Welcome back to the Bro-iest Bros in Brotown: Season 3.
Here’s the deal: Franklin and Bash stands for everything I hate: upper class dudes who tend to have mediocre self-esteem (despite being hyper attractive and charismatic themselves) with privilege, dudes whose entire adult lives are spent in the pursuit of attractive, one-dimensional women and high-stakes prankery. Basically: I hate frat bros.
So why do I love this show?
Plainly and simply: it’s fun. This unique series lives among a tired and beaten genre; Franklin and Bash takes the usually grim breed of courtroom drama and makes it light hearted and funny. The writing is unique and the antics are above par to any other comedic genre-bending series I’ve ever seen (other than Psych of course).
The season 3 premiere unfortunately didn’t quite live up to my usual expectations for Franklin and Bash. Maybe it’s starting to become predictable—perhaps the writing wasn’t as tight, or maybe it’s the lack of chemistry between the newly cast Heather Locklear with basically anyone else in the series—but I felt that both “Coffee and Cream” and “Dead and Alive” dragged and dragged and dragged so much that I actually fell asleep halfway through the latter and had to rewatch the episode. (It wasn’t that entertaining the second time around, either.)
I was particularly surprised by how bored I was with “Coffee and Cream” especially because I am pretty big fan of Adam Goldberg (if you haven’t seen his performance in the indie horror film From Within you are missing out on some real horror magic—DO NOT JUDGE ME).
Ultimately, I can’t figure out why the 2-hour premiere didn’t do it for me. We dealt with
- Classic and neurotic Pindar: HE BURNT THE HOUSE DOWN! (I love you Pindy):,
- The antics were as unique and funny as always,
- Malcolm McDowell’s portrayal of Stanton Infeld was a masterpiece to behold (seriously, no one else could possibly pull that character off so well),
- Carmen pulled her usual and delightful stunts for getting around the law,
- The whole spiel with Damien and his sleep-study masturbation problem was pretty priceless. (These are the kinds of sentences you never know that you will write, by the way.)
- And “Dead and Alive” was directed by one of my favorite people of all time, Jay Chandrasekhar (of Broken Lizard fame).
I should have really enjoyed myself, no?
One thing is for sure, the antics weren’t as crazy as I’ve come to expect. Sure, they put a dead man on the witness stand and magically returned some stolen property to the owner, but I wanted a little more theatrics, especially in the case of the former.
I have to admit: I miss Hanna Linden (played by Garcelle Beauvais) in the firm. I also didn’t quite care for the addition of Heather Locklear as Rachel Rose King. (Haha, get it??? Her last name is King and she came in and started ruling the lives of the dynamic duo!! That’s so clever!!!! NOT.)
I of course want another strong female character to be left in Hanna’s stead, but a one-dimensional, power hungry control freak is not what I had in mind. We’ve seen this female archetype (unfortunately known as The Battleaxe) countless times in media… but I don’t think that Heather Locklear really pulls it off.
Despite this being a male-centric series, the women who are given important roles are all equally if not more powerful (or more interesting) than their male counterparts. I can always find more motivation and dimension from the central female cast than the titular characters themselves (they’re frat bros: we need no more explanation—although one of them DOES have daddy issues). I especially appreciated the way that Hanna and Dana had been written in past seasons because they somehow thrived in the male-dominated field of law and order while retaining their own personalities. I can only hope that Franklin and Bash steps up its game with Hanna’s replacement. Rachel Rose King is a strong female character in that she is bull-headed, I’m just not sure she has more than one dimension yet. Thus far: she likes control. I’m going to need more from her than that, because that’s a cookie-cutter character for the law and order world.