Sunday, July 1, 2012

TV Hidden Gem: Franklin and Bash

For those of you unfamiliar with Messrs. Franklin and Bash, allow me to introduce you. Jared Franklin (Clueless' Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Saved By The Bell's Mark-Paul Gosselaar) are partners in the practice of law, who specialize in a type of renegade-guerrila litigation on behalf of "the little guy". They are also known for their daring courtroom shenanigans which constantly has them teetering on the edge of being in contempt of court.

I present to you exhibit A.

Now obviously, if any real life lawyer tried half the crap these two pull they would be held in contempt but that's the fun of F&B, it presents an almost-fantasy version of the world where these two man-boys are able to not only survive, but thrive.

Law dramas are a dime a dozen, like medical or cop dramas. Much like how Castle brings the funny to crime, F&B brings the funny to law, only without the sporadic find-the-man-who-killed-my-mother tension that makes Castle such a great crossover blend. F&B is all fun, all the time. It's like cotton candy in a $3,000 suit (Come on!) requesting side bars before going back to the bachelor pad for a bikini party (Which F&B do, all the time).

Gosselaar (seriously, who has a hyphenated FIRST name?) and Meyer are an addictive odd-couple bromance, and their tradeoffs between adept legal genius and juvenile tomfoolery speaks to that part of you that wishes you never had to grow up but could still get paid. The series, on a plot level, follows them as they're picked up by a uber-corporate money bags law firm (led by an eccentric billionaire) as an experiment and are thus given the keys to the castle while still trying to keep their identity as rogue mercenaries.

The follow the typical case-of-the-week format but without even the slightest hint of seriousness, like a masculine Ally McBeal without the dancing-baby hallucinations.

Bottom line, it's a pure, light-hearted, summer delight. It's sleek and sexy but not trashy and it scratches your nostalgia bone watching Zach Morris and Travis quote statute (in season one James Van Der Beek shows up, it's like a triple rainbow) between games about what Meyer would do in exchange for sex with ScarJo (hint: anything).

Since its on TNT the seasons are short (10 eps each) and we're only 4 into the second season so don't worry about being behind if you jump in. You might miss the odd self-referential joke here and there but at the end of the day it doesn't matter.

Go, watch. You'll thank me.

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