×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘What Would Ryan Lochte Do?’

First, let’s consider the title: “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” – an E! tag-along reality/sitcom hybrid about the Olympic swimmer – appears to derive its name from a “South Park” song about skater Brian Boitano, itself a spoof on an old saying about Jesus. As for the show, Lochte is inordinately eager to please, even endeavoring to create his own meaningless catchphrase (“Jeah!”). The producers don’t mind portraying him as a skirt-chasing airhead, albeit one who loves his mom. Still, to answer the titular question, here’s one guess: “Not be caught dead watching this kind of TV show.”

Although overshadowed by fellow Olympian Michael Phelps in the pool, Lochte has enough gold-medal accomplishments and the requisite good looks to happily survive via endorsements. His Hollywood cred, by contrast, seem largely tethered to his rep as a ladies man, and a “Saturday Night Live” spoof in which Seth MacFarlane played him as a kind of surfer dunce.

Lochte and the producers (whose credits include Bravo’s “Millionaire Matchmaker”) seemingly embrace these attributes, even presenting flubs and vacant stares during his direct-to-camera interviews to accentuate the point. Meanwhile, Lochte keeps repeating short sayings (“Go big or go home,” “Turn it up”) designed more for T-shirts than coherent dialogue.

As with many of these programs, the main problem is that once you get past admiring the washboard abs and Lochte’s training regimen, there’s not enough action to sustain a TV show, even in a half-hour package (leading, incidentally, into “Married to Jonas”). So the producers have to concoct or enhance situations, trying to build suspense as to whether Lochte can deliver a speech at a Muscular Dystrophy event in D.C. without messing up, or can find something more meaningful relationship-wise than casual hookups.

Lochte looks fine on a magazine cover or print ad, and as he happily acknowledges, he doesn’t have to put much effort into meeting women. Yet there’s scant evidence the swimming star can keep this sort of vehicle afloat on his personality, and the show’s a little too G-rated in the early going (unless one counts tight Speedos) to qualify as a guilty pleasure.

In short, “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” hasn’t exactly gone big or turned it up, which by its star’s own reckoning leaves him (and E!) with these alternatives: Go home, or turn it off.

What Would Ryan Lochte Do?

(Series; E!, Sun. April 21, 10 p.m.)

Produced by Intuitive Entertainment. Executive producers, Mechelle Collins, Kevin Dill, Erika Wright. 30 MIN.

With: Ryan Lochte.

TV Review: 'What Would Ryan Lochte Do?'

More TV

  • Seth Meyers TV Take Podcast

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Announces Seth Meyers's Standup Special

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix announced the premiere date for “Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby” and Epix released a trailer for “Belgravia.” CASTING AMC announced that “Succession” actor Sarah Snook, David Costabile (“Breaking Bad”) and Sonya Cassidy (“Lodge 49”) have been cast in its upcoming anthology series from Will Bridges and Brett Goldstein. The still-to-be-titled series is set 15 years into the [...]

  • Rachel Maddow

    Four Female Journalists Will Moderate Next Democratic Debate

    Four women will moderate the next Democratic debate, slated for broadcast on MSNBC. Rachel Maddow, the primetime host; Andrea Mitchell, the veteran foreign correspondent; Kristen Welker, the NBC News White House correspondent; and Ashley Parker, a Washington Post White House reporter, will moderate the event, MSNBC said Wednesday. The broadcast is slated for November 20. [...]

  • Neilsons Measurment Problems TV Digital

    Megan Clarken, Key Nielsen Executive, Will Depart Company (EXCLUSIVE)

    Megan Clarken, a Nielsen executive who has been instrumental in the company’s quest to keep tabs on consumers in the many new ways they have to watch TV, is leaving the measurement giant. “After 15 years at Nielsen, Megan Clarken will be leaving at the end of the month to take on a new position [...]

  • James Murdoch

    James Murdoch on 'Succession,' Pete Buttigieg and Climate Change

    James Murdoch doesn’t watch Fox News and he doesn’t watch “Succession.” “There are some shows that you just know you’re never going to watch,” the youngest son of media mogul and Fox Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch told Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Radhika Jones on Wednesday, alluding to to the HBO series centered on a family-run media [...]

  • Freddie Prinze Jr First Impressions

    Freddie Prinze Jr. Joins ‘Punky Brewster’ Sequel Pilot at NBCU’s Peacock Streamer

    Freddie Prinze Jr. is joining another pilot, this time at NBCUniversal’s forthcoming Peacock streaming service. He will play a recurring role in the “Punky Brewster” sequel pilot which was ordered when the Peacock unfurled its slate of feathers back in September. Prinze Jr. was a part of the pilot for the CW’s “Nancy Drew” earlier [...]

  • Traci Blackwell

    BET Names Traci Lynn Blackwell Head of Scripted

    Traci Lynn Blackwell has joined BET has head of scripted programming. Blackwell joins BET from the CW, where she was senior VP, current programming. As executive VP, scripted programming, Blackwell will lead all originals efforts for BET Networks’ linear channels and streaming service BET Plus. She will report to BET Networks president Scott Mills. “Traci [...]

  • Ted Sarandos Netflix

    Ted Sarandos: Netflix Is Why 'Friends,' 'The Office' Remain So Popular

    In an onstage conversation with Katie Couric at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit on Wednesday, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos waved away concerns over the streaming service’s upcoming loss of “Friends” and “The Office,” instead focusing on the company’s push in original programming and its international content growth. “One of the reasons ‘Friends’ and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content