Monday, June 20, 2011

‘Franklin and Bash’ episode 'Jennifer of Troy' - a missed opportunity

I started watching this new show on TNT. Loved the pilot episode. Sure it has misogynistic moments but it has the quality that Two & A Half Men also had. I don't know why but I loved that show as well and will miss Charlie Sheen. Ashton Kutcher can't do what Mr. Sheen did. Hugh Grant would have been a GREAT replacement. Anyways, I digress.

So F&B (Franklin & Bash) is about 2 young and brash attorneys who in the pilot episode get hired by this white haired British dude to work in his huge law firm. Great!

Then the 3rd episode airs. Title- 'Jennifer of Troy'. Basically, F&B want this supposedly big case where a woman has been fired from her job for "being too beautiful". This woman who got fired is Jennifer, played by talented Jillian Bell. 

 A screenshot from the episode of F&B in question.
 As she appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm on an episode where she gets fired for wearing short t-shirts that exhibit her fat belly and sides and the boss, Larry, feels disgusted by it.

This is her Headshot from her IMDB profile.

Now of course the "joke" is on F&B because they don't know that she is in fact "not beautiful". So before they meet her they are confident that they will win the case. She is their client. And when they meet her they totally want out of the case. To add to their paranoia, Jennifer works at this magazine where every woman is literally a walking-talking 6 feet tall model.

So of course immediately my interest in this episode doubles. I am excited to see how they will handle this story. I am thinking they would go in the following direction:
This woman was fired because she was "too beautiful" to work there, but then it turns out that that was the company's way to fire her because she in reality isn't pretty enough to work there.
So a fairly simple story I'd say. But then we meet Jennifer and she has a great personality. She is upbeat, confident and truly thinks that she IS beautiful. And even perhaps a little more beautiful than these other woman at her company, but not by much (she likes to say). NOW I am really excited to meet this character. Part of me thinks - She is crazy and deluded to think how she thinks. (Yes I am biased. Shame on me). Then part of me wonders...what if she TRULY does believe that she is beautiful. And my brain is having a hard time with it. Cuz my brain says how can a sane, smart woman in today's age who looks like Jennifer/Jillian believe that she is as beautiful (if not more) as the models. So....I continue to watch in intrigue.

My husband is watching with me and he believes that this is how the story is going to go:
She is so confident and charming that in fact it was her inner beauty and her strong eye contact that feels threatening to the other women around her. They fail to understand why men stare at this Jennifer all the time. And this is the "too beautiful" to work here reason. 
I got very excited now. Yes!!! THAT would be exciting. That this woman somehow escaped all the awful body-image issues we deal with. Somehow her sense of self was not attached to a size zero body etc. Oh that right there is my ideal woman. So, now I am really into the episode. Can't wait for F&B to feel her magnetism and be pulled into it and .....gosh I don't know what I expected.

Needless to say none of that happened. Well, not exactly. Turns out that the reason she was fired had nothing to do with the way she looked. That in fact her boss fired her because boss's father (true owner of the company) thought of Jennifer as a daughter. And the 'real' daughter felt jealous but wouldn't play/hangout with her father like Jennifer did. Boss's daughter wouldn't take off her heels to play ball, for instance. So, Jennifer was fired.

What????!!!!! Really? Way to give up on a fantastic opportunity to tell a great story(if it was what I imagined it was going to be that matter how idealistic and fantastical that might have felt to some). The Jennifer that was introduced to me in the beginning of the episode---I wanted to be friends with that woman, I wanted to be that woman. She could walk tall and look into men's eyes without feeling fat/unworthy/loser/etc.

Well, the writers and Exec Producers of the show clearly don't care to rock my world. But oh that they could have.....Oh the possibilites.....Oh the missed opportunity.

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