To us it sounds like a cross between that Ryan Lochte cringe-fest so forgettable we can’t even remember the name and a show about paint drying, with a little Alf mixed in. And yet, ten one-hour episodes of James Franco Presents have been bought and will debut in November on Ovation. The formerly serious arts and culture channel is so obviously grabbing at Millennials’ two minutes of attention that they might as well just run an endless scroll of Miley Cyrus tweets. It would probably get better ratings.
But it isn’t actually a reality show, doncha know? Ovation’s CCO calls it an “anthology docuseries,” which is a little like calling a crapper a restroom. It’s the kind euphemistic, art-speak, faux-pro drivel we expect to hear from Franco himself as he “pulls back the curtain on the many side projects he is perpetually involved with,” chimes Variety, “from his latest art exhibit to his work in collegiate classrooms.” Only if it cleared up what he was smoking at the Oscars, or showed more of his actually pretty funny recreations of Cindy Sherman photograph, would anyone, even bored Bravo viewers, be interested in watching “the highlights of the hundreds of hours of video he’s shot over the years.”
The series — sorry, anthology docuseries — is a big deal for Ovation, as is Young Doctors’ Notebook, a British import starring Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm. But honestly, just give us a few bitchy soundbites from Anna or Grace in The Fashion Fund, Ovation’s other big score, and we’re good.