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Series / I Am Frankie

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I Am Frankie was a live-action teen drama/comedy/science-fiction series which premiered on Nickelodeon in the fall of 2017. The series stars Alex Hook as a teenage android girl named Frankie, whose inventor and "mother" absconded with her when she learned the company she worked for intended to sell her to a rogue government agency that wanted to weaponize her design. Hiding in plain sight (two towns over from her old lab), Dr. Gaines and her family try to live normal lives and keep Frankie off the radar...by enrolling her in the local high school and praying nobody finds out her secret. Of course, with Gaines's old boss hunting for the android, a rival scientist out to win a prestigious award at any costs, and the rigors of teen drama in a high school environment, Frankie is constantly in danger of being exposed.

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The series is based on the Colombian telenovela Yo soy Franky, which was created by Argentinian author Marcela Citterio and produced by TeleVideo for Nickelodeon's Latin American counterpart, also named Nickelodeon. It is produced by Nickelodeon alongside Paradiso Pictures, the production company of executive producer Eric Gaunaurd.

The first season wrapped airing in November 2017. Season two aired in the fall of 2018. The show was cancelled in 2019.


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I Am ... Detecting These Tropes Within The Context Of This Series:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: To a mild degree, Tammy is this to Cole, at least early on. More or less dropped when Tammy becomes obsessed with discrediting Frankie, although it resurfaces for minor drama on occasion.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Inverted. In the Colombian telenovela, James's equivalent was a bitter, superstitious and socially awkward scientist named Paul, but the actor playing him was too young and muscular to fit in the role, becoming a Hollywood Nerd instead. The American version corrects this and cast a middle-aged actor that fits more in the role.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Holy hell. Every artificial intelligence in this series behaves contrary to their creator's expectations, given long enough. Fortunately, only one of them actually turns evil.
    • Inversion: Andrew.
  • Androids Are People, Too: Frankie, though her own behavior often conforms more to "moody teenage girl" than "correctly functioning android." Also, Andrew.
  • Alpha Bitch: Tammy.
  • Artificial Family Member: Frankie is seen as a daughter by Gaines. Frankie in turn sees her family as her own.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Coupled with Bilingual Bonus for people who watched the Colombian version; it is hinted for a long time that Robbie might be James's android considering in the telenovela the android was named Robi. Turns out it was Andrew instead.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: Gilford Kingston, James Peters and Tammy Gilroy in Season 1. In Season 2, the former Bigger Bad WARPA takes over.
  • Black and Nerdy: Byron, who builds his own little robot buddy.
  • Bollywood Nerd: Arguably, Tammy.
  • Book Dumb: Cole. Dude's halfway through high school and doesn't know what a variable is. One has to wonder how he even got into high school without knowing at least basic algebra.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Robbie disappeared without explanation after the first season.
  • Cliffhanger: Every episode. All of them. Every single episode ends on a suspenseful brush with danger, plot twist, or loaded question.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: When Tammy confesses to framing Robbie for vandalism, her punishment is to grant Robbie three wishes.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Mrs. Hough.
  • Creator Cameo: In the final episode of season 1, "I Am... A Sitting Duck", which takes place at the brain squad state finals, the actor playing the stage manager is executive producer Eric Gaunaurd.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than the original telenovela. Even though it is a Nickelodeon series, though, aimed at a very young demographic, the whole Frankie being the sixth prototype created after the fifth one went rogue, and Sigourney being always worried the same will happen, to the point of turning her off was created for the American remake. The Colombian original, even when Franky (with an Y) actually becomes "evil", tends to be a lot sillier.
  • Demoted to Extra: Mr. Kingston, who goes over a Heel–Face Turn, appears noticeably less in Season 2, compared to the first season.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A rare heroic example, EGG have gotten into Sigourney's DroidSync program and are using it to remotely control Frankie. Every attempt to backdoor into the program is blocked by one of EGG's scientists, so Sigourney activates a power overload to burn out every computer system in the building. When Kingston realises every piece of technology is dead, he attempts to call the external security guards only to discover his mobile phone was disabled as well.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Used unintentionally by Frankie to defeat Eliza. Frankie plays back her most important memories as a video projection, emphasising the love of friends and family. Eliza tries to process the emotional data, but can't and shuts down due to her electronic mind being incapable of understanding anything but hate.
  • Evil Redhead: Cynthia, much to the ignorance of Sigourney.
  • Evil Twin: Eliza.
  • Full-Name Basis: Frankie constantly does this. Getting her not to do this takes effort, which nobody ever seems to bother with. The only people she refers to by anything less than their full names are her "parents". Worse still, occasionally it "catches" with the people around her.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: I Am ... An Episode Title!
  • Jerkass: James, whose jealousy of Dr. Gaines's success and determination to steal the robotics prize from her leads him to lie, steal data, manipulate a colleague who trusts him, and build his own (far more sophisticated) android, all with the end goal of destroying Frankie so he can scoop Sigourney on the prize.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Frankie suggests she resolves her double date dilemma by taking both her choices to the dance, Dayton responds with "you can't do that, this is real life, not a television sitcom".
  • Literal-Minded: Frankie is frequently this, due to being an android. At least she's been programmed to absorb and correctly parse expressions and slang once exposed to them. Robbie has a tendency to be this just because he's Sheldon-lite.
  • Love Triangle: Surprisingly understated for a teen drama of this type, generally only flaring up organically to push a secondary conflict along. The two main love triangles are Tammy/Cole/Frankie and Andrew/Frankie/Cole.
  • The Man Behind the Man: While she's already a Jerkass in her own right, Tammy is controlled by a WARPA chip in the second season.
  • Manipulative Bastard: James tries to be this. It doesn't really work out for him.
  • The Men in Black: The WARPA agents could be described as this.
  • Mind-Control Device: Tammy has one implanted in her at the beginning of season 2. With Warpa being run by adults who have apparently never even spoken to a child, it becomes fairly obvious and the plot is exposed to the main characters by episode 5.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: More like "get the hypotenuse expelled for cheating/vandalism/not being human", but this is Tammy's general schtick. Downplayed in that it seems to have less to do with Cole and more to do with reclaiming her "smartest girl in school" cred.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Weaponized Android Research Project Agency.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Mr. Kingston and James wouldn't have been going after Frankie, had Sigourney not shown off her creation to them.
    • Sigourney also unknowingly puts danger directly into Frankie's way, by having Cynthia watch over her.
  • Nice Mean And Inbetween: Of the Brain Squad members, Makayla is the nice, Tammy is the mean and Lucia is the in-between.
  • Noodle Incident: Whenever the subject of Eliza is brought up, Sigourney Gaines insists that that topic is not to be discussed. it is eventually revealed that Eliza is Frankie's precursor and flawed because she is inherently evil.
  • Put on a Bus After season 1 Byron, who was Dayton's romantic interest, is mentioned by Tammy to have moved away and is replaced with new student Zane. As is John Travis, whom was usually seen hanging around with Tammy, Lucia and Mikayla. Interestingly enough, Byron and John, along with Robbie, were part of their Brain Squad.
  • The Reveal: The soap-opera-esque nature of this show thrives on big reveals. Just to name a few:
    • Andrew is an android.
    • Kingston is Dayton and Cole's dad.
    • There were five failed prototypes before Frankie, and the fifth one, Eliza, went rogue.
    • In Season 2, Sigourney has her scientist friend Cynthia Mondall watch over Frankie, while she travels to space. Little did Frankie and Sigourney know, it later turns out that Cynthia is running WARPA.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Pretty much the point of this series. Frankie, Andrew, and Eliza are especially this. PEGS1 counts in personality terms if not in physical shape.
  • Robot Buddy: PEGS1. At first it seems like co Kingston loathes him, but when WARPA's goons abduct PEGS1 to force him to cooperate, Kingston goes to pieces and is genuinely distressed over getting him back.
    • BOB also counts, especially given Byron's attachment to him.
    • Frankie herself counts as well from Dayton's perspective. She is helpful, loyal and absolutely adorable.
  • Secret Identity: Frankie has to keep her android side a secret to avoid being captured by WARPA.
  • Secret Keeper: Where to begin? It's easier to name characters who aren't keeping a secret.
  • Sudden Name Change: Mr. Kingston's first name switches from Gilford to Clarence in between seasons 1 and 2.
  • Those Two Guys: We've got four pairs of them: Tammy's put-upon lackeys Lucia and Makayla, Cole and Byron (in Season 1), and Jenny and Mr. Gaines. In Season 2, there's Andrew and Simone.
  • Title Drop: Frankie does that a few times, obviously. But not as much as the Colombian version, where the phrase was basically programmed both as Franky's startup message, and her standard greeting.

I Am ... Finished Listing Tropes.


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