×

Franklin & Bash

Unexpectedly quirky legal show is playful, silly and wholly unpretentious.

With:
Peter Bash - Mark-Paul Gosselaar
Jared Franklin - Breckin Meyer
Stanton Infeld - Malcolm McDowell
Damien Karp - Reed Diamond
Hanna Linden - Garcelle Beauvais
Pindar Singh - Kumail Najiani
Carmen - Dana Davis

At first blush, “Franklin & Bash” sounds like an unfortunate double date for TNT’s improbably popular crimeshow “Rizzoli & Isles.” Get past the ampersand, though, and what’s left is an unexpectedly quirky legal show that has as about much to do with law as “CSI” does with science. Starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer as two ambulance-chasing lawyers recruited to join a big fusty firm, the show is playful, silly and wholly unpretentious. Having previously starred as an attorney in TNT’s “Raising the Bar,” Gosselaar and company deliver a more compelling case here against being summarily dismissed.

Behaving like two frat boys on an extended spring break, Jared Franklin (Meyer) and Peter Bash (Gosselaar) are noticed by Stanton Infeld (a wonderfully weird Malcolm McDowell, mirroring his “Entourage” crazy-rich-guy role), the Zen-spouting partner at a corporate enterprise. He brings them aboard with the stated hope they’ll shake up the firm’s energy, which Franklin takes as an invitation to “mess with the zombie culture,” immediately butting heads with Infeld’s buttoned-up nephew (Reed Diamond).

The cases prove little more than an afterthought to showcase the central duo’s wacky courtroom theatrics, which are overshadowed by their shut-in, phobia-wracked researcher (Kumail Najiani), who, unburdened by a filter, blurts out things like, “I am going to go masturbate.”

Sex is very much on the program’s mind, with cases involving a dominatrix, a young wife accused of killing her older husband via intercourse and an airline pilot charged with neglecting his duties while participating in an act worthy of mile-high-club membership. Perhaps that’s why the best hour previewed is the most restrained, involving a plain woman utterly convinced she’s been fired from a Playboy-like company because she’s so distractingly beautiful.

Both Bash (still pining for his ex-girlfriend) and Franklin (his dad was a big-time litigator) tote around slightly more serious baggage, but happily, they don’t pull it out often enough to detract from the fun. The producers have also surrounded them with a deep cast, including McDowell, Garcelle Beauvais as an alluring attorney, and Najiani and Dana Davis as the pair’s sidekicks.

Nobody will confuse this with “L.A. Law” in its prime, but the vibe is similar to that show’s more whimsical side — a breezy tone that carries through the handful of episodes previewed. Those attributes also mesh reasonably well with TNT’s profile, despite steering clear of the crime niche where the channel has prospered.

Will that add up to a positive judgment from viewers? That’s hard to say, but if Franklin & Bash don’t flourish at their new gig, perhaps there will be openings for boisterous barristers over at “Rizzoli & Isles.”

Franklin & Bash

TNT, Wed. June 1, 10 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Atlanta and Los Angeles by Four Sycamore Prods., Left Coast Prods. and Fan Fare Prods. in association with Sony Pictures Television. Executive producers, Jamie Tarses, Jason Ensler, Kevin Falls, Bill Chais; producer, Mel Efros; director, Ensler; writers, Falls, Chais.

Crew: Camera, Dave Perkal; production designer, Loren Weeks; editors, Mark Bourgeois, Joe Hobeck; music, John Robert Wood; casting, Debi Manwiller, Rick Pagano. 60 MIN.

Cast: Peter Bash - Mark-Paul Gosselaar
Jared Franklin - Breckin Meyer
Stanton Infeld - Malcolm McDowell
Damien Karp - Reed Diamond
Hanna Linden - Garcelle Beauvais
Pindar Singh - Kumail Najiani
Carmen - Dana Davis

More TV

  • Trom

    REinvent Studios Enlists ZDF/Arte For Faroese Drama 'Trom' (EXCLUSIVE)

    REinvent Studios, the Copenhagen-based company launched last year by former TrustNordisk CEO Rikke Ennis, has pre-sold the Faroese crime drama “Trom” to ZDF/Arte for Germany and France. ZDF/Arte will be co-producing the anticipated series which was pitched last year during the Co-Pro Series at the Berlinale Series forum. “Trom,” based on Jagvan Isaksen’s crime novels [...]

  • Dispatches From Elsewhere

    Jason Segel's 'Dispatches From Elsewhere': TV Review

    When they start noticing unusual twists on reality blooming all around them in their otherwise unremarkable Philadelphia lives — leading to an elaborate scavenger hunt unlike anything they could’ve imagined — the main quartet of characters in “Dispatches From Elsewhere” think they’ve got it figured out. The charismatic Simone (Eve Lindley) embraces the phenomenon as [...]

  • Jim Acosta

    CNN's Jim Acosta to Trump: Network's Record is 'A Lot Better Than Yours'

    CNN’s Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta and President Donald Trump are sparring again. During a press conference in New Delhi, Acosta pressed back on the President’s assertion that CNN had to walk back a recent report from several news organizations on Russia trying to interfere in the 2020 election. Acosta asked Trump if he [...]

  • The King's Wives

    Twice Oscar Nommed Abu-Assad, Abbout Productions Team For 'King's Wives' Series

    Twice Academy Award-nominated writer-director Hany Abu-Assad (“Paradise Now,” “Omar”) is teaming with Abbout Productions, Lebanon’s top indie shingle, on TV series project “The King’s Wives.” The six-episode fiction, pitched Feb. 25 at the 2020 Berlinale Co-Pro Series, is set to be the first TV drama produced by Abbout, a Beirut-set production house run by Georges [...]

  • Univision logo

    Spanish Media Giant Univision Sells Majority Stake

    Two investment firms said they would buy a majority stake in Univision, the nation’s biggest Spanish-language broadcaster, setting up a new era for the large broadcasting company at a time when traditional media entities are grappling with new ways to reach large audiences. Searchlight Capital Partners and ForgeLight LLC, two investment firms, will acquire a [...]

  • Capturing Big Mouth

    Previewing Berlin’s CoPro Series 2020 Projects

    Tuesday see’s the Berlin Film Festival play host to the sixth edition of its Co-Pro Series Pitch and Networking event, where 10 exciting TV projects from around the world will pitch to potential co-producers, investors, sales agents and broadcasters. Under the umbrella of the Berlinale Co-Production Market – dedicated to connecting feature film producers and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content