They’re B-A-A-A-CK!

I confess. I’m addicted to the lowest-rated cable series on earth: AMC’s The Pitch, a cringe-inducing reality show that pits two ad agencies against each other in a battle to win a juicy account. The first season’s ratings were so low that the Nielson score for the April 30, 2012, episode was 0.0% or a total of 45,000 adult viewers in the US.

Imagine my surprise to learn that The Pitch is back for another season! AMC is known for gutsiness. Perhaps the enormous successes of other AMC programs like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The Walking Dead have given the network space to stick its neck out for a second year in a row.

Back again are the client de-briefings, the late night brainstorming sessions, the internal tensions, the snarky assessments of the competition, the shaping of the creative, and the panicked deadlines, all leading up to the big pitch to the client. You don’t need to be in advertising to feel the chill this show is designed to bring. Anyone who has ever had to create and present an idea understands the dread, the fear, the joy, and the sorrow of exposing ideas for judgement. What makes the show so enticing is that we viewers get to size up the work of the two agencies and decide who has the better idea and the better chance of being awarded the account. Interestingly, the best idea does not always win. Check out the show to see what I mean.

Call of the wild

Do we know what daily life was like in the stone age? Is it possible to recreate that experience today? The answers are “yes,” and “yes,” according to Lynx Vilden, founder and head instructor of the Living Wild School.

The School provides hands-on experience in making and using stone age tools and technologies. Students can enroll in 7-day intensive classes that focus on skills such as tool making, fire by friction, and edible and medicinal plants. There is a two-month immersive program that teaches students wilderness survival in the manner of prehistoric people.

I’m amazed that these ancient technologies are still being taught today. If you ever get the urge to drop off the grid for a week or two, here’s a good place to do it.