What Would Ryan
Lochte Do? (or “WWRLD”)
gives an insider view of the life behind Olympic swimmer and wannabe fashion
designer, Ryan Lochte.His perfectly
toned body, designer outfits, and crystal blue eyes is every girl’s ideal celebrity
crush.But, don’t let those things get
in the way of who he really is.Underneath
his swim cap, though, he dumbfounds viewers whenever he opens his mouth and
creates phrases, such as “JEAH!” or “If you’re a man at night, you need to be a
man in the morning,” to describe, well… nobody really knows what it means.WWRLD
is just one reality shows that showcases celebrity stupidity and how their appearance
seems to be more important than completing an intelligent, constructed
sentence.WWRLD is an out of the ordinary reality show because it depicts a
kind of masculinity, one that focuses more on beauty and less on intelligence,
that is more similar to the kinds of stereotypical feminine representation
found on shows like The Real Housewives
of New Jersey and Keeping Up With The
Kardashians.Now, strap on your swim
cap and get ready to dive…we’re at the starting blocks.
You probably heard of Ryan Lochte for the first time
in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, teaming up with Michael Phelps to win
the gold for Team USA.His post-race
interview was…well, what can I say…intelligence wasn’t a description I would’ve
used to describe it.Fast forward five
years later to the first and only season of WWRLD,
which was the first show looking inside the Olympian’s personal life filled
with family drama and his preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics.WWRLD
features Ryan Lochte, himself, his family, and the “Lochterage” (a.k.a. Ryan’s manager,
younger brother, and friends).The
reality show was first featured in April 2013 on E! Entertainment, which only
lasted for one season due to unknown reasons.But, by the end of this race, you just might make your own assumptions
to why this reality show only lasted for eight episodes.
Almost every episode takes place in Gainesville,
Florida (home to his alma mater, University of Florida) with occasional
episodes jetting off to Washington D.C. with his mom for a charity event or a “Lochterage”
trip to cause nothing but trouble.Through
his family bowling nights to going out on dates with women he barely even
knows, we learn the true colors (not just red, white & blue that he
represents in the pool) of Ryan through his interactions with other characters on
the show, as well as, what he shares to the camera off-screen.
After the premiere, there were already negative
reactions from the media based on what they saw in the first 30 minutes of the
show’s first episode. Remarks such as
“the show certainly isn’t going out of its way to make the Olympian look good”
were made by The Huffington Post.The
premiere started its opening scene having Ryan show off his shoe collection…the
very first scene!But, the continuing
scenes throughout the next 30 minutes were him admitting that he doesn’t know
anything about Obamacare and describing how he takes every date to the same
sushi restaurant and sits at the same table, as well.Just from the first episode, the viewers
already get a sense of how the show will be formatted and what kinds of
mindless things are going to be said.There is a clear distinction that this show highlights Ryan’s fashion
sense and appearance more to make up for his immature, uneducated remarks.
The second episode, “What Would Ryan Lochte Do…in
Washington, D.C.?,” is a perfect portrayal of focusing more on beauty and less
on intelligence.In one scene, Ryan
talks to the camera off-screen, while the camera captures his flawless facial
features and pearly white teeth, as he forgets what he was about to say.He describes how a “jumping banana” will pop
into his head when he blanks out.As he
continues talking, an animated banana with sunglasses crosses the screen as
Ryan continues talking about his forgetful moments.Keeping in mind that Ryan is an almost 30
year old man, this scene, especially, highlights unintelligence by talking
about an imaginary banana.
In the same episode, Ryan goes to Washington D.C. with
his mom to give a speech for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.While enjoying a drink at the bar, Ryan is
approached by a few women asking him about his political stance.Questions start rapidly firing at Ryan, while
he becomes overwhelmed by the number of questions being thrown at him.However, he’s not knowledgeable enough to
respond intelligently because he does not understand the topics of their
questions.I know our generation is
stereotypically perceived as being lazy and not caring, but Ryan does not have
a single clue what is even happening.But, right after this scene, Ryan is being measured for a suit for his
speech event, stripping down to his boxers and showing off his muscular body,
making the viewers forget about his embarrassing situation at the bar thirty
From these episodes and specific scenes, it’s clear
that WWRLD doesn’t take seriously the
importance of being a well-educated, hardworking man in American society.Don’t get me wrong, Ryan’s dedication to
swimming and training, as shown in the episode, are very important to him.However, being well-educated is just as important
as working hard towards a career.This
show just doesn’t see the two pieces of the puzzle fitting.
a masculinity representation,is not
the only reality show in today’s society that depicts this stereotypical
representation of beauty over brains.Shows, such as The Real Housewives
of New Jersey,is the feminine
representation of the description of reality shows.The
Real Housewives of New Jersey goes inside New Jersey wives’ lives filled
with Botox injections, shopping sprees, and mansions decorated with the finest
furniture.But, do not let the “real
housewives” part make you believe that EVERYONE who lives in New Jersey has
this luxurious lifestyle.WWRLD and The Real Housewives of New Jersey both depict the same stereotype
of reality shows of lavish lifestyles with endless amounts of money and
clothes, but speaking intelligent through interactions with other characters
are not up to the same standards of their materialistic lives.Fortune and appearance are their main concerns
for both main characters in the show.While
The Real Housewives of New Jersey compete
with one another who has the best vehicles, mansions, purses, etc., while Ryan
Lochte just wants to have the best of everything.What these characters from both shows don’t
compete for who is smartest because having materials is more important to
them.But, how long can these reality
shows go on before the viewers think this is normal behavior if it constantly
is surrounding us?
Entertaining, yet indescribably senseless, E!
Entertainment’s What Would Ryan Lochte
Do? captures the masculinity and stupidity of Ryan Lochte in only eight short
episodes, but just from a couple of episodes, anyone can define who he really
is. Just ask him yourself… “What defines
you?” “Ryan Lochte.”Through his
signature phrases and dumbfounding interview answers, we learn that WWRLD wants his masculinity appearance
to overshadow his unintelligence.
This show may be entertaining and hilarious to most
viewers; however, this type of behavior is becoming a serious problem in
today’s society with reality shows setting the stage that this behavior is
normal.Maybe cancelling the show is a
turning point in today’s society for stopping this uncontrollable reality show
behavior?Or maybe not.Whatever the reasoning, there is one thing
for certain that we can all learn from Ryan Lochte…JEAH!
Neil. “Housewives, Sure, but What Makes Them Real?” The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 May 2011. Web. 27 Feb.
Would Ryan Lochte Do…in Washington D.C.?” What
Would Ryan Lochte Do? April 28, 2013. Television.
Would Ryan Lochte Do?’ Premiere: Ryan Comes Across Like a Dumb Jock.” Huffpost TV. The Huffington Post, 22
Apr. 2013. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
Would Ryan Lochte Do?,’ TV Review.” NY Daily
News. New York Daily News, 20 Apr. 2013. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
Would Ryan Lochte Do…With a TV Show?” What
Would Ryan Lochte Do? April 21, 2013. Television.