Remember that proverbially awkward nerd in high school trying to break into the cool scene? They hover around the jocks and try cheesy pickup lines on girls hoping to score a big win. They never seem to have luck with the ladies or make the smooth entrance. There’s no doubt that they try hard to fit in but it can often border on creepy and a little desperate. HBO is showing us a just how awkward the trials of dating can stretch with the new hilarious TV series Hello Ladies.
The series profiles Stuart Pritchard, played by Stephen Merchant, as a 35-year-old web designer going on 15. Hopeful that his recent relocation from England to the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles will bring some new excitement and great dating opportunities, Stuart injects himself into situations that are painfully embarrassing yet entertaining to see. From an unsuccessful attempt at talking to girls at a bar while stumbling onto the topic of abortion (how awkward) to his over zealous attempt to impress a girl by buying over $800 in drinks for her friends then crashing into the table full of drinks (even more awkward), Stuart is in a league of his own. If this show has taught audiences anything, it’s definitely on some don’ts of dating.
Know when to stop. Stuart often has a good sense of when someone isn’t interested but often continues on hoping the moment will wear off. It’s like watching a train wreck. This is a case of cut your losses or you quickly go from a weirdo to annoying.
Don’t be a try hard. In a recent episode, Stuart believed whole heartedly that, “All the girls I knew in high school, if they saw me in a limo they would think: wow why did I let him slip through my fingers?” Newsflash: Girls aren’t just interested in money, status and looks. If you try too hard, your insecurities are much more obvious than whatever persona you’re trying to present.
Don’t be cheap.No one is attracted to someone who is obsessively cheap — period. On a first date, Stuart attempts to impress a girl by taking her to a fancy restaurant. After his date ordered a $70 bottle of wine, he quickly races off to the waiter and asked him to tell his date that they’re out of that bottle of wine because it was too expensive. He instructed the waiter to only suggest the $15-$20 bottle of wine which was within his budget. Save yourself the embarrassment and pick a place that fits your budget.
Don’t only go for models and actresses. Getting to the heart of it, this one has less to do with models and actresses per say and more to do with only seeking a partner that’s only drop-dead gorgeous on the outside. Stuart at one point passes up someone he had a great conversation with for a picture perfect model. Needless to say, he spent most of his night trying to get the model to keep her attention on him and blew his chances with the other girl.
However, all is not lost and Stuart does gives some sound advice for dating which each episode bases lessons on:
1. Keep the conversation lively
2. Know what’s important to you
3. Roll out the red carpet
4. Wine and dine her
The enduring spirit of the character Stuart continues to keep audiences entertained — especially his humorous interpretation of the dating scene. He plays out the common archetypes of what attracts the opposite sex and shows audiences that it takes more than just enacting the rules to be successful at the dating game. We’re certainly rooting for Stuart and audiences are all wondering if he’s finally going to find love before the end of the season.
Amy Yew is a registered clinical counselor and relationship therapist. Tell us what you think and submit any questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also tweet your thoughts on Twitter @AmyYew.
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