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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Franklin & Bash Get the Law (Mostly) Right

            I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll be watching Franklin & Bash on a regular basis. I do try to give the latest legal dramas and comedies a chance, and this one is a rare summer legal comedy. It stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who I remember fondly from the old Saved By the Bell series. He’s all grown up and playing a lawyer along with Breckin Meyer. They are two outlandish ambulance-chasing lawyers who get convinced by senior partner Malcolm McDowell (one of my favorite actors) to come work for a big fancy law firm.

            The first scene showed one of the bad boys of law disobeying a judge’s order. It made me very happy that this landed him in jail (briefly) for contempt. That’s exactly what should happen.

            The big plot line showed a junior partner plotting with a corporate client to throw their employee (also a client) under the bus. They wanted to blame what happened in the lawsuit on their employee so they could skate. Very realistic.

            Of course, I’ve ranted before about lawyers working against clients. Fortunately, our heroes found out about the plot to turn on a client, objected, and then engaged in silly antics to expose the plot and protect the employee-client. They pointed out that the firm had a duty to both clients. That kind of legal-correctness gives me goosebumps.

            The only major part they got wrong was that they also couldn’t turn on the corporate client. The firm had to withdraw from representing both clients and let them get separate representation. But compared to what happens in most legal shows, this one was almost a law school ethics class.

            The reason I don’t know whether I’ll watch regularly is that most of the plot was silly and the characters just aren’t that likeable. I’ll check it out another time or two and see if they can get me hooked.

            For now, I can label Franklin & Bash as (legally speaking) relatively safe for lawyers to watch.


Anonymous said...

I actually couldn't finish watching the first ep. Like you said, silly. Silly antics don't bother me if done within reason, but this crossed the line as too silly.

Donna Ballman said...

I don't blame you domynoe. I'll give it another chance. It's the same network that does Memphis Beat, one of my faves, but that was strong from the start. We'll see how episode 2 is (it's already up but I haven't seen it yet).

Jaime said...

I like it *because* it's over the top. But then again, I'm not a lawyer :-)

Donna Ballman said...

Jaime, I get enough OTT behavior from opposing counsel in real life. I did start watching the second episode but haven't finished it. I'm still on the fence about it.