“My life is like a Seinfeld.” – Ryan Lochte
The biggest problem with What Would Ryan Lochte Do? is that the season is only eight episodes long. For the people who aren’t watching this show – which, according to early ratings numbers, is A LOT of people – eight episodes is probably eight too many. However, for the sake of the show and what Ryan and Co. are trying to accomplish, it’s simply not enough. There are just too many story lines being shoe-horned into each half-hour episode, and it’s taking away from the things that actually matter.
Yes, friends, there are things that actually matter in this otherwise unremarkable series, and I feel like I need a shower just for trying to find a redeeming quality in something that plays out like porn without sex or full nudity. But as you peel back each layer of the mor-onion and fight through the tears of laughter, you eventually find that there’s a very sweet spot at the center.
Ryan Lochte really loves his mom, and he makes that overwhelmingly clear throughout the second episode. For as much of a bro’s bro and dude’s dude that he professes to be, it’s endearing to see him exchange playful banter with his mother, even if the scripted nature of Ryan explaining how to pronounce “JEAH” to her is awkward at best. But then, his mom failing to grasp how to pronounce his idiotic made-up word and patented slogan is such a mom thing that it makes him seem more normal than mind-numbingly doltish for once.
Ryan and his mom traveled to Washington DC for this episode, as the Olympic gold medalist was the guest of honor at an event hosted by Parents Project Muscular Dystrophy, for which Ryan generously donates his time and effort. So add that love that he openly shows for his mother to the care and concern that he has for these poor children, and you have the story of a 28-year old man with a heart of gold. But that is boring, according to popular culture, so it needs more rock hard abs, ridiculous stereotypes about the women of Washington DC, poop and pee jokes and awkward silence.
Instead, Ryan and his mom stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and he declared his fondness for the Great Emancipator because he “rocked a top hat” and was a president with swag, before he told his mom that he could be the first man to pee in the reflecting pond. Such is Ryan Lochte – a dim-witted goofball who needs to constantly remind us that he pees in the pool, even while he competes.
Next up, Ryan and his mom went out for dinner and drinks, at which point he was asked by Jane Doe to join her and her friends for some average, every day DC discourse. Of course they peppered him with scripted questions about Obamacare and the pope, and the poor guy looked like a toddler with a Rubik’s Cube. And I don’t know why Ryan allows this to happen, but I believe it’s because he’s trying to convey the idea: “Hey, I know I’m dumber than a bag of dirt, but I’m still a good person.” Either way, it led to this exchange:
Girl: “What would you call the pope if he resigned?”
Ryan: “I don’t know, Ex-Benedict?”
I laughed at that way harder than I’m comfortable admitting.
But between meeting Ryan’s personal assistant over a game of “drunk golf” – his job is to ask questions like, “So what are you looking for in a woman, Ryan?” to remind us that Ryan wants to find love – and Ryan buying his mom a brand new car, the most important theme remains constant – Ryan Lochte is not smart.
He does not know how to tie a tie, which should shock no one, and he doesn’t prepare speeches, so much as he writes down bullet points that contain, “Um… uh, what’s that word? Um… oh yeah – facts!” He also says things like, “I have two rules – don’t follow me into the bathroom.” But only he can truly explain why he’s so seemingly absent-minded, and he did that last night.
At least he tried to.
Next week, we get to meet Ryan’s faceless love interest from London, Jaime. My prediction is that she’s the smartest woman in the world.