If Judd Apatow and Mark Wahlberg walked into the courtroom in the TNT lawyer comedy, Franklin and Bash, they would both identify with the show in different ways.
Judd Apatow would say this is something that an unconfident 18-year-old would write circa 2002 after 10 shots of Vladimir Vodka. He would also say that save for access to a camera in 1985, him and Adam Sandler would have made this movie with Matthew Broderick.
Mark Wahlberg would explain that this would be the HBO show made about his career if him and Donnie became lawyers instead of actors.
Both are correct.
Judging purely from the previews for Franklin and Bash, the show appears to be about a lawyer duo made up of that guy from Rat Race and Zach Morris. They appear to be ladies men, who care more about carrying on at bars and canoodling with loose women than legalese and due process. Their collegial hijinks undoubtedly translate into their careers as lawyers, which makes for rather unconventional litigation on their part. If you’ve seen these previews, there is little I can do to better substantiate how unlovable these two characters are. If you haven’t watched yet, you feel the same connection to these two as you do towards your sister’s aggressive ex-boyfriend.
As if buddy-comedy couldn’t fall farther, this show shoves in our faces the fraternal-banter that died with Matthew McConaughey post-Dazed and Confused. The show seems hinged on the premise that makes other shows so weak: that the confident guy who openly talks about his sexual conquests and gets super hotties very easily is likable and cool. This premise is what makes Entourage base and oftentimes corny. Vince literally sleeps with every girl he comes across, which makes him unlikable for the fact that he’s so money with women that you resent him more than you connect with him. The truth is that almost nobody is a ladies man or even knows a ladies man. No straight man I know effortlessly gets girls, it just doesn’t happen, it’s not how the world works. Entourage attempts to play to people’s fantasy with Vince as that movie star ladies man, but this is diluted as E, his manager and sidekick, gets girls who are just as hott except with him these situations are a lot more unbelievable. The actor who plays E, Kevin Connolly, looks like an eight grader who found hair-gel in the park. It simply doesn’t work and writing a show based on such an exhausted theme inevitably leads to lazy stories inbetween jokes without context, and one-liners blatantly trying to be catchphrases. This is where we are with Franklin and Bash.
But to lay into a show like Franklin and Bash is admittedly cheap and easy. At this point my interest is more driven by the curiosity as to who actually tunes into a show like this. Someone still believes in the genre and still revels in the base edginess and thrifty comedy that unorthodox legal work elicits. This person probably owns a bull dog, has a social smoking habit, and is a single male.