Just finished watching this series and figured I would post some comments about it. To be honest, I really didn't pay a whole lot of attention to some parts of the series, since I pretty much got bored, so technically, I can't really say that I "watched" the entire series (meaning I probably won't even remember much of it after this and most likely won't bother watching it again any time soon). Therefore, I am only going to comment on a few points that sort of 'stuck out' for me.
First, I must say that the original installment of "Burning Flame" (the one from 1999 with Wong Hei, Esther Kwan, Louis Koo, etc.) was way better and even the second installment was not bad (primarily due to the cast, which was quite impressive at that time). I actually wasn't even planning on watching the 3rd installment of this series because 1) I didn't even finish watching the 2nd installment and 2) I don't like the cast at all (the only one I'm able to tolerate from the cast is Wong Hei, but I hated his character in this series -- more on this later). So why did I watch it? For the simple reason that it was airing on TV and since I hadn't seen it yet, figured I would give it a try (I was multi-tasking at the same time, of course, which meant that I wasn't "seriously" watching the series).
The plot / storyline
Ok, so let's look at the plot / storyline of this series -- wait, was there actually a storyline? Well, if there was, it wasn't very appealing, since I barely remember any of it. The only things I remember from this series were the "grand" fire scenes and rescue attempts -- other than that, there really wasn't anything worth remembering....the rest of the series was pretty boring. Also, whoever wrote the script for this series must not be entirely in touch with reality because some of the scenes were REALLY far-fetched -- to the point where at certain parts, I was saying to myself: "And they expect us (the audience) to believe this???? Do they (TVB) think we are stupid?"
Two examples of this that really stuck out:
1) The scene where Bosco and Aimee are doing a rescue mission and are dangling from a rope atop a tall building....they end up falling (I don't know exactly how many stories but it seemed like alot) from the building and landing UNSCATHED on the huge bouncy tarp that the firemen put out 'just in time' right beneath them. Sound a bit far-fetched already? Well, wait til you hear the next part....at this point in the series, Aimee's character is 2 months pregnant -- and after 'the fall', everything was 'perfectly fine': no scratches, no bruises, and absolutely no harm was done to the fetus. In fact, she was pretty much able to get up from the tarp and 'walk away'.
Maybe it's just me, but this scene was really unbelievable -- I mean, any doctor (and probably any woman who has any knowledge of how pregnancies work) can tell you that the first 3 months when a woman is pregnant is the most delicate and dangerous because the fetus is not stable yet and the risk of miscarriage is extremely high. This is why most women (celebrities, for example) don't like to announce their pregnancies until after the 3rd month -- this is especially true with Chinese women, since our culture is traditionally very superstitious about this kind of stuff.
So then how is it that Aimee's character is able to fall from a 15 story (at least) burning building during the most delicate time of her pregnancy (when the risk of losing the baby is sky high and even a task as 'normal' as walking too long, stretching, or just being under too much stress could cause a miscarriage) and come away without as much of a scratch and still be VERY MUCH PREGNANT?!?!?!? I mean, that's unbelievable to the point of being outrageous!! I don't know about anyone else, but when I was watching that scene, I felt like they (TVB, the scriptwriters, the producer, etc.) were insulting my intelligence!
2) The other scene was the one where Kevin and Myolie get into a major traffic accident -- the car is flipped on its side and is in danger of blowing up. Myolie isn't able to get out of the car because her foot is stuck and Kevin is trying hard to pull her out. The fire trucks arrive, but before they are even able to get their equipment off their trucks, Kevin pulls Myolie out of the wreckage and both are shown running for cover just as the car blows up in a ball of flames (sound familiar? yep, typical TVB -- they use this 'action sequence' in almost every series, it seems). The next scene is a short 'hospital' scene where it shows that both Myolie and Kevin only suffered a minor injury from the accident (Myolie had a sprained foot and Kevin had a bruise on his head) -- then the next scene jumps to them all perfectly recovered, holding hands and walking in a shopping mall.
Ok, I'm not saying that there should be a major injury after every accident and I agree that miracles do happen sometimes -- but it's EXTREMELY rare....especially with an accident of that magnitude. And the 'choppiness' of the subsequent scenes made it seem even more unrealistic because it's as though the accident scene happened just to showcase the 'special effects' and then it was pretty much glossed over after that. Though I didn't feel as strongly about this scene insulting my intelligence as the other one did, I still felt it was pretty unrealistic.
As I stated earlier, I would not have chosen to watch this series on my own accord because I don't like the cast. Those who are familiar with my TVB viewing habits know that I can't stand the younger / later generation of TVB artists because their acting skills are severely lacking yet TVB over-promotes them and pushes them constantly in front of our faces. I won't get into all the 'political' stuff here (saving it for another TVB rant later on down the road) -- the one thing to note is that Kevin and Myolie are on my 'least favorite' TVB aritists list and I've never liked Bosco or Aimee. Out of the main cast, the only artist I am able to tolerate is Wong Hei because his acting has always been quite good and consistent. So obviously, this series was pretty much already doomed for me from the beginning, since the only thing that made the series possibly 'worth watching' would have been Wong Hei...
BUT....even that last glimmer of 'possibly worth watching' was ruined for me because Wong Hei's character in this series totally SUCKED!!! His character had a bad temper, was very irrational, was always acting brashly without thinking, was unreasonably stubborn, etc etc. I especially got annoyed over how 'obsessed' his character was with Myolie's character, becoming a 'tortured soul' when she broke up with him and even to the point of committing suicide for her....I mean, come on -- GET OVER IT!!!!
With how poorly his character was written, I was wondering why TVB bothered putting him in this series at all -- he didn't have a whole lot of screen time compared to Kevin and Bosco for one, and his character was in a coma for a huge chunk of the series anyway. As is typical of the way their politics work, I'm guessing that TVB probably put Wong Hei in this series purely because of his tenure and association with the "Burning Flames" franchise -- he pretty much started the whole 'fireman craze' back in the 90s and became hugely popular after the first installment -- to the point where over the years, when the audiences think of "Burning Flame", they automatically think of Wong Hei. So for the series to not include him, it probably would have been weird -- but still....if they are going to include him, give him a decent character to play at least!
In terms of Kevin -- well, his acting was the same as usual -- bland and wooden....plus I didn't care for his character at all -- it's like he's pretty much there just to take up screen time. Even Bosco's performance and character were better than Kevin's!! At least Bosco's character was interesting and provided some 'comic relief' in an otherwise depressing series (I actually laughed at his funny reactions to things in some of the scenes) – but overall, I’m still not too keen on watching Bosco’s series though.
And I’m not even going to comment on Myolie – all I’m going to say is that I absolutely HATED her character in this series!! I’ve never been fond of her acting in the first place (yes, there IS a reason why I don’t like to watch her series!!!).
It’s sad, but the only ‘character’ I actually enjoyed watching in this entire series was one that’s not even listed in the cast list during the closing credits – Bosco’s shar-pei dog Kapun (also his dog in real life). Perhaps because I have an affinity for Shar-pei dogs (I think they’re adorably cute!), so I was really drawn to this one (come on, how could you not love that cute little pouting face??). I was sort of disappointed that Kapun was only in the first half of the series though (ok, which darn writer was it who wrote him out of the series??) – since the ‘character’ I enjoyed the most was gone, the series pretty much went downhill for me after that.