Not everyone who attends USC fits the "University of Spoiled Children" stereotype, but James Franco's new web series "Undergrads" sure makes it seem that way.
The Hollywood renaissance man just dropped a preview of his new show, which highlights the seemingly shallow life at the Southern California campus. The clip features a student whose "bucket list" includes holding a Twister contest on the quad and two fraternity brothers who neglect to invite girls to a party because they're too fat.
James Franco on WhoSay
So, is it a reality show or is it scripted? Little brother Dave Franco provided some insight in a January 2011 interview with MTV:
This past semester, I was working more behind the camera, and I directed, produced and wrote this Web series about college life. The basic idea stems from a conversation I had with my friend about how there are really only a handful of projects at most, whether it be film or TV, that really capture what college is like. For the most part, it's all sensationalized and over-the-top. We decided we wanted to give a very HBO-type look at what really happens in college. We figured, 'It's crazy enough as it is; let's just show what's really going on.' So we followed a handful of kids at USC throughout the semester, and the whole tone is a little strange, because it's part documentary, part reality, part scripted. It's kind of a weird mesh of everything, but it came out really cool. I hope people respond well to it. I'm happy, because we were able to capture what we set out for. ... I went to USC, and watching this footage, I can attest that this is really what it's like. This is what happens on a typical night.
At the time Franco gave the interview, he was hoping that the resulting web series would draw interest from big distributors like HBO, Showtime or FX.
From what we can tell, It doesn't paint USC in a flattering light, but that doesn't phase current student Katie Citti: "James Franco has a TV show about USC undergrads. I am determined to be on it," she posted on Twitter.