Have you ever watched a movie in which an inanimate object comes to life or a human being switches bodies with an animal and thought to yourself "I wonder what it would be like if that actually happened?"
E! has taken that hypothetical a degree further, asking "I wonder what it would look like if that golden lab turned into a human...and someone gave it its own reality show?"
On Tuesday, the network unveiled the full trailer for Ryan Lochte's new reality show What Would Ryan Lochte Do? (the answer, almost certainly, is that he has no idea). It looks, frankly, amazing. Ryan Lochte is Newlyweds season 1-era Jessica Simpson with Hulk strength. He is Pauly D from Jersey Shore without the nuance and self-awareness. He is Britney & Kevin: Chaotic, but in a swimming pool.
Throughout the four-and-a-half minute teaser, Ryan Lochte demonstrates a misunderstanding of the English language that is positively Rugrats-esque in its consistency. He speaks, not so much in malapropisms, as in a language that—while almost certainly in the same linguistic family—is not quite English.
Here's Ryan Lochte on the pronunciation of his signature battle cry "Jeah":
"If you say it like how it's spelled it's jee-uh. But that's…BORING. No one wants a' hear that. So you have to really put the enfidence on that J."
In a later clip, Ryan Lochte holds a shoe in his hand. "Don't duplicate," he warns, with a point of his finger. "Just recipitate."
As the trailer bounces along, we watch Ryan Lochte at da club. We watch him at da crib. We watch him on da verdant putting green. At one point, before he launches into a theory of romance too broad for any greeting card, giant block letters describe him as "THE ETERNAL OPTIMIST." It's hard not to interpret the phrase as E!'s euphemism for mental incapacitation.
All these ingredients could add up to a spectacle that feels a little sad, a little cruel. And yet, at least in trailer form, What Would Ryan Lochte Do? is joyous. "Eternally optimistic," if you will.
What we see in these clips is a Ryan Lochte who loves being Ryan Lochte; who, more specifically, loves being Ryan Lochte on television #JEAH.
You can almost picture him tuning into the premiere from his tricked out bachelor pad condo (probably on a waterbed), pointing at the screen and yelling "Ryan Lochte!" the way dogs bark at images of dogs during commercials.
"Ryan Lochte?" he'll wonder, as he darts back and forth behind the TV, in front of the TV, behind the TV, in front of it, trying to figure out where the smaller Ryan Lochte is standing.
"Ryan Lochte Ryan Lochte!" he will cry, pawing at the screen with his giant hands.
Then the image will cut over to something else. He'll shrug his shoulders and sit down.
"That was weird," he'll chuckle to the room. "I thought I saw Ryan Lochte."
At one point, Ryan Lochte blows on his mom's head for no reason.
I mean, it just looks crazy.