The hit TNT legal drama series Franklin & Bash returns to the courtroom for a second season, starting on June 5th. In its first season, the buddy show introduced viewers to Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), two young, fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants street lawyers who caused a serious culture clash when they joined a legendary, button-down law firm, headed by Stanton Infeld (Malcolm McDowell). When the second season kicks off, Peter and Jared are forced to tackle a little more responsibility, which leads them to question whether or not they are staying true to who they really are.
During this recent interview to promote the return of the series, co-stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer talked about where there characters will be in Season 2, the growing contention between them, that they will have some really amazing guest stars this season (including Cybill Shepherd, Kevin Nealon, Peter Weller and Martin Mull), their favorite moments in the series so far, and what they’d like to see happen, if they get a Season 3. Check out what they had to say after the jump:
Question: After all of the craziness of Season 1, what does Season 2 look like for these guys?
MARK-PAUL GOSSELAAR: Early on, they become equity partners in the firm, and that creates a whole lot of responsibility that they haven’t had to deal with in the past.
BRECKIN MEYER: The battle throughout the season is, how do you now sign these giant corporate clients when, at the same time, these are the guys you’re used to fighting against? How do you embrace them and defend them, when you’ve been fighting them for your entire careers?
Does that bring contention between the two characters?
GOSSELAAR: A little bit. Bash wants to mature a little bit faster than Franklin. In the very first episode, Bash turns to him and says, “We’ve got to do something. We’re at that age now, where we can make this leap into making more money, having more stability, and taking on more responsibility.” In the second season, there is a bit of contention between the two and how they go about this whole feeling of whether or not they’re selling out.
MEYER: Because we’re equity partners, if we fuck up in court, it’s not just us getting thrown in jail for contempt, for the night. It reflects on the entire firm and puts the entire firm in jeopardy. Our own little internal affairs comes in from New York and investigates some of our screwball antics.
Will there still be some crazy, screwball stuff happening?
MEYER: We have some really interesting cases, this season. Also, the guest stars are just as fun, if not more plentiful. Seth Green comes to play, along with Eric Mabius, Martin Mull, Kevin Nealon, Peter Weller, Cybill Shepherd, Rick Fox, Sean Astin and Shiri Appleby.
What makes this show different from other law shows is the friendship between your characters. Was there a moment in the show when you knew you had that chemistry?
MEYER: We didn’t know each other beforehand. We met once, at an airport, for 10 minutes. That sounds shady. Mark-Paul already had the gig, and I read with him. I got the part and we went off to Atlanta to film the pilot, and we just clicked right away. We both showed up, ready to work.
GOSSELAAR: I know exactly when we had that rhythm. It was in the diner when we were doing the first scene. Breckin has a great background, with working on Robot Chicken. He has that writer mentality where he can come up with these great alternate lines, so we just riffed off of things he came up with. I had never worked in that environment where you’re able to play. On a Steven Bochco show, words are god. The writers give us a great blueprint to work off of, and we generally stay within that frame and say the lines. But, every once in awhile, when you’re given such great writing, you can work off of it, and it’s easy to work off of.
MEYER: We watched the pilot together, for the first time, when it was done being cut, at co-creator Kevin Falls’ house. We’re not huge fans of watching ourselves on screen, but when it was over, both of us said, “I really want to see what else these guys are going to do and where they’re going to go. This is fun.” You never know what the audience is going to enjoy, but we knew that we enjoyed these characters and this would be really fun to do.
What is your favorite episode or scene in the series?
GOSSELAAR: One of my favorite scenes is in the very first episode of Season 2. We can’t give too much away, but there’s a scene where Breckin is in a water tank in court, and he does one thing that wasn’t scripted. That launches our show. It’s literally the first scene of our new season. Martin Mull is the judge, just for that one scene, and that’s how we premiere the show. You realize that these guys are back. But, we have so many moments.
MEYER: There are little things about their friendship. It’s those little moments that feel organic to us. That’s the type of stuff that doesn’t feel like it’s written, and it doesn’t feel like we’re laying pipe like it’s exposition. It just feels organic.
GOSSELAAR: After the first season, we really thought that we needed to sit down and watch all 10 episodes again to recreate the chemistry that we have, but we didn’t have time. But, after watching the second season, it’s all there. It’s just evolved.
Your characters come from a generation that doesn’t really have to grow up, in a lot of ways, but now you’re taking on more responsibility this season. How are you representing that?
GOSSELAAR: It’s a fine balance of playing guys that aren’t growing up while not getting too slapstick, too silly or too obnoxious. That’s up to the writers to do. We don’t struggle with the writing. It’s not like we’re given stuff every week and we’re going, “Wow, we have to tone that down.” They seem to have their finger on the pulse of it.
MEYER: If you meet Kevin [Falls] and Bill [Chais], who created this show, there’s a lot of Franklin and Bash in those guys. Bill has not grown up, and Bill is a public defender. He’s just a little sprite. It trickles down from the top. But, there is this whole generation that’s not man and not boy, they’re just guy. I think Franklin, more than Bash, embraces that. Bash is ahead of the curve. He knows, “It might be time to grow up soon,” especially when you’re representing people. That’s one of the struggles of the second season. Our characters are not showing up in court in a t-shirt and blazer. It’s actually the opposite. They view this almost as a performance, which is why they’re dressed to the 9’s. They’re putting on a show, so they’re going to put on a costume for that show. They’re not slackery, in that way.
Where would you like to see things go, if you get a Season 3?
GOSSELAAR: I want to do a musical.
MEYER: We haven’t thought about it. We just wrapped the second season, a few weeks ago. It’s not a cliff-hanger, but it definitely changes where the show will go. I hope they continue to go and, at the same time, still have that fun in the courtroom that makes it enjoyable to do and, hopefully, enjoyable to watch.
Franklin & Bash will return on Tuesday nights on TNT, starting on June 5th.