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.

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One Response to Great Scenes Of Game On TV

  1. video slots says:

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