Have you checked out We’reTotallyLawyers.com yet? How about the 855 number? Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) of Franklin & Bash are certainly going above and beyond to advertise their legal services to the everyday, working man. When these two strap on a three-piece suit and slick back their hair, they look every bit the part of hardened workaholic in the courtroom, but underneath the Armani and the hair gel they are just regular guys who believe in the underdog and like to kick back with a beer, an acoustic guitar, and a hot tub. They’re a little unorthodox; they think outside the box; and they play hard, but they will work even harder. And isn’t that exactly the kind of guy you’d want to get you out of trouble: one who fights for his clients in such a fresh way even the most long-in-the-tooth judge would be commanded to sit up and pay attention?
“When I started reading the script, what attracted me to the project was the smart legal courtroom drama mixed with humor. I thought the way that they sort of weaved the humor in but still stayed true to the legal drama was great and brilliant, and I loved the relationship between the two guys– between Jared and Peter,” series star Gosselaar shared with LA TV Insider Examiner during an online tour to promote the new TNT series.
“It’s got a good mix…They give you insight to who these guys are. There are some great scenes outside the courtroom scenes; there’s a lot of great things that we have, and there’s always a place for having the man cave parties and women in bikinis, but a lot of times we use those scenes to get more insight into these guys outside of their professional life, and those are just as important.”
Who these guys are are long-time friends and law partners who ran a small, almost boutique, firm out of their shared house before getting snatched up by a larger corporate office. They each come to the work with their own biases and beliefs on who is guilty and who is innocent, and despite outward appearances and confidences, they each have their own baggage, as well. Gosselaar’s Peter Bash, for example, is still hung up on his ex, a woman who is actually engaged to marry someone else at this point in his story.
“Throughout the whole season there is that underlying tone that he is still hung up on her,” Gosselaar shared, despite the fact that a mid-season episode has him actually helping her new guy (played by James Van Der Beek) get out of a legal scrape of his own.
“Here is a guy who’s going to marry my ex-girlfriend and I still have feelings for her, so that was a really complex episode,” he continued. The plot only thickens when he begins to develop a real bond with the guy and realizes it may be time to let go of his feelings for his ex.
Meanwhile, though, Jared Franklin’s greatest conflict is the battle to not become his father, a man who is extremely well-known (and a bit ruthless) in the legal community and a man whom Jared has fought his whole life against becoming.
“Jared’s a kid who was absolutely born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He grew up with his very, very serious and powerful litigator as his father, and he never wanted to be that,” Meyer told LA TV Insider Examiner.
“He never wanted to be a lawyer [but] after a while he realized yeah, it’s his calling. But he’s going to do it on his terms if he’s going to be a lawyer and do what his dad does; he’s going to do it a different way. The courtroom is his stage, and he’s going to put on a show, right down to the three-piece suit.”
Jared, too, will have to face his own feelings in an episode that has him going up against his dad (played by Beau Bridges) in the courtroom.
And then of course there is the question of Jared’s own romantic life. Early on he develops a flirtation with Hannah (Garcelle Beauvais) that quickly blossoms into something more, and something he was not expecting.
“He’s not used to someone who’s as crafty and as good of a lawyer as he is. They can go toe-to-toe, and he’s not used to that, but it’s attractive as hell to him. She is a woman who knows what she wants and they have kind of an on and off again throughout the season. [But] it’s not like a Ross and Rachel thing; they know exactly what they’re there for,” Meyer pointed out.
Girls will come and girls will go, but these guys are in it together. Both of them give off an aura of being able to handle everything and anything– and to do so more often than not with a smile. It is a trait that Gosselaar admitted he doesn’t think he shares with his character, though we must admit we beg to differ.
“[Peter]’s very confident, and it’s really that confidence thing that I don’t have,” he said. “I don’t walk into a room and demand attention… [But] one thing as an actor that you want to do is constantly be challenged and pushed. I like playing a character that’s not similar to me; it gives me something to work on at night when I go home.”
And whether these guys are cooking up a deposition in their joint home or office or taking a brainstorming break with a little bit of Wii tennis, everything they do is with an undercurrent of humor and a whole lot of heart.
“I think part of the challenge of this season for Peter and Jared is that they are guys who are used to bucking the system and fighting against these big, high falutin white shoe law firms, and now they’re a part of it, you know?” Meyer pontificated. “It’s like fighting the man, and suddenly they are the man. How do you stay true to yourself and at the same time, how do you, you know, the challenge is…how are they going to change this law firm? We shake it up a bit.”
You can see exactly what their version of shaking things up is when Franklin and Bash airs on TNT at 9pm every Wednesday night this summer beginning June 1st.
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