Under Fire is a Flemish drama series about a close-knit, headstrong crew of firefighters and their daily life and struggles, on top of a sudden change in leadership.
Every day, a dysfunctional group of firefighters at the East Bank Station battle to save lives while dealing with their problems. A sudden change in the team’s leadership leads to greater concerns and problems.
The arrival of a new recruit, Tom, and a new Lieutenant stir up things even more. Everyone has their demons to face. Getting reprimanded by senior authority or criticized in the news is a normal day for East Bank station.
But things take a turn for the worse when there is a gas explosion at a site and the situation deteriorates. East Bank is blamed for not being quick and attaching the equipment incorrectly.
Something does not sit right about this with the former Lieutenant who makes his mission to uncover the truth and exonerate East Bank station to stop it from shutting down.
A story of uncovering corruption, a story of friendship, a story of dealing with their demons, Under Fire covers the intricacies of everyday life.
A lot of light is shed on each character and their backstories in Under Fire. The actors give it their all to convey the complexity of their characters.
Aimé Claeys who plays Tom Lateur is the best out of the lot, who plays a very complex character with an impactful performance. His storyline has the most conflict given his complicated past but it is portrayed authentically.
Orlando and Patrick, played by Louis Talpe and Sam Louwyck are also great in their respective roles. They play their characters in a very likeable and profound way.
The other actors are subpar and do nothing extraordinary to stand out.
Shows based around the fire department are rare and Under Fire does an impeccable job in bringing those scenarios to screen. The stress and the urgency of time that the firefighters go through every day are depicted in a raw and natural manner.
The scenes around the fire or emergency incidents are captured very realistically with good cinematography. The scenes are nail-biting and provide an adrenaline rush about what is going to happen.
There is a lot of time and story devoted to individual characters and their development. Each character has a layered personality that the viewers can understand.
The last two episodes are done very well, handle subtle and sensitive themes and tie up the story nicely.
The show could have done much more given its premise. It does not differentiate itself from any other workplace drama and follows a similar path of showing the repeated work-life balance with personal issues.
The pacing is slow in the beginning and the show is a bit stretched. It could have been 2 episodes less and would have made more impact.
Certain subplots go nowhere and fail to impinge the larger story. It makes the show a bit more confusing and fluctuating.
Even though the show covers themes of friendship and solidarity between the team on paper and in dialogue, it fails to appear on the screen and the relationships between characters are plain and dull.
Under Fire is a good one-time watch. People who like slow-moving realistic settings might like it.
It fails to do anything unique and goes the same route as other related dramas around the same themes of corruption and personal demons which is not new.
Director: Joost Wynant
Date Created: 2022-08-24 12:30
Also Read: Under Fire (2022) ending explained: Does East Bank station close down?