“Forensic Heroes 4” Ends on High Ratings Despite Lack of Novelty

Despite its high ratings, viewers pointed out three major flaws in the drama which left them disappointed.

Originally slated to be TVB’s 2019 Anniversary drama, Jacqueline Wong‘s (黃心穎) scandal led to Forensic Heroes 4’s <法證先鋒IV> airing being delayed, with tens of millions spent on re-shooting scenes in which she appeared. Scheduled in the unpopular February to March slot, the drama was not expected to perform well. However, the coronavirus outbreak led to a spike in home audiences with the first four weeks’ of viewership hitting a 35-point high – reversing the trend of low TVB viewership over the past few years, with hopes for a fifth sequel.

Despite its high ratings, appraisal of the drama was not as positive, as viewers singled out flaws in Forensic Heroes 4. The proven formula of crimes being solved through forensic evidence worked to the drama’s advantage, as the first few episodes were highly praised, earning an eight-point rating on Mainland Chinese review sites. As the drama unfolded, it became obvious that the series stuck to the same tried-and-tested formula, with the only breakthroughs being that of forensic technologies applied onscreen.


Three Main Points of Criticism

Lack of Twists in the Culprit’s Identity

While the nature of the drama necessitated the guilty culprit being captured successfully at the end of each story, it became painfully obvious when each new character who appeared turned out to be the key antagonist, such as how Carlo Ng’s (吳家樂) character suddenly returned to Hong Kong – no doubt to turn himself in – or how Lam King Kong’s (林敬剛) character similarly appeared after Timothy Cheng’s (鄭子誠) body was discovered. Also, it became boring when each culprit would always deny his charge at first before “caving in” to fierce questioning from Shaun Tam (譚俊彥) and Rebecca Zhu (朱晨麗).

Supporting Actors Stole Limelight from Lead

Many supporting green leaf actors outshined the main leads with their convincing performances, including Lin Chi Chiu (林子超), Bob Cheung (張彥博), Yeung Chiu Ho (楊潮凱) and Osanna Chiu (趙璧渝), to name a few. In contrast, the main leads failed to make a similar impact or deliver any solid breakthroughs. Raymond Wong as (黃浩然) forensic pathologist was stylish but not nuanced, investigation officer Shaun impressed more in romantic scenes than when sniffing out criminals, Rebecca failed to break out of the mold, while Alice Chan (陳煒) was the better of the leads.

More Thought Put into Romance than Crime

Some viewers also felt that the plot’s romantic focus was a little heavy, as there were two three-sided romantic threads in the story, while they would have preferred as much thought in the crime investigation aspects. For instance, half an episode was spent on the breakup between Raymond Lam and Yumiko Cheng (鄭希怡) so that the plot could move on to his romantic development with Roxanne Tong (湯洛雯). The screen time could have been better used on the unfolding of the crimes or pursuit of the culprit.

At the end, the final boss’ appearance and the clown who held up five fingers was interpreted as hinting at a fifth installment to the Forensic Heroes franchise. However, the series’ initial high rating on a Mainland Chinese website dropped to four after the last episode, as the lack of novelty failed to impress viewers.

Source: HK01

This article is written by JoyceK for JayneStars.com.

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  1. Too much focus on relationships and at the same time lacking essential development. Randomly break up Yumiko and Raymond’s characters to get Raymond & Roxanne’s characters together, but also don’t have them showing any feelings for each other and just getting together in the last episode? And have Yumiko’s character come back to tell them to get together?

  2. now they are going to believe the formula works and ignore the fact that its cos most people are not leaving their house now.
    I think main problem with TVB now is they are so bent on overdeveloping and complicating the romances that they lose sight of the main plot.

  3. the first couple of cases were pretty intriguing but like others said, the cases and story pretty much followed the same pattern. the entire franchise was always the same to me. there had been nothing novel from this franchise. the cases had always been quite predictable from the 1st to now

  4. Yeah there needs to be an aspect of the audience figuring it out themselves. Like plot twists etc. The only thing I found shocking was Rebecca’s character “death”.
    GoOn trying to find his big sis was predictable too. I knew the initial person wasn’t gonna be it since she’s not from TVB, and in the intro song we can see there’s only 2 females not showed yet which was Kelly Cheung and Sharon Chan. It was pretty easy there on to figure out who it was.

  5. I’ve never liked Raymond Wong’s acting, especially in this series. His acting here was just widening his eyes and stare at his co-star the entire time.

  6. This is the MOST disappointing installment seriously. Initially the cases are rather interesting and honestly, I love the relationship and chemistry between GoOn and Monique but I knew they wouldn’t end up together since well, the other love interest is TVB actress while Monique is not. They’ll definitely give more airtime to the TVB actress, but really? The ending is just ??? Roxanne character just ended up with him weirdly and Monique appear just like that again to ask them to be together even? Doesn’t make any sense. King & Queen pairing don’t match at all as well and the only pairing that’s passable will probably be Stan and Selena character.

    The cases got boring as the show went on and I lost interest totally. Definitely sure that if it wasn’t for COVID, the ratings won’t be high. They don’t deserve such high ratings to be honest.

    PS: This made me rewatch the previous installments though. Miss Bobby, Yoyo, Frankie, Kevin, Charmaine etc. ):

  7. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….there is one group of people who are happy that this coronavirus pandemic is happening: TVB’s executives. After years of bad ratings, they are now suddenly seeing an unprecedented uptick in ratings due to everyone staying home and having nothing better to do with their time. I’m willing to bet those execs are probably praying for this pandemic to never end so they can continue to get high ratings for garbage series that otherwise no one but the most die-hard of fans would watch.

    I only caught snippets of FHIV during its entire broadcast, but even with the little I watched, I already could see it was crap. For me personally, instead of wasting my time watching any of the current garbage that TVB puts out, I’ve been doing binge re-watch sessions of old TVB classics….just finished binge re-watching Untraceable Evidence I & II earlier in the week and loved every minute of it! (Sidenote: iF you want a truly well-done forensics-themed series, watch UE franchise instead of the Forensic Heroes one where pretty much only the first installment was watchable). DIF franchise is next on my list to re-watch, then a few more 90s series before moving on to 80s classics….way better use of time in my opinion…

    Stay safe, everyone!

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