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Series / Franklin & Bash

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Franklin & Bash is a comedy/legal series on TNT. It stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar (aka Zack Morris of Saved by the Bell fame) as Peter Bash and Breckin Meyer as Jared Franklin, two irreverent young lawyers and legal partners who are recruited to a prestigious law firm to bring a fresh energy to the overly-stuffy atmosphere in the law firm. It ran for four seasons from 2011 to 2014.

Tropes in Franklin & Bash:

  • Ambiguous Ending: Two in the finale. Franklin and Bash take a roulette, with the black or red determining whether they stay in Los Angeles or move to a new job in Austin. No say on what happens if it lands on green. The second is with Stanton, who begins choking on a cracker as the episode ends.
  • Amoral Attorney: Damien in the first episode, when he colludes with a CEO to sell out an airline pilot to limit an airline's liability by paying a witness to make false testimony. He rarely if ever sinks that low in future episodes but still is arguably The Friend Nobody Likes.
  • Ambulance Chaser: How the two are operating in the first episode, but Lighter and Softer versions as per the show's tone.
  • Blue Oni: Peter is more calm and less impulsive.
  • Bollywood Nerd: Pindar is a somewhat geeky Indian.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Both Franklin and Bash, of course.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Peter and Jared are both pop culture buffs prone to Courtroom Antics, but they have a good record of wins.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Franklin, with his father.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
  • The Charmer: Bash.
  • Clear Their Name: The first season finale has Franklin & Bash working hard to clear Stanton Infeld of murder charges.
  • Cool Old Guy: Stanton Infeld, naturally. After all, he hired Franklin and Bash himself.
  • Dating Catwoman: Peter has some chemistry with Wendy Cowell starting when she's suing one of their clients in her first episode.
  • Deadpan Snarker: While some characters excel in being snarky, the deadpan can be found mostly with Damian. Or as he would put it - Awesome.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Jared's real first name is Elmo.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Rachel, the films new partner, embezzles millions of dollars for their clients and flees the country between seasons 3 and 4.
  • Fair Cop: Wendy, Peter's short-lived girlfriend is an attractive cop.
  • Faking the Dead: A notorious prankster fakes his own murder to get revenge on his former best friend who is engaged to the prankster's former girlfriend.
  • Fanservice: Plenty, starting with every party Franklin and Bash host. Especially apparent in the episode where they defend the two pole-dancing instructors. Bash has plenty of shirtless scenes too. He also had one scene exiting a hot tub in the nude.
  • Fortune Teller: The Infield family is revealed to have one in the finally, who has predicted numerous things from when members of the family would die to Stanton stabbing his friend. The last prediction, that Stanton will be killed by a "noble fish", is seemingly averted when Stanton eats some fugu and lives just fine. But as the episode ends, Stanton begins choking on some crackers, from the "Noble Fish" brand.
  • Genius Ditz: Again, both Franklin and Bash. They have zany personalities, but they arguably use this to their advantage in the courtroom, allowing them both to be almost-literal Bunny Ears Lawyers.
  • Got Volunteered: Their corrupt client in "Big Fish". Determined not to let the guy pull a Karma Houdini (but also afraid of getting themselves disbarred for unethical conduct they claim that if acquitted, the man will volunteer his business skills to help the economy of Haiti for the next several years, and the man is too startled to deny this before it's on record, and he faces contempt of court charges if he reneges.
  • He's All Grown Up: The flashback in "Waiting on a Friend" showing Peter and Jared's first meeting showed Peter was fat, had curly hair, and short (shorter than Jared).
  • Hello, Attorney!: Peter is a male version. Hanna is the quintessential female example of the trope.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Peter and Jared are long-time close friends and companions, and both are heterosexual womanizers.
  • Ironic Echo: Used by Damien in the season finale to put Britt in her place.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than your average procedural. Hell. even Boston Legal is a tad darker by comparison.
  • Long Bus Trip: Wendy disappears about halfway through season 2 and doesn't reappear until an episode of season 4 which reveals she and Peter broke up after he forgot an important date (although they manage to be Amicable Exes).
  • Naked People Are Funny: At the start of the Season 3 premiere, Franklin and Bash foolishly make a bet with Stanton's new partner, Rachel King, that results in the two of them having to complete a live nationally broadcast interview on the Piers Morgan Show in the nude except for shoes and socks. (They're concealed by a desk, but the sideshots suggest that Mark Paul Gosselaar was actually naked.)
  • Office Sports: One episode opens up with a curling game using janitor brooms and people sitting in rolling chairs.
  • Off with His Head!: A comedic and post mortem version. When Stanton says goodbye to his long deceased friend he pats him on the cheek...and his head falls off.
  • Out with a Bang: In an early episode Franklin and Bash are tasked with defending a woman accused of killing her wealthy old husband with sex that caused a heart attack.
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: They cite Betty Rubble and Jessica Rabbit as the hottest animated women, and Pindar says the title goes to Setsuna Meiou/Trista Meiou/Sailor Pluto (gaining stares from the rest of them).
  • Put on a Bus: Hannah in Season 3, and Carmen and Pindar in season 4.
  • Red Oni: Jared is the more easily angered and risk-taking of th pair.
  • Refuge in Audacity: A man who is Faking the Dead appears to Pindar on a beach while wearing a sci-fi costume. He knows that Peter and Jared cannot not use this to prove in court that he is alive because Pindar will never be believed if called as a witness.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: In "Big Fish" Damien and Hana get Pindar attached to meet with a client their trying to hook because she's Indian and so is Pindar. The woman instantly sees through their transparent appeal for a Commonality Connection by having a lawyer with the same skin color as her. Then it turns out that she's a fellow germaphobe which sparks a more sincere Commonality Connection with Pindar (and she likes his business ideas), meaning that he was the right lawyer for the job, just not as an appeal to tokenism.
  • Stock Legal Phrases
  • Thanatos Gambit: One episode has an old man whose prized baseball is the subject of a lawsuit (and who knows he has a bad heart) keep the baseball inside the clothes he wants to be buried in, along with a letter saying that any of his heirs who dig up his body (trying to get at the ball) will be disowned.
  • Title Drop: The protagonists refer to themselves as "Franklin and Bash" often, and the titles of some of the episodes are also sometimes dropped in such as in "Bro-bono" and "Franklin vs. Bash".
  • Working with the Ex:
    • Bash's ex is an assistant District Attorney against whom he has a 1 for 14 record early on in the season.
    • Hannah and Damian.