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It's So Easy To Bash "Franklin & Bash"

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TV Review Jackie K Cooper
"Franklin & Bash" (TNT)

"Franklin & Bash" has always been an easy show to criticize, or to bash, due to its lack of focus. Since its inception it has been a show in search of a theme. It is advertised as two wild and crazy guys serving as lawyers in cases where the underdogs of society are being run over by the system. This worked for James Spader and William Shatner on ""Boston Legal" but somehow just doesn't work here.

As Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) go about their legal cases week after week, it seems they are playing roles and not really being characters. Plus they don't have the right chemistry between them to make this a buddy buddy type of series. They say the right words but the emotions behind the words seem fake.

The supporting cast of Dana Davis, Reed Diamond and Kumail Nanjiani are grossly underused. Each of these actors show the needed talent in creating characters that would enhance "Franklin and Bash" but because they are kept so far in the background they don't make a dent in the effect of the show. Then you have Malcolm McDowell as the slightly bizarre Stanton Infeld, a character who is all over the map, and the show slips even further into the mire.

This year they have brought in Heather Locklear to play the managing boss of the firm where Franklin and Bash are employed. If this isn't jumping the shark nothing is. Locklear made a positive impact on "Melrose Place" and "Spin City" when she made a late arrival. It is doubtful her magic will work on this show. She will certainly make a valiant effort but it seems she brings too little too late.

"Franklin & Bash" is starring its third season. They have tossed out Garcelle Beauvais and brought in Heather Locklear. The episodes I have viewed are still more of the same from the past two years. The two guys are still lamely clowning around; McDowell's character is behaving even more bizarrely; Locklear is bringing her "Melrose" role of Amanda into the office - and none of it works.

It appears it is time to shut down this series and find something that provides more entertainment. It is difficult to believe that "Southland" was cancelled and this show stays on the air.

"Franklin & Bash" airs on TNT, Wednesday nights at 9.

Jackie K Cooper
www.jackiekcooper.com