Review: Friendly Fire (by Miriamfanz)

By on February 17, 2013 in NEWS, REVIEWS

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Friendly Fire <法網狙擊>
Hong Kong TVB Drama 2013

Producer: Man Wai Hung
Genre: Legal Drama
Episodes: 26

Rating: 

Cast:
Michael Tse as JJ Kam
Tavia Yeung as Chris Fong
Sammy Leung as Kam Po Tei
Sharon Chan as Ngai Mei San
Alice Chan as Pong Tit Sum
Derek Kwok as Hung Chun To
Samantha Ko as Kiki
Oscar Leung as Max

Plot

Crime happens and the prosecutors from the Department of Justice need to make sure justice is served. But we all know justice will always be served in the end anyways because it’s a TVB drama.

Review

If there’s one word to describe Friendly Fire, it’s “predictable”. From the romantic story lines to the cases, nothing ever jumps out as a surprise. Yet the way in which things were woven together breathed some life into the series. There was a right balance of cases, romance, comedy and touching scenes to keep everything moving along. It also helps to have a refreshing cast, with new faces such as Sammy Leung, Alice Chan and the trainees.

There have been a lot of legal dramas in recent memory, so what makes Friendly Fire different? Perhaps it’s all the legal flaws. Netizens actually discovered an instance where they were citing a law that didn’t exist. Although I don’t want to be nit-picky, it highlights the lack of research effort. Minor details aside, the series ignored some obvious legal procedures. For example, one cannot introduce new evidence in their closing arguments, but this drama allows that anyways. Lawyers cannot propose random theories in court (at least not without the objections of the opposition), but the prosecutors will only lament about Derek Kwok’s “dirty” tactics but never yell out “Objection” in court when he offers fabricated, unsupported theories to the jury. In certain cases, there was only flimsy evidence supporting a conviction, but the bad guy goes to jail anyways. Anyone who’s watched enough legal dramas should know that the standard of proof for criminal cases is beyond a reasonable doubt. All in all, if you want to be a lawyer, don’t rely on any of the legal advice shown here.

Friendly Fire Tavia Yeung Michael Tse 2There weren’t any breakout performances here. Michael’s character is witty, intelligent and driven by the sense of justice. Yep, sounds exactly like Laughing Gor, except in a three-piece suit. The only difference would probably be that he is slightly less arrogant and shows some vulnerability (like the rooftop crying scene). Tavia’s character was essentially the same as her role in The Other Truth, but there was more time devoted to her personal life, allowing her to show a more relaxed, friendly side. I actually enjoyed the relationship scenes between Michael and Tavia at the beginning when they were a sweet couple. They were loving, but not in the mushy way that would make you want to barf. They enjoyed teasing each other and pulling surprises, like when Tavia arranged for Michael’s ex to seduce him (what kind of girlfriend does that??). But then it got to the part where Tavia rejected Michael’s proposal because of the risk of a hereditary illness, and I let out a big groan. That has got to be the lamest, most overused way to break up a couple.

Friendly Fire Sharon Chan 5The second main pairing was Sammy and Sharon, which follows the typical “bickering to mutually supportive to lovers” pattern. Their scenes together often had comical results. This was Sammy’s first time in a TVB drama, and he was natural and humorous. (To be fair, it’s not exactly his first acting stint either.) There was no challenge for Sharon to play the easygoing, kind-hearted girl. I felt her real purpose in the drama was to pull in audience with her body, whether it’s the wet-bra scene or flaunting her long legs. By the way, TVB tried way too hard to use sex appeal in this series. Sammy threw in his own soapy naked scene and there was also Alice, Grace and Samantha showing off their sexiness in various ways.

Friendly Fire Alice ChanThe main villains were Alice Chan and Derek Kok. Alice performed admirably. She is the “stop-at-nothing” type that I love to watch because of the intrigue factor. Derek, on the other hand, was edging towards exaggeration with his wide hand gestures in court. Despite that, I feel he is the only good lawyer in this series, because he objects or intervenes at appropriate times and is able to point out reasonable flaws in the opposition’s arguments.

As for the other characters: Louis Yuen didn’t really add much to the story. It’s funny how his name is a play on Louis Koo’s name. The trainees didn’t get that much screen time. Their existence was just to make a greater emotional impact for the rape case. In the end, I still couldn’t put name to face, except for Oscar Leung and Samantha Ko’s characters. Half of Oscar’s screen-time was to look angry. Meanwhile, Samantha seemed too cheerful for someone who just suffered through such a traumatic event. Also, when she has a long set of dialogue, it sounds flat, as if she’s reading from a book. Her English pronunciation needs work, like when she said “Department of Jus-tick”.

There were some notable guest stars for individual cases. Mandy Wong was playing a Mainland version of “Kwan Yi So” (from L’Escargot) and she is still as good. I thought Christine Kuo actually had a role in the drama, but it was only a guest appearance. Hey, I’m not complaining though. And whatever happened to Vincent Wong’s fraud case?

Final note: I still don’t understand the meaning of the English title in the context of this series.

Conclusion

Same old story with new faces.

The review is written by Miriamfanz, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com. Visit Miriamfanz’s blog!

20 comments to Review: Friendly Fire (by Miriamfanz)

  1. pandamao says:

    how kind of you to give them 3.5 stars! it would have been about 2 stars in my books. what a boring series.

    You forgot to benz and the other veteran stars that saved the series from getting a 1 star.

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    • boly replied:

      disagree,i found it quite amusing to watch.its not a top serie but it deserve certainly 3.5 stars.

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      • Puff replied:

        Agree with boly, I found this amusing. It’s the holiday period, it’s fun to watch this. Agree that it’s predictable at times, but the casts were engaging.

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    • Tavia fan replied:

      I disagree too. This drama is not a really really good one but it deserved at least 4 stars for all the effort and convincing acting that was put up by all the actors. Like Samantha Ko went nearly nude for that rape scene and she had to retake numerous times. Tavia’s acting is as usual, really good as she builds up her emotions really well. Plus (I’m being a little biased) she’s super pretty omgee<3 Michael and her was sweet, but Michael alone was plain plain annoying. Did he really have to let the other ugly looking girl filrt with him, it totally broke Tavia's heart and it broke mine too. He claims that Tavia is his one and only true love and that he will never run away from her even if she gets the disease. My foot. Tavia was just caught being together (not even dating) with a guy and then he broke up with her and even date another girl in front of her eyes. The breaking up scene was also annoying. While couldn't they just explain everything nicely I mean neither is to blame! But tvb just had to let them break up 🙁 I suppose it's part of a drama. But other than that the series is really funny especially SHARON who is really pretty and Sammy who is really cute and they make the perfect hilarious and cute bickering couple <3 and Sammy and Michael dad acted super well and when he died I cried like a waterfall of tears. It was so touching. It wasn't one of the best dramas that I've ever watched, but one thing is certain; and that is the drama and it's romances as well as relationships will remain in my heart forever <3

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  2. Funn Lim says:

    There was 1 breakout performance and it was Sammy Leung. I never expected him to be so manly and handsome. And a very compelling performance.

    Best scene was when father arrived home, bloody. Worst scene was that scene after he died.

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    • shu replied:

      most unrealistic scene yes,when father arrived home,after overriding by car at full speed and walking down the hill for 20km,lolz.

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      • chocolate replied:

        Not logical, he’s half dead and yet is able to walk home?

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      • miriamfanz replied:

        ^ FF was just following the logic of Bottled Passion & Witness Insecurity.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        It is not unrealistic in this sense. A person so determined to reach home to tell something can do that. What is impossible about Bottled Passion is he got knifed, still lucid and yet he crawled entire of the city instead of going somewhere specific.

        The father’s scene was probably the most heart breaking scene on TV, and I love the expression of everyone, the best acting moment and very realistic.

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    • Tavia fan replied:

      I don’t think it’s unrealistic. On the other hand, the fact that the father actually mustered up his strength to go all the way back home played a vital role in highlighting how determined he was to serve justice and how much he loved his ex lover and wanted to nail Alice down for his ex lover. It made his death more touching, and gave the drama life in the light his death, in the sense that we are more tied in with the drama

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  3. Jujubean says:

    This was only good when Tavia and Michael were a loving couple in the beginning. After the marriage proposal rejection, it went downhill. Nothing made sense afterwards. Why the stubbornness of no getting back together? Why so dramatic for such a comedic beginning? Managing audience expectation is very important. In my humble opinion, tvb failed miserable with this drama.

    And…. After watching Alice’s performance in friendly fire, I understand why she was not given a bigger role here or anywhere. She’s horrible. Her supposed penetrating states are flat. She looks like she’s kookoo more than a calculating businesswoman. Her remorse scene was also out of place. If she felt that remorseful why didn’t she show an ounce of that inside or outside the courtroom. Poor acting plus poor editing.

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    • pandamao replied:

      Agree with Alice’s performance … she mediocre at best. Glad TVB invested in Joey Meng instead.

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      • anoninhk replied:

        i agree with both of you. in the scene where michael was confronting her about benz’s hit and run, she was awful. also, her voice is weak and lacks emotion. she looks great, i’ll give her that, but should steer clear of dramatic roles.

        joey, kristal and elena are all better actresses than her.

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  4. Sds says:

    I stopped watching this after tavia impeached her own witness with patrick tang. Garbage.

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  5. Ribb says:

    very boring series. The one word is so so right – PREDICTABLE.

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  6. Lucia says:

    Although the story of this serie is not outstanding, I love the chemistry between the main casts: Tavia and Michael; Sunny and Sharon; Michael, Sunny, and Benz; Louis, Tavia, and Sharon.

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  7. may scully says:

    Love sammy Leung performance ,he so charming and so sexy ,i m actually huge fan now ….

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  8. Larry 3 says:

    It’s a ok series with a really bad plot at the end. It is nothing more then a beauty pageant show.

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  9. kiki says:

    I think its a bearable series, i love Sharon n Sammy as a couple, preditable but funny and quite ok to watch.

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  10. Tavia fan says:

    THIS SERIES IS AWESOME. Tavia looks super pretty in this hairstyle I think she looks super pretty with long hair omg love her so much <33 and she and michael was so sweet at the start of the series but I got kinda annoyed when they broke up and Michael even allowed the other girl to chase him?!? What kind of guy is that he should have been loyal :(( and Sharon and Sammy was just the perfect couple they were so cute and sweet and funny <3 I ship them now 🙂

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