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Franklin & Bash
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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.
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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.)
Talk to your kids 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?