After 17 years of ostensibly devoting itself to exploring “Art Everywhere,” yet somehow missing the exit to Gay Town, the cable network Ovation has finally ordered 10 hourlong episodes devoted to James Franco’s “many personal artistic pursuits and passions”—at last addressing the remaining 10 hours of our waking world not presently devoted to that. Variety reports that November will see the debut of James Franco Presents, a show whose title, like James Franco, can be read in a myriad of ways: This, right now, is the present. In the present, James Franco is present. The present is James Franco. Every day is a present just waiting to be unwrapped, causing you to say, “You got me the James Franco I wanted! Thanks, James Franco.” Or, in a more traditionally literal reading, James Franco is here to present to you, for the first time in at least a few minutes, James Franco.
In keeping with that broad range of interpretation available when one ignores the dogma of definition and instead pays attention to James Franco, the series—though it will see Franco “let cameras tag along” in all the areas of his life not currently crowded with other cameras—cannot be called a traditional reality show, according to Ovation. Rather, it is an “anthology docuseries.”
Similarly, though it will delve into Franco’s “many side projects he is perpetually involved with, from his latest art exhibit to his work in collegiate classrooms”—with Franco personally introducing each segment and sharing “highlights of the hundreds of hours of video he’s shot over the years that’s never been seen before, including some of his experimental short films”—it will not be the continued indulgence of a narcissist whose every scattershot idea receives ridiculously disproportionate attention due to his fame. Rather, it is a show that “sees the world of art through James’ eyes.”
As a preview of how the world of art looks through James’ eyes, Franco has already been promoting the show by Instagramming photos of classic paintings with his own face superimposed on them. “New TV series about art Duuuuh,” Franco wrote over one, a newly Francoed Mona Lisa, reiterating the mission statement of both the show and his life, which are now inseparable.
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