Our inner 90s child was excited to hear that Saved By The Bell's Zack Morris and Tai's adorable boyfriend in Clueless (otherwise known as Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer) were getting their own television series. But when we tuned into the show's premiere last night, we were left feeling like we had just spied on a "no girls allowed" fraternity party. Or something.
Between the sexist comments towards women, rampant boobs everywhere, and Gosselaar's bare ass (!), a few things about the show just didn't quite sit right. We weren't the only ones who felt left out of the apparent boys club, either. In their review of Franklin & Bash's pilot episode, Television Without Pity picked up on the vibe, too:
And then there's the possibility that this show is really and truly for someone I am not: a guy. Sure, there's a shot of Mark-Paul Gosselaar's bare behind, but it feels a little like a bribe for the female contingent. At the end of the day, Franklin and Bash are a duo of cads throwing a frat party.
But really, what were we expecting? TNT's programming (think: Men of a Certain Age, NASCAR & NBA games) feels almost entirely targeted towards men, despite the fact that 45% of their audience is women. (Guess that's where Rizzoli & Isles and re-runs of Charmed come in.) Is this series TNT's attempt at becoming the next HBO or Showtime? That would explain the Entourage-y feel of episode and the bonus nudity.
And oh, the nudity! LADIES! If you ever wondered what an adult Zack Morris would look like naked, wonder no more. (Clip is NSFW.)
But even a mostly-naked Mark-Paul Gosselaar doesn't make up for the obvious sexism we noticed throughout the entire episode. The series of highlights collected above are from only the first six minutes of the show, but you can safely assume the rest of the episode went along in a similar fashion. Breckin Meyer's character appears to be a prime culprit, shouting "Nice ass! [and] so's the stick in it" to one female colleague and after checking out a different lady coworker, saying "She's a bitchy barracuda! ...I'm getting a little movement in the lumber yard." Degrading professional women in the workplace is just so funny, you know? Lest we forget to mention the number of low-cut business suits (do those truly exist in the workplace?) and bikini-clad party-goers that made the entire episode quasi-laughable. And finally, that ridiculous court room scene: I'm sorry, you two legal whiz kids, but prompting your client to tear off her shirt and jiggle her breasts around on the witness stand does not a valid legal argument make (though perhaps this is a case of art kinda imitating life).
Mark-Paul, come back to us.
Franklin & Bash [TNT]
TNT : Demographics [Cablevision]
Franklin & Bash: The Boys (and We Do Mean Boys) of Summer [Television Without Pity]