And it is glorious.
Yes, the E! network is reprehensible in many ways. I was recently witness to a clip of Kourtney Kardashian demonstrating a certain carnal act by shoving a carrot through the hole of a doughnut (a chocolate one, no less). Granted, I was watching The Soup of my own volition, so it is not as though I am entirely innocent, but I was not directly supporting Kourtney K. in her campaign to violate cruciferous vegetation and pastry.
I have to say, however, that What Would Ryan Lochte do is not the worst thing to hit the airwaves in recent years. It doesn't involve tarting up a five-year-old girl, forcing her to prance around on a stage, and screaming at her to gyrate as though she has some combo of rickets and Bell's palsy. I mean, if anything like that happened on the show, I'm sure Lochte would have done it willingly if you, like, bet him a hamburger or something.
Whether or not you are not a member of Lochte Nation (awaiting official UN recognition), Olympic gold medal swimmer Ryan Lochte appears to most teevee viewers and netizens to be an adorable simpleton, akin to a cocker spaniel who repeatedly pees on the carpet. Personally, he reminds me of my cat Pippin. Pippin is this adorable little gray kitty who greets each and every day with a sense of playfulness and innocent wonder.
He's also kind of an idiot. Not in a chasing-his-own tail way (he's outgrown that), but in more of a "all objects that are not nailed down are either a food or a toy or both so why don't I put it in my mouth om nom nom sort of way." He runs full-tilt around my apartment as if bitten by a crazy viper, throws himself up walls in pursuit of insects and feels very proud of himself when he kills his stuffed catnip rat. All of this occurs on a daily basis while my other cat, Salem, looks on disapprovingly, as if Pippin's very existence is an assault on his dignity.
What fresh hell is this?
Enough about my cats.
Obviously, Lochte was granted his own reality show due to some network execs recognizing that Lochte's lack of awareness of his own surroundings, coupled with a chronic inability to form a sentence, equaled television gold.
The show focuses mostly on Ryan, Ryan's family, his network of friends and the revolving door-esque nature of his romantic life. I have to say that one of the positive points about the show is how close-knit the Lochte family appears to be.
Although they have an Olympic swimmer in the family, the Lochtes seem very normal and, dare I say it, down-to-earth. I especially like Ryan's sisters, whose job it is to guide their hapless bro (BRO!!!!) through the perils, trials and tribulations of modern dating. One of the things that troubles Ryan's oldest sister is that Ryan likes to take all of his dates to the same sushi restaurant in Gainesville. The Lochte Logic behind this choice being that Ryan knows all girls like sushi. And now that's it's been on TV and is now A Thing, I think any girl who dates him now would be kind of offended if he didn't take them to the sushi restaurant.
What's wrong with sushi? I'm a girl. I like sushi. I'm kind of with Ryan on this.
If only Ryan's family could have talked him out of swimming with dolphins, it would have saved me some anxiety about his well-being. He got super excited about swimming with dolphins during one episode and I feared for the lad's life, since poor, clueless Ryan Lochte has no idea that dolphins rape people.
Ryan's also unaware, I should mention, of what a douchebag is. Honestly. Bro has no clue.
During the first episode, Ryan searches for meaning about what a douchebag truly is, and he makes it his philosophical quest (for about five minutes) to find out why people think he is one.
Ryan is also on a quest to find his One True Love (for there can only be one). He has been involved in a long-distance relationship with this really adorable English girl named Jaimee, who he'd been seeing off an on for about three or four years. She comes to visit him in one episode, and this is where we learn that she's kind of the Kate Middleton of this relationship.
He's the famous guy and she's the non-famous girlfriend who is way, way, way too good for him and who also totally knows it, but who likes him anyway. Their relationship is handled tastefully as far as reality show standards go, and they're only shown kissing, even though she's staying at his apartment. So, viewers could actually see their relationship dynamic instead of voyeuristically watching grainy, black-and-white surveillance video of people bumping and grinding in the dark. This isn't Jersey Shore. Sadly, things didn't work out so well for the long-distance relationship, and Jaimee called it off a few episodes ago. So, Ryan will have to go back to dreaming about hooking up with Carmen Electra and viewing his favorite movie, "What Woman Want" (actual quote) with his awesome sisters.
I will say, in his favor, with regard to his taste in women, he doesn't really like dumb girls. He took this one girl out for sushi and ordered wontons and she asked him what wontons were and he looked at her like she was from Idiotville. So, I don't think he's stupid stupid. Maybe a little dense. Okay. Maybe a lot dense. At least he knows what wontons are. He's probably doing better than most people.
Wontons: little fried pockets of deliciousness.
One of the things that surprised and impressed me about Ryan was his involvement with End Duchenne. Duchenne, as I learned from the show, is a fatal type of muscular dystrophy. Kids who are affected are unable to play sports or do a lot of physical activities, but one of the things they can do is swim. One of Ryan's uncles suffered from Duchenne and passed away, and Ryan is active with the charity takes his mom to D.C. to meet with kids who have Duchenne, and to lobby Congress for research funding.
The only thing that marred the trip to D.C. were these three super serious D.C. ladies who were in this bar that Ryan took his mama to. One of them approached Ryan and brought him to their table, where they proceeded to talk to him about politics. He has no idea about politics and stated as much. They kept asking him questions about current debates and were unimpressed with his answers. I felt like they brought him to their table to make fun of him or make him look/feel stupid or to prove a point. He was polite enough to leave his mom for a few minutes and go over to their table, so why be so catty, girls? Like, I get he isn't a super genius or a Fulbright scholar, and he did say he doesn't have much time to follow the news due to his training schedule, but he's a pretty decent, rather average guy overall. Fortunately, his cocker spaniel puppy brain didn't appear to realize that these girls were trying to make him look like an idiot. If he did, he didn't let on, but politely excused himself and went back to his date with his mom.
Then he bought his mom a car.
With regard to the phenomenon that is "jeah" or Jeah Nation, Ryan was kind enough to give his mom a tutorial on the correct pronunciation and accent of the word "jeah." Okay, look, people. You're saying it wrong. "It's jeah like jeah, not je-ah." You don't pronounce it the way it's spelled.
"If you get a hot dog named after you, you've made it."
If you're curious about what Ryan Lochte would do (or even more curious about what Ryan Lochte wouldn't do), tune in to E! On Demand to watch this season's eight episodes.