Hello, lovely readers, and welcome to your weekly recap of one of the most cutting-edge television programs ever to grace the airwaves. A show so boundary-annihilating, so dramatically intrepid, so intellectually audacious that it dares to pose the greatest question of our time: What Would Ryan Lochte Do?
We begin in a humble barbershop in Gainesville. Just a quiet Pennsylvania blue-collar town filled with nice people just trying to get by with an honest day's work. Wait, wrong show. Actually Gainesville is a quiet town in Central Florida that houses neither Nascar nor Disneyworld. Luckily, Ryan Lochte lives there, so now it's really on the map. Today Ryan is getting a haircut. He recounts to us, the audience, about his rough and tumble youth, during which he defied convention by growing long, lustrous locks. He was like Samson, or the Beatles in the White Album era, or Amanda Bynes with a fresh batch of extensions. Now he looks like "Justin Bieber's younger brother." The occasion for this particular haircut? He is playing golf with his best friend and assistant, Gene. Ryan: "I consider Gene a really good friend." Okay. So let's assume he's a bestie who is being paid a slight amount.
Let's get down to business. Ryan is headed to Washington to do important politics. This will not be the first time! He once claims to have met with "a bunch of senators." I would like to meet these senators. Who were they? Captain Crunch? Tony the Tiger? Gargamel? I feel all of the above are similar enough to US senators to satisfy Ryan. This time, he is making a speech for a muscular dystrophy foundation. His mom asks if he's practiced what he's going to say. Not so much. "I was just gonna wing it." Which is possible when you've got a 78" wing span, I guess.
Before the speech, they head off to do some sightseeing, which includes Ryan's mom trying to say "jeah!" in front of a bunch of monuments. Someone needs to create a GIF of this immediately. I entrust this request to you, dear internet. Ryan is feeling very patriotic: "I love America. Not many people can say they can represent their country at the highest stage in the world." Wow, I didn't know Ryan Lochte was at Coachella! *sad trombone.* Knowledge overload. Let's take a break for a Lochte Anecdote. Topic: peeing in the pool. Go! "Once on the diving board I started peeing in my suit!" says Ryan. Well. This could be viewed as comedicly nonchalant, or it could be viewed as the sign of a serious emotional and/or physical illness.
Later, Ryan and Mom hit a bar to schmooze with the local politicos (female politicos). He's ready to take on the issues facing the world today, and then turn these issues into fodder for getting girls to talk to him. Issues such as "Obamacare," "carbon emissions" and "gun control legislation." Someone brings up the papal change-over and Ryan pipes up with a joke: "I guess you could call the pope 'eggs'-Benedict." The DC women give him crickets and I feel a bit bad, because that was a genuinely good joke. You know what, Ryan? You don't have to settle for being overlooked. Come to New York. I'll let you pay for a nice dinner for me, and then we can go do something you'd like, such as ride bumper cars or go to Toys R Us. You can have as much cotton candy and soda as you want.
The next day, it's time for Ryan's big speech for muscular dystrophy. He has a heart-warming conversation with a little kid named Sam who asks Ryan to "hook him up" with some swimming gear. This child is adorable and good at forming sentences (last episode: one minute and thirty-four seconds before Ryan formed a full sentence; trust me, I counted). Sam, you are going places. It pays to have an IQ in the three-digits. Ryan's speech goes over well; they really appreciate his efforts. "And I even wore a suit!" Yes, Ryan, but it was a bluish gray. Ten points minus for a suit the color of a varicose vein. Good work otherwise, though.
It's been a long episode and our chlorine-addled star is a little tired. He's cranky and a bit mad about letting the crew into his room. You see, he has rules about getting followed into the bathroom. Ryan Lochte has a right to privacy! He was not aware that he had agreed to a reality TV show, apparently. Well-rested and back in Gainesville a few days later, he gifts his mother a car. She cries; it is touching in a slightly Oedipal way. "I don't think I would be the person I am today if not for you" he says to her. What type of person? The type who wears a ridiculous beanie hat and a lady's necklace? True; not many sons give away cars. This guy does. You get a car. And you get a car. We're all getting cars! Courtesy of Ryan Lochte, the white male Oprah. Equally philanthropic, equally media savvy, and possibly more likeable.