Lawyers Gone Wild on Franklin & Bash
- Saturday, January 12, 2013
These sorts of tactics, which would never fly in a real courtroom, convey the real point of such theatrics as expressed by Jared Franklin: "Our job is not to follow the law. Our job is to make the law." Or to win by any means necessary.
The point of outrageous lawyering in both Kelly's series and Franklin & Bash is to make typically serious trials entertaining by subverting the gravitas of the courtroom.
The sophomoric hijinks continue at the large house out of which our heroes operate with their researcher Pindar, an agoraphobic and their paralegal/private investigator Carmen Phillips.
At any given time there can be a house party full of people. Once Peter, drinking a beer in a fully loaded hot tub, gets a call and gets out, in a full rear nude shot, to go in to get the call. The show seems to be trying for the Wedding Crashers/Hangover demographic where crude dudes rule because they're so cool.
Again, Meyer and Gosselaar are very good with their lines and insouciant attitudes, but I found it hard to like them; they're so smug, crass and fatally hip that they resisted the audience identification necessary to emotionally invest in the characters. The plots are so strange that it was hard to have a rooting interest in a legal or moral victory.
In the second episode a beautiful woman is accused of using energetic sex to kill her rich older husband. The third show featured a nice, broad-featured if average-looking woman who was fired from a men's magazine staff for not being gorgeous enough. The twist is, she has such high self-esteem that really doesn't realize how ordinary she looks and believes it was her beauty that made the other women jealous.
It's hard to do stories that are quirky in an entertaining and amusing way. Though the stories move quickly enough to keep you awake, they are so lightweight that it's hard to remember the details afterwards.
Ultimately, Franklin and Bash are characters so breezy and carefree that there is little at stake in their lives or their cases. The pilot episode suggested that each has a woman in his life that may be worth pursuing if they were ever to become the kind of grown-ups who could make a committed and mature partner. But then they'd be like all the dull working stiffs they make fun of and their distinctive man-childishness would be over. Franklin & Bash is just too cool to rule.
*This Article First Published July 5, 2011
**Franklin and Bash airs Wendsdays on TNT
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