Reality Bites: What Would Ryan Lochte Do?
There are a millions reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.
Jorts *and* a personalized license plate? What are the odds?
Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte's dream is to have his own fashion line.
As dreams go, it's not that terrible, I suppose. Certainly it's a more original post-Olympic career path than "television analyst" or "convicted doper." Lochte does have a style, of sorts, and judging by what I see your average person wearing downtown on a Saturday night, I'm not completely willing to write off neon green high tops or T-shirts with my name turned into a Twitter hashtag.
Were there any shocking revelations in the debut of the new (and likely to be short-lived) reality series, What Would Ryan Lochte Do? Not really. He's as big a doofus as you've been led to believe by previous interviews. If anything surprised me, it was that he wasn't *quite* as monumental a d-bag as I'd assumed.
That could be due to the fact he doesn't know what the word means, however.
To start with, let's come up with some answers to the question posed by the show's title. Because really, aren't we all a bit curious to know what would Ryan Lochte do? Why, he might:
He can tell time. That's something.
· Make dark sacrifices to a hidden forest shrine of Tucker Max.
· Coin more nonsense words, such as "Jeah!"™ and "Lochtenation."
· Ponder the existential meaning of the word "douchebag."
· Engage in Clintonian levels of deflection ("Would you describe yourself as a player?" "Define 'player.'").
· Stand around and jaw with his brother Devon in a failed attempt to look like their forced interactions are spontaneous while his "Lochterage" stands around awkwardly waiting for direction from an offscreen E! production supervisor.
And as E!'s discount carnivals of horror go, this is still light years better than something like The Anna Nicole Show.
If you do watch WWRLD? -- and I really can't recommend it, but there it is -- pause the show at any point when Lochte is acting all "wacky" in the middle of a group of people. You'll notice two things: there are no end of young lovelies vying for his attention, and many of his hangers-on will be caught, in that naked time of the still frame, wondering what in the hell they're doing marking time off their lives with this dingbat.
We're introduced to his sisters, brother, and mother, none of whom seem particularly unpleasant (then again, none of them declined to appear on the show), and there's a decidedly painful segment where Lochte goes on a date, in which we learn he doesn't know what a "wonton" is, and also that he takes every date to the same restaurant. In normal males, that might come back to bite them on the ass in a college town (Lochte lives and trains in Gainesville, FL). As we're reminded early and often, however, Lochte is no normal male.
I'll say this, I think Lochte was (very) easy to dislike at first, based on his admittedly prickish Olympic interviews, but he obviously loves his family (getting choked up when describing them being there for his first gold medal) and mostly comes across as essentially a good-natured "himbo," as my dad was fond of describing dumbass pretty boys. This sculpted amalgam of Jeff Spicoli, from Roxanne" target="_blank">Chris McConnell , and every character Keanu Reeves ever played could honestly be a much bigger jagoff. In the end, he's just a guy who probably would've coasted by on his looks and squeaked through school if he'd never become an elite athlete. Fortunately for him, someone along the way recognized his talent and steered him into competitive swimming.
And he's not a complete idiot. He's making money off "Jeah" merchandise (he trademarked the phrase in 2012) and earned more than $2 million in endorsements after the Olympics. With luck (and a financial planner he's not related to), he'll retire after 2016 and sink some endorsement money into his fashion enterprise and that will be that.
Otherwise, he'd still be living with his brother at 40, his physique - which never knew the benefits of Olympic competition - growing increasingly doughy, playing PS3 games and drinking Bud Light when not catching a shift at the local Trader Joe's. Luckily we haven't reached the point where E! would make a reality show out of that. Yet.