Franklin & Bash



Buddy lawyers make a tepid case for bad-boy antics.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Justice is usually served, but typically at the expense of professionalism. The main characters make sexist comments about female colleagues (exclaiming one is a "bitchy barracuda" and another has a "nice ass") and there's a sexual overtone to office politics.

Positive role models

Although their methods are admittedly uncouth, Franklin and Bash are passionate about the law and committed to their clients.


Occasional fist fights, punching, slapping.


Lots of sexual innuendo and sexual banter, including kissing, lingerie, and bare buttocks onscreen.


Audible language includes "bulls--t," "dick," "p---y" and "scrotum."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking carries over into the main characters' professional lives, and a large bar takes center stage in their apartment. Comic references to marijuana.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that content varies from episode to episode, but in general, this courtroom dramedy relies on sexually charged antics (including implied naked hot-tubbing and visible bare buttocks) and unbleeped salty talk (ranging from "bulls--t" to "p---y"). There's also a pervasive "party" atmosphere -- down to the restaurant-quality bar the main characters have in their apartment. Expect some sexist comments, too.

What's the story?

Best friends and legal colleagues Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark Paul Gosselaar) are so well known for their showy courtroom dramas that their reputations practically precede them -– at times, to their detriment. But when large-firm law partner Stanton Infeld (Malcolm McDowell) sits in on a winning case and takes a shine to their offbeat antics, he invites FRANKLIN & BASH to merge their scrappy talents with the corporate culture at Infeld Daniels.

Is it any good?


As far as courtroom dramedies go, Franklin & Bash is fine for basic adult entertainment, mainly, because it follows the same formulas we've come to expect from other shows about lawyering.

But the main characters' overgrown-boy antics -- complete with video game playing in the boardroom and open-bar house parties in the living room -- feel downright tiresome and even a little sexist. What year is this again? And are two aging teen stars who are both a stone's throw away from 40 really calling each other "dickwad" on camera? (Unfortunately, the answer is yes.)

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the overall tone of the series. How realistic are the main characters and their legal tactics? Does the show reflect the realities of the legal system? Do the pair make good role models?

  • How are female characters portrayed on the show, both in terms of what they say and how they dress? How does that compare to the way the show portrays men? What kinds of messages are the series sending about men, women and sex? Who's the target audience?

  • How does this series compare to other legal dramas and comedies on television?

TV details

Cast:Breckin Meyer, Malcolm McDowell, Mark Paul Gosselaar
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Franklin & Bash was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Truth, justice, and fairness from a likable female lead.
  • Beauty vs. brains dramedy is fun, despite some stereotyping.
  • Timely, mature drama about surviving political scandal.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 9 years old September 7, 2012

not for kids

This is not for kids. There's too much language, some violence and mild s3x. Oh! and there's a large bar!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written bycaliforniaman714 June 22, 2011

Franklin and Bash=Pure Genius!

Franklin and Bash is the perfect show for Teenagers 15-16+ because it has humor teenagers/young adults now a days know and understand what jokes are being made. This show is also perfect for those teenagers who love law/police type drama-comedy shows. I tried this show out and I love it. It is pure GENIUS!! The cast is OUTSTANDING in this show. I would recommended teenagers to see this show with their parents so the parents could decide if they think it is appropriate for them. Other than that Funniest show I have seen in a long time.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide