays work — plausible deniability!) why he got her a gift.

Rachel: (opens the present, it’s a green scarf) Awww, awww, it’s beautiful.

Gavin: You don’t mind? (puts it around her neck) Well, what do you know, it fits!

He doesn’t just give her a scarf; he puts it around her neck. He is unafraid to kino escalate.

Rachel: See, Gavin, you’re capable of being a nice guy. Why did you give me such a hard time?

Gavin: I’m not sure.

Rachel: Well Monica seems to think it’s because you have feelings for me.

Gavin: I do have feelings for you.

Rachel: You do?

Gavin: Yes, I feel that you are a little annoying.

Reframe, push-pull, takeaway, all melded together. Great example of well-rounded game.

Rachel: See? Why, Gavin, why? Right when I’m about to change my opinion of you, you go and you … (he kisses her) and you do that … (they kiss again)

And one more push-pull to top it off. The kiss is the inevitable icing on the cake. He had this one-set on lockdown from the second he stepped onto the balcony. With PUA lessons like this, “Friends” might have been watchable in the final season had they kept Mulroney around.

It Wouldn’t Matter

I was browsing the comments of a Manosphere blog, and came across a Mystery hater who posted a link to a YouTube video of the famed pick-up artist in set displaying that he is, according to the title, a “total fraud.” The video is heavily edited, and littered with puerile, acerbic comments on the screen while showing Mystery (i.e., “zzzzz” and “Shut up faggot”).

Admittedly, it’s not Mystery’s finest moment– the majority of the time he’s rambling, repeating overused phrases, and laughing at his own jokes. No matter how obvious it is this is clearly a piece of anti-Mystery propaganda (for example, when he laughs at his own joke, the video repeats it five times), you definitely wouldn’t conclude you’re witnessing the work of the world’s greatest pick-up artist (though I thought that was a designation given to Style, not Mystery).

But so what?

This got me thinking, what if Mystery was a fraud? What if Neil Strauss and David DeAngelo and the rest of the PUAs were all frauds?

It wouldn’t matter.

There are only two reasons why Mystery or any other PUA could be deemed a fraud– a) what he preaches isn’t true, or b) he is unable to practice what he preaches.

This video, along with most any anti-game diatribe these days, is geared at making the case based off the second reason. The person who posted the video is known as “vixenlixen,” who makes it obvious he can’t debate the merits of Mystery’s tactics, considering his inane comments inserted into the video are mere hate and nothing of substance. I should also state that contrary to being the part of the gang of usual suspects of manginas and feminazis, vixenlixen appears to be a card-carrying Manosphere member himself. He posts anti-feminism videos and links to a site called the Manhood Academy. While being critical of PUA guru types like Mystery, it looks to be a solid source for a man looking to improve his social interactions. I have no beef with that.

What I do have beef with is the idea that it is necessary, like vixenlixen and Manhood Academy believe, to attack those who led the way in the PUA movement. Mystery pioneered the science of pick-up, and what he’s published has been field-tested time and time again for over a decade with success. Countless men have reaped the benefits of the Mystery Method algorithm and its modified progeny. Castigating Mystery is doing men a disservice because it is eliminating a viable option, no matter how limited it may be in scope compared to modern PUAs who have built off his work, in allowing men to get sex and love.

So now, to the only viable reason Mystery could be a fraud– he is unable to practice what he preaches. By showing unflattering footage of a pick-up artist in-field, vixenlixen hopes to discredit him, and consequently, his method. This video, however, does not achieve that goal.

First of all, we are given no context. Mystery could have been drunk, sick, or otherwise incapacitated. He did not appear to possess the swagger or eloquence that he has displayed in other similar situations. (Yet he still managed to get girls engaged– they laughed and initiated kino with him.)

Secondly, and more importantly, such is the life of ANY pick-up artist. Anyone who goes out in public on a consistent basis and has the balls to talk to girls he doesn’t know WILL experience nights like this. There WILL be awkward moments, he WILL look like a buffoon, and he WILL get rejected. Rejection is part of the game; anyone who claims otherwise is the real fraud. Mastering pick-up is, above all, going out and talking to literally thousands of women. Mystery and his disciples have made that fact clear as day in everything they’ve written. So you can watch this video and conclude Mystery is a horrible pick-up artist (despite the mountains of testimony to the contrary) or you can watch this video and learn that even the best face struggles and experience off-nights. Most of us believe we learn more from our failures than we do our successes; then why can’t we hold pick-up artists to the same standard? Do we criticize a baseball player whose batting average is .300 or do we vote to send him to the all-star game? Rhetorical.

Though I felt it was important to defend the PUAs who helped open the eyes of men like me who’ve risen from the ashes of sexual market cluelessness, most of this post was a digression from the ultimate point– that it wouldn’t matter if Mystery was a fraud. Even if Mystery sucked in set, it wouldn’t fucking matter. This whole anti-PUA fad among certain Manosphere guys is one giant shit test geared to weed out the weaklings. (Why? Less competition.) This is about your inner game, not Mystery’s. You know his basic premises are true. Learn from them what you will, add other perspectives to them as you wish, but don’t give up on the game because its pioneer looks mediocre in a 10-minute YouTube video.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Whether you believe game is a scam or not, you’re right. Whatever belief you choose will manifest in your results.

Don’t worry about what Mystery does. Worry about getting out there and mastering your own life.

My Openers A-Z

Everyone goes about opening in a different way. Will you approach direct or indirect? Will you be wordy or laconic? How many openers should you have in your back pocket?

Respectively, my answers to these questions would be (in general): indirect, laconic, and many. I also like opinion openers because they provide a lot of conversational hooks from which to direct the conversation beyond the initial pleasantries. Note that I am not criticizing any other style; this is simply what works for me.

The last answer is likely where I differ from many PUAs, who suggest a small rotation of openers. While I understand the reasoning for this, I personally like to have an array of them so I have more options when approaching a set. My personal system is also easy to memorize. I have one opener for every letter of the alphabet, so sometimes I’ll just pick a letter at random and roll with it. Sometimes I’ll have a friend choose three letters and I’ll decide on one of them. Or, since they’re so engrained in my mind, I’ll calibrate through a few of them and select the one that seems to fit the set, or more importantly, the mood I am in.

The openers I use are from a combination of sources– my own design (i.e., “About to Leave Town”), Roissy (i.e., “Ultimatum”), Logan Edwards (i.e., “Maury”), Mystery (i.e., “Poltergeist”), Neil Strauss (i.e., “I Love/In Love”), and possibly others. Remember the key to a good opener is not where it comes from, or even how “used” it is, it’s in your delivery. Can you get your foot in the door by delivering your opener in a genuine, straightforward manner? You need to sell your opener. If you don’t believe in your opener, you won’t believe in the rest of your game. And you will lose.

So without further ado, here is my A-Z of openers (with a little bit of fudging of the English language here and there):

ABOUT TO LEAVE TOWN: “My friend was in a serious relationship with this girl. She was totally in love with him. But he found out he was going to get a job in Pittsburgh and had to leave in two months. To his surprise, she broke up with him right away. Would you do the same or would you have fun for the two months?”

BORN AGAIN: “Do you girls believe in reincarnation?” (Follow-up: “What would you come back as?” “What would you not want to come back as?” “What do you think you’ll come back as?”)

CLOTHING STORE: “Do you girls know a good place around here that sells men’s clothing?”

DRUNK I ❤ U’S: “Do drunk ‘I love you’s’ count?”

ENGAGED FRIEND: “Our friend isn’t out with us today because he’s out with his girlfriend…again. He’s head over heels for her and told us the other day he’s going to propose to her. But I can’t stand her and neither can any of our other friends. We seriously do not believe she can make him happy. Should we tell him he shouldn’t marry her or should we hold our tongues?”

FIGHTING GIRLS: “Did you see the girls fighting outside? The crazy thing is, it was over this 5 foot 5 guy named Herman. It looked like UFC out there.”

GF PHOTO: “My friend went out with this girl and they just went to the mountains for the weekend. Had a blast. The strange thing is, they took a ton of pictures, but when they got home, she deleted all the ones where they were kissing or otherwise looking like a ‘couple.’ All the platonic-looking pictures were still there. What do you think that means?”

HEAD SHAVE: “Do you think I should shave my head?” (Great for kino– 75% chance they will touch your head)

I LOVE/IN LOVE: “What’s the difference between loving someone and being in love with them?”

JEALOUS GIRLFRIEND: “My friend’s been dating this girl for about a year now. Anyway, the other day, she discovered a box under his bed that had a bunch of old memorabilia and pictures and shit, and some of the stuff was from his ex-girlfriends. When she saw it she got really pissed at him, threatening to break up with him, if he didn’t throw it all out. He says his past is part of who he is and he doesn’t want to get rid of it. What do you think he should do?”

KITTY KAT: “Are you dog person or a cat person?” (Follow-up: cold read– “That’s what I would have thought.”)

LOOKS OR PERSONALITY: “What’s more important to girls when looking for a guy, looks or personality?”

MAURY: “My friend over there recently got contacted by the Maury Povich Show. They want to fly him out to L.A., pay room and board for three days and three nights, everything, if he goes on the show. It’s an episode about secret admirers. But the catch is that they can’t tell him who his secret admirer is until they film it. Should he do it?”

NOT COMFORTABLE: (point to some schmuck out there AFCing all over the place) “What do you think that guy is doing wrong that’s making the girls around him so uncomfortable?” (Follow-up: “Defend” him by pointing out any behaviors women say they want but in real life reject)

OTHER GIRLS: “Why do girls check out other girls more than they do guys when they go to the club?”

POLTERGEIST*: “You know that movie Poltergeist? Where Carol Anne gets taken to the other side by ghosts and starts talking to her family through the television set? Do you think that’s possible?” (Follow-up: Whatever they say, challenge it; i.e., if yes, ask “Is it a common occurrence in your house to communicate with the dead via television?” If no, point out, “Well, they were right in the movie that a channel not receiving a broadcast is free to pick up signals from other places. Why not from people who have crossed over?”)

QUTE RIGHT EYE: “You know, I just had to let you know you have a beautiful right eye.”

READ EMAIL: “If you suspected your boyfriend of cheating, would you hack into his e-mail?”

SORRY MA’AM: “I’m sorry ma’am, but this [table/area/seat/whatever] is reserved.” (You’ve gotta act like you own the place though.)

TEXT BREAK-UP: “Is it ever okay to break up with someone through text message?”

ULTIMATUM: “Do you think it’s ever okay in a relationship to give your partner an ultimatum?”

VALK: “Did you know you can tell a lot about a person just from the way they walk?” (Demonstrate some different walks in an exaggerated way. Point out the walks of nearby people.)

WHICH ONE ARE YOU: (works best on a four-set) “Every group of girl friends has different characters in it. In groups of four, there’s always gonna be the smart one, the funny one, the sweet one, and the kinda slutty one… So which one are you?”

X‘ES STAY FRIENDS: “Can exes ever stay friends?”

YOU’RE IN MY SPOT: (similar to the “Sorry Ma’am” opener) “I’m sorry, but you’re in my spot.” (Possible follow-up: “I reserved this seat like two hours ago”– works great if you can deliver it in a wry way, especially in a place unlikely to be reserved.)

ZINCERE COMPLIMENT: “Are you someone who’s secure enough to accept a sincere compliment from someone you don’t know?” [Yes] “Great, me too. You first.”

*This post is dedicated to the great film “Poltergeist” on the 30-year anniversary of its theatrical release.