WBEZ | Ryan Lochte http://www.wbez.org/tags/ryan-lochte Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en You don't have to be smart to have your own show http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-04/you-dont-have-be-smart-have-your-own-show-106849 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/what-would-ryan-lochte-do-6.jpg" style="float: right; height: 240px; width: 320px; " title="Lochte's new reality show premiered Sunday, April 21 on E! (NBCUniversal)" />Olympic swimmer and apparent babe magnet <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2013/04/24/178784318/ryan-lochte-and-the-easy-life-of-the-professional-public-dummy" target="_blank">Ryan Lochte</a> has a new reality show called&nbsp;<em>What Would Ryan Lochte Do</em>? In the first episode, he reminisces about his glory days, makes a half-hearted attempt at dating and steals his brother&#39;s toothbrush. So, he basically does&nbsp;<a href="http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/04/21/what-would-ryan-lochte-do-recap/" target="_blank">nothing</a>.</p><p>&quot;Seriously, how are they gonna get enough material?&quot; asked anchor Mike Jerrick after an <a href="http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/04/19/ryan-lochte-interview-anchors-laughing-video/" target="_blank">unintentionally hilarious</a>&nbsp;interview with Lochte on <em>Good Day Philly</em>.</p><p>As a full first season of WWRLD looms ahead, I ask myself the same question. &nbsp;</p><p>Over the past twenty years, beginning with <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Real_World" target="_blank"><em>The Real World</em></a>&nbsp;in 1992 and skyrocketing with the U.S. version of&nbsp;<em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivor_(US_TV_series)" target="_blank">Survivor</a>&nbsp;</em>in 2000,&nbsp;reality TV has become a staple of American television. However, the clever concept of filming &quot;real people in real situations&quot; has lost much of its magic since then, with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.today.com/id/30092600/ns/today-entertainment/t/just-how-real-are-reality-tv-shows/#.UXoFab8lbFI" target="_blank">clearly scripted</a> (and often mind-numbingly awful) reality shows like <em>Jersey Shore</em>&nbsp;and <i>My Super Sweet Sixteen</i>&nbsp;depleting brain cells for generations to follow. &nbsp;</p><p>Why do we enjoy watching ridiculously&nbsp;<a href="http://gawker.com/here-are-the-best-dumb-things-ryan-lochte-said-on-his-r-476828120" target="_blank">dumb people</a>&nbsp;make complete fools of themselves? Do we relish tearing apart the Jessica Simpsons, Real Housewives and Honey Boo Boos because mocking them makes us feel better about our own lives?</p><p>In my opinion, the worst reality TV offenders are&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teen_Mom" target="_blank"><em>Teen Mom</em></a>&nbsp;(because you have to make it on <em>16&nbsp;and Pregnant </em>first),&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toddlers_and_Tiaras" target="_blank"><em>Toddlers &amp; Tiaras</em>&nbsp;</a>(in what universe is dressing your 5-year-old like a <a href="http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/09/07/ptc-slams-toddlers-tiaras-for-pretty-woman-costume/" target="_blank">street prostitute</a> considered cute and in good taste?),&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeping_Up_With_The_Kardashians" target="_blank"><em>Keeping Up with the Kardashians&nbsp;</em></a>(why are these people famous again?)&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_biggest_loser" target="_blank">The Biggest Loser</a>&nbsp;</em>(because losing weight that quickly is <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/25/business/media/25loser.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">horribly unsafe</a> at any size, period).</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" face="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Face-Off-s4-eric-f.jpg" style="height: 232px; width: 330px; float: left; " title="Eric F. works on a creature for the SyFy reality series &quot;Face Off.&quot; (SyFy) " />Luckily, not all reality TV shows are hackneyed and irresponsible fodder for the masses. Competition series like <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_chef" target="_blank">Top Chef</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_Ink" target="_blank">Best Ink</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Face_Off_(TV_series)" target="_blank">Face Off&nbsp;</a></em>and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_runway" target="_blank"><em>Project Runway</em></a> feature contestents who excel in a certain field (for these shows: gourmet cooking, tattoo art, prosthetic makeup and fashion design, respectively) and rely on pure talent in order to succeed. As skilled professionals, they are fascinating to watch, not to mention wholly deserving of the platform they&#39;ve been given.</p><p>I will admit that the&nbsp;singing and dancing shows can be a bit cheesy at times, but at least the starry-eyed hopefuls on <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_idol" target="_blank">American Idol</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Voice_(U.S.)" target="_blank">The Voice</a>&nbsp;</em>and&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/So_You_Think_You_Can_Dance" target="_blank"><em>So You Think You Can Dance</em></a> showcase talents that extend beyond the realm of petty arguments and party fouls.</p><p>Other inspiring and thought-provoking examples of reality TV-done right include&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undercover_Boss" target="_blank"><em>Undercover Boss</em></a>, <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_amazing_race" target="_blank">The Amazing Race</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadliest_catch" target="_blank">Deadliest Catch</a>&nbsp;</em>and my newest favorite, <em><a href="http://www.nola.com/tv/index.ssf/2013/03/animal_planets_hit_reality_tv.html" target="_blank">Pit Bulls and Parolees</a>&nbsp;</em>on Animal Planet.&nbsp;I&#39;ll take adorable animal rescues over <em>The Bachelor</em> any day, thank you very much.&nbsp;</p><p><em>What are your favorite (and least favorite) reality shows? Leave a comment below, send me a tweet&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>&nbsp;or join the conversation on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-04/you-dont-have-be-smart-have-your-own-show-106849 What you probably didn't miss from weekend one of the Olympics http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/what-you-probably-didnt-miss-weekend-one-olympics-101277 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP808373823813.jpg" style="height: 394px; width: 620px; " title="South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh celebrates after winning the men's 100-meter breaststroke swimming final on Sunday, July 29, 2012. (AP/Matt Slocum)" /></div><p>By the end of the first official day one of the Olympics, it appeared, at least to me, that there were just not enough events to appropriately entertain the masses. I didn&#39;t exactly spend my day glued to the television and/or computer, but by the end of the night, I felt like I&#39;d seen the men&#39;s gymnasts compete so many times I was bored with their impressively large arm muscles (though I at first missed 39 year old Bulgarian <a href="http://www.inquisitr.com/287545/jordan-jovtchev-39-year-old-bulgarian-olympian-makes-mens-gymnastics-final/">competitor Jordan Jovtchev</a>. Dear god!)</p><p>And poor Mary Carillo; it was up to her to take over for Bob Costas late in the evening, recapping what appeared to be some sort of America&#39;s Funniest Home Videos, <a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/gymnastics/highlights-chinese-men-falls-montage.html">best-of-falls set of clips</a>. I could be wrong though; the sound was off in the bar I was at (as apparently all bars in Chicago have turned into Olympics-watching destination locations) so they could have all just been coincedentally terrible performances that Carillo and her team of producers had gathered for some other noteworthy reason.</p><p>The biggest thing that dominated the weekend though, was not an unsurprising loss by Michael Phelps and win for new golden boy Ryan Lochte, or a <a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/2012/wieber-left-out-of-gymnastics-all-around.html">tearful&nbsp;Jordyn Wieber</a> not making it past the qualifying rounds, was&nbsp;the decision on NBC&#39;s part to allow all events to stream live on their website, but to hold the big ones in some sort-of television purgatory until the evening primetime broadcast had finished. Well, at least that&#39;s what I was hoping would happen; as of the time of writing, the Gold Medal broadcasts for events like Men&#39;s Swimming 400 meter IM final from Saturday still&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/online-listings/day=july-28/index.html">do not appear to be online</a>. Yet anything involving the less-popular women&#39;s weightlifting is ready for my fascinated eyes. What am I missing, oh fellow Olympic devotees?</p><p>Swimming, at least for this first week, appears to dominate the coverage as per the usual. As a former competitor, I have absolutely no problem with this; it&#39;s the one opportunity every four years that us water babies get the attention we deserve, as it&#39;s not as if ESPN is streaming swimming whenever they get the chance. But it&#39;s a little puzzling as to <em>why </em>this is the case,&nbsp;though we can probably all assume it&#39;s because of the beautiful people and the equally visually appealing water aspect of the whole thing.</p><p>Going forward, I get the feeling gathering and watching coverage, for work or pleasure, is going to be a bit of a piecemeal affair for all fans. After all, this isn&#39;t the time zone situation we had during the Beijing Olympics, where we could all just wait patiently to leave our place of business, make a TV dinner and enjoy everything like it was brand new information.</p><p><em>Sigh</em>. Weren&#39;t those the golden years though?&nbsp;</p></p> Sun, 29 Jul 2012 18:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/what-you-probably-didnt-miss-weekend-one-olympics-101277