By Tom Comi
Truth be told, there really is nothing redeeming about this show (tonight at 9pm ET), and it really does pain me to say that. I was a big fan of Mark-Paul Gosselaar on Saved By the Bell, NYPD Blue and Raising the Bar, and I love shows that explore the law; so I had high expectations when I heard he was being given another chance to headline a TV drama.
Boy, was I wrong. Everything that was remotely engaging and charming about Gosselaar in those other programs is gone in Franklin & Bash. He comes across as smarmy and unlikeable, especially when TNT stooped to showing him exit a hot tub just so they could air a gratuitous shot of his bare backside. Glad he didn’t turn around, or we could have had a hung jury.
Making matters worse, Gosselaar somehow manages to come across as less annoying than co-star Breckin Meyer. His portrayal of Jared Franklin comes off as arrogant and unrealistic — even by normal lawyer standards. Tough to root for a show when it’s almost impossible to root for the two primary characters. Malcolm McDowell brings some credibility to the table as the head of a law firm that hires the two hotshots, so we’ll see if he can right the ship.
Like with most new shows, I’ll give it another few episodes to see if it finds its groove. I will say, though, that the only hope fans have of this happening is if the creators actually sat down to watch the pilot. Because only then will they realize how poorly it came off.
And if they don’t learn from that, they are going to end up with the worst thing possible for a legal drama in Hollywood — a sequestered audience.
© 2011 TNT. Credit: Williams & Hirakawa