×
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

  • A.P. BIO -- "Melvin" Episode 208

    'AP Bio' Canceled After Two Seasons at NBC

    “AP Bio” has been canceled at NBC. Series creator Mike O’Brien shared the news with fans on Twitter, writing that “This has been my favorite project of my life.” In the single-camera comedy, Glenn Howerton portrayed a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar who lost out on his dream job and was forced to return to Toledo, [...]

  • James Holzhauer $2 million

    'Jeopardy!' Champion James Holzhauer Hits $2 Million Winnings Milestone

    This current “Jeopardy!” player has just won over $2 million on the popular game show. Who is James Holzhauer? The 34 year old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas has hit a “Jeopardy!” milestone by becoming only the second person in the show’s history to win over $2 million in regular season play. Holzhauer won [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

  • CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism

    CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism Staffers

    CNN has laid off a handful of staffers from its health-journalism unit after deciding to place its health, climate and Southeastern newsgathering operations under a single aegis. ” As part of the normal course of business, our newsgathering team made a small restructure earlier this week that ultimately impacts 6-7 employees within CNN’s Health Unit,” [...]

  • Henry Ian Cusick

    'Lost' Star Henry Ian Cusick Signs With Buchwald (EXCLUSIVE)

    Henry Ian Cusick, best known for playing Desmond on the hit ABC series “Lost,” is signing with talent agency Buchwald for representation. Cusick also starred in the CW sci-fi/drama “The 100” and was most recently seen in the Fox series “The Passage.” His other notable television credits include “Scandal,” “24,” “Fringe,” “The Mentalist,” “Body of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content