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TV Picks: Franco roast, late-night, 'Blandings,' 'Regular Show'
"Comedy Central Roast of James Franco" (Comedy Central, Monday). James Franco keeps busy in a way that troubles some people; he is perceived as a dilettante, a man whose reach – here, there and everywhere – often exceeds his grasp. "James Franco, acting, teaching, directing, writing, producing, photography, soundtracks, editing – is there anything you can do?" Natasha Leggero will ask in this already-filmed special, as the actor-cum-you-name-it is turned on a spit by some of his famous friends and a few people he knows less well, or possibly not at all. And yet, it is hard not to admire his go-for-it attitude. Life is short, and whether or not art is long (most of it is shorter even than a short life), you might as well do what you feel, however much the less lucky may deride you for it. And Franco's side projects (all his projects are side projects, in a way) are not limited to arty overreach (short stories, painting); he's also been on "General Hospital," and not just as a walk-on. Now he has said yes to following the likes of William Shatner, Flavor Flav, David Hasselhof, Charlie Sheen and Donald Trump as the object of a Comedy Central roast.
By Robert Lloyd, Times Television Critic
August 29, 2013