In Defense of What Would Ryan Lochte Do?


Does every spicy hunk of man meat need his own reality show? ‘Cause I’m fine with that prospect, as long as we all agree. I’ll finally have a job where I can cook Easy Mac in my underwear without getting yelled at. Stupid boss with his stupid lawsuit…

But I’ll admit, my magnetic masculinity can’t compete with Ryan Lochte: Sex Idiot. Even his recent interview made me snicker like a Southern debutante, right before I blessed his little heart. His buffoonery is simply adorable. Of course, those eyes are a different adjective… and that smile… and those abs…



Sorry about that, I lost myself for a moment. From now on, I’ll try to suppress my inner desperately-single aunt. No promises, but I’ll try. It can’t be any worse than the last time my internal cougar was loosed. Stupid boss…

Anyway, back to my initial, non-carnal thought. Does Ryan Lochte deserve a show just because he’s handsome? It’s kinda weird, but after watching “WWRLD?”, I think my answer may be yes. It’s a weird moment for me. And no, that picture is still obstructing the jungle cat, thank you very much.

Of course, when I recap the episode, I become confused by my own assertion.

“These are my shoes that I designed, from top to the very sole, to the very top to the bottom… laces.”

And so we begin.

"Very good, Ryan! You spelled it correctly this time!"

“Very good, Ryan! You spelled it correctly this time!”

There’s a couple of terms I learned with this broadcast. The first…

Loch·te·rage [lok-terahzhnoun 

  • The group of people constantly following Ryan Lochte.

Ryan’s background players include desperate assistant Gene, tuxedo t-shirt-wearing brother/roommate Devon, judgmental sister Kristin, self-described quirky oddball sister Megan, and typical-mother-type Mom. I assume the revolving door of women will be a character of it’s own, as first-episode fling Megan is disposed of by end of episode. Aside from the Lochterage, this show is hyper-concerned with the Ryan Lochte catchphrase…

Jeah (jyeah) Ryan Lochte informal

  • “I came up with it by combining “Yeah!,” only with a “J.”

“‘Cause I’m smart and these are my smart glasses.”

Aside from that, there isn’t much that Ryan Lochte really does in WWRLD?. Devon and Ryan go to a football game. The boys make a wager: if Devon’s team makes a touchdown first, Ryan will clean Devon’s car using his own toothbrush. Devon wins. But in a hilarious end-of-episode twist, Ryan uses DEVON’s toothbrush instead! Hardy hardy har.

It was about 30 minutes of this. I guess there was family bowling (awkward, manufactured) and dance club flirting (awkward, surreal), but nothing really stands out. Although, Ryan shows some romantic prowess when he dismisses Megan (the non-sister) after their first date.

“Even though things didn’t work out with us,” he whispers, “I won’t give up on love.”

“Oh no you did not,” Megan surely mind-retorted. “Did you break up with me using a teaser? Was that a f***ing soundbite, you turd?!?”

Later, Ryan admits his favorite film is What Women Want. Genuine laughs, all around!

Women still want that, don't they?

Women still want that, don’t they?

Remember that interview I linked earlier? In it, co-anchor Mike Jerrick asks the question, “Seriously, how are they gonna get enough material?” Jeah, that’s the best question to ask here. See, they don’t have enough to make a show, and yet we still get the semi-literate adventures of everyone’s favorite Olympic airhead. So why would I say Ryan Lochte deserves a show?

Okay, it’s a minor defense, but I don’t think WWRLD? is irredeemable. It actually has the makings of a fine show, or at least an understandable one, and I will maul whoever says otherwise.

"Did I say 'maul?' I meant, 'heartily disagree with.'"

“Did I say ‘maul?’ I meant, ‘heartily disagree with.'”

My problem with celebrity reality shows revolves around falsity. The worst make their character’s lives seem more eventful than they are, while featuring celebrities who truly believe the world revolves around them (Kim Kardashian scores on both fronts… accidental hey-yo!). 

WWRLD?, in contrast, is pretty boring. Some things are obviously playing for camera, but most of it’s mundane enough to believe (the parts that pretend are clumsy enough to be funny, so win-win). Not only that, but Ryan Lochte knows “stupid” is his brand. I even entertained the thought that he’s a meta-construction, but… jeah, that’s a negatory. “Stupid” is just who he is, and he’s comfortable with that. That’s kinda admirable, right? And his life is a reflection of that thought pattern. He’s comfortable with himself, and he has enough toned muscle fiber to attract the female gaze. It’s not a deep relationship, but I understand it.

WWRLD? just seems different from other celeb reality. Everyone who watches it or (god forbid) likes it know exactly what they’re getting: spicy hunk of dimwit man meat. Likewise, the people on the show don’t seem to operate under false precepts: they make money from the spicy hunk.

It’s honest, is my point.

WWRLD? may be carnal and shallow and completely devoid of real worth in television terms, but I don’t feel bad for anyone involved. I can call Ryan Lochte a buffoon without feeling petty or mean, and that’s special. It’s not a particularly interesting program, but it’s not mean or ironic. It just is.

Plus, some people just want to see Ryan Lochte shirtless and stupid. That thought’s akin to bachelorette party mentality (which isn’t fantastic), but if Ryan Lochte wants to be a TV exhibitionist and get money for it… I kinda can’t blame him. Even if he is a douchebag. ‘Cause seriously, “I won’t give up on love”? How dumb can you get?

Also, WWRLD? is so much better than the other possibility: What Would Michael Phelps Do?.

"Celebration Protocol 7B... ERROR, ERROR..."

“Celebration Protocol 7B… ERROR, ERROR…”


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