If you’re looking for a gloriously awful new reality TV show to watch, boy have I got the program for you.
Sometimes you see a reality TV show and you wonder, “Are those people really like that in real life, or are they just acting extreme for the camera?”
Well, I can confidently answer that question when it comes to the new E! reality show, “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?,” which debuted Sunday night.
As I’ve written here several times before, I’m sort of a Ryan Lochte savant; I covered his every move for the Daytona Beach News-Journal from 2007-2011; Ryan’s from Daytona and I was the Lochte “beat writer,” which I meant I spent an inordinate amount of time talking to him, his family, his coaches, and studying swimming websites to an unhealthy degree (Hey, I was doing my job.)
So having said all that, I can definitely say that the Ryan Lochte on the show is exactly the same person as he is in real life.
Which is to say, he’s really, really dumb. Historically not smart. He makes Dan Cortese look like a MENSA member, if you get my drift.
And the whole premise of the show seems to be to let Ryan say and do as many stupid things as possible, while the people in his “Lochterage” (his word) laugh and humor him.
The first episode was atrocious. Watch Ryan hang out with his friends at home! Here’s Ryan on his motto: “I always say ‘Go big or stay home,’ he says with all seriousness (He better trademark that before some unscrupulous charlatan says he invented that phrase).
Watch Ryan go out on a date, where he meets his intellectual match: A woman who’s never heard of wontons and responds to Lochte pouring out his soul about commitment by saying “You have pretty eyes.”
The show is 30 minutes of hilarity for all the wrong reasons. I don’t know whose idea it was to put Lochte in a reality show, but they should probably have their head examined. He is so in love with himself, and so cluelessly unaware of how that comes off.
On the plus side, it was kind of cool for me to see his family, most of whom I’ve gotten to know over the years, be on TV and not just “cheering from the stands at a race.”
Seriously, if you really want to watch some hilariously bad TV, and watch Ryan Lochte scrape his brother’s car’s rims with a toothbrush, you ought to check it out on E!
I guarantee you’ll feel 10 percent smarter after viewing.
**Next, a story that disgusts me completely. Remember a few months back the furor over the Steubenville High School rape trial, when two boys were convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage girl while she was drunk and semi-conscious?
Thankfully, the boys got jail time. However, proving that a small-town football coach is the most powerful man in town (especially when we wins titles), it was announced Monday that Reno Soccocia has been given a two-year contract extension.
Soccocia, oh by the way, knew about the rape shortly after it happened, and violated Ohio law by not reporting it.
And so after all the publicity of the trial, and the embarrassment the school and the town endured, the school board decides to give a leader of teenage boys who raped a girl a contract extension.
Absolutely, totally despicable. But sadly, not all that surprising.
**Finally today, let us all raise a glass in sympathy for poor A.J. Clemente. Clemente was on his first day on air at his new job on Sunday, as a television news anchor for the NBC station in Bismarck, North Dakota.
Clemente is in his 20’s, clearly this was his first big job, and he was a little nervous on his first night on the air.
So a few seconds before his TV debut on the station, without realizing the camera and microphones were live on him, A.J. let loose two profane words in a row, startling everyone watching and his co-anchor.
A.J. was understandably suspended. Then, after the clip went viral, he was fired. I think that was awfully harsh of the station; the kid made a big mistake, but to fire him? Not right. My man Jeff Pearlman is outraged about this; read his excellent post about why A.J. deserved another shot here.