Ryan Lochte is a swimmer who won 11 medals at last year’s Olympics. I know this fact because it’s an outstanding news worthy achievement. Ryan Lochte owns a pair of sneakers with his first name on one sole and his last name on the other. He designed them, he says, so that everyone can “walk in his shoes.” He also says the following phrases repeatedly: “Go big or go home.” “Turn it up,” and “Jyeah.” You have to say the last one fast. It takes some practice. None of these facts are outstanding achievements worth knowing about yet I know them because Ryan has his own show on E!. It’s called: “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” and the answer changes depending on the weekly situations the producers set up for him.
E! is the network that made a few sisters with names that begin and end with the letter K famous so it’s not surprising that they would see the reality show potential in Lochte who at least has an actual talent. He also has great abs which are shown so much they deserve a mention in the end credits. His goofy charm means he will never be mistaken for a scholar athlete but the show’s producers know how to play up his “Aw shucks, I don’t know nothing about smart people stuff, I just swim” persona and Ryan happily goes along with the gimmick.
In fact, Ryan seems like a genuinely happy go lucky guy which is surprising considering how many versions of a sit-up he has to do at 7am everyday. His family is a big part of his life and they all make regular appearances on the show. His sisters are protective. His brother is his best friend. His mom is his biggest fan. He cries when talking about what their support meant to him when he got his medals at the Athens Olympics. It’s an honest moment but one that you could see from any famous person on any random Barbara Walter’s interview which is to say there’s nothing surprising here.
To be fair, Ryan’s show is not meant to surprise you. It’s meant to entertain you with his personality and it seems, his search for love. He wants to find a woman he can “share his heart with” so a big part of the show is watching him go on awkward dates. (Note to “The Bachelor” producers: Don’t take no for an answer!).
Will Ryan find romance? Will his dream of becoming a successful menswear designer come true? Will the E! producers realize the title of this show is really annoying? Only time will tell. For now, here’s my parting thought: Ryan is the kind of guy who not only says “Go big or go home” with absolute sincerity, he makes up his own words. There’s “lochterage” (the Lochte ‘entourage’) and “lochtenation” which has its own Twitter hashtag. If these amuse you, this show is for you.
“What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” is on Sundays at 10:30 p.m. EDT on E!