TV feature: Franklin & Bash vs. Rizzoli and Isles

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From the May 31, 2012 edition

Next Tuesday marks the beginning of TNT’s summer schedule, featuring “Franklin & Bash” and “Rizzoli & Isles” back-to-back. Both shows are meant to be mindless summer fun (and both kind of suck, but have a few redeeming qualities), so here’s a very (un)scientific breakdown of which one sucks less.

Wonder Twin powers:

F&B: Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) are best friends who also happen to be super lawyers. They’re masterful at winning cases in the courtroom.

R&I: Detective Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) and Dr. Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) are best friends who also happen to be a cop and a medical examiner. They’re masterful at solving cases in the streets.

Winner: “Rizzoli & Isles”

Propensity to show naked butt:

F&B: Bash has been known to display his bare derriere.

R&I: Sadly, no.

Winner: “Franklin & Bash” … I guess. No one, really.

Simplest explanation of the show:

F&B: Ballsy bros at law

R&I: Busty BFFs who can solve any case together

Winner: “Rizzoli & Isles”

Previous TV shows:

F&B: Gosselaar is best known as dreamy Zack Morris from “Saved by the Bell,” and he also starred in “NYPD Blue.” Meyer has starred in a number of forgettable TV series over the years, but most people still think of him as the homely little skater in “Clueless.”

R&I: Harmon is best known as one of Jack McCoy’s bevy of beautiful assistant district attorneys on “Law & Order.” Alexander was part of the original cast on “NCIS” as (sexy) Agent Todd.

Winner: Franklin & Bash” by a Screech

Do they shoot people:

F&B: No, but here’s hoping they might shoot each other, accidentally.

R&I: Yes. Rizzoli regular caps a perp, and last season she shot Isles’ Irish mobster dad.

Winner: “Rizzoli & Isles”

Most redeeming quality:

F&B: The two leads have a good chemistry that makes the more idiotic narratives less noticeable, and they can occasionally land a good joke.

R&I: The two leads have a good chemistry that makes the more idiotic narratives less noticeable, and they can occasionally have a heartfelt moment.

Winner: “Franklin & Bash”

It’s a tie, so I guess you’ll just have to sit through both hours. Or just avoid them altogether — it’s up to you.