Bu Bu Jing Qing: Eps 4-9 & Why I Stopped Watching
I’m pretty sure that I was somewhere off in la-la land in my initial review, because somehow I made BBJQ sound like a fairly good drama. T_T” Admittedly, I was totally buying into all the BBJX nostalgia and getting all emotional about Ruo Xi/Zhang Xiao’s hardships, etc. etc. Well, now that I suffered all the way up through episode 9, I can safely say that the BBJX nostalgia wore off very quickly, and I am now clear-headed enough to know that it is time to drop the drama.
Note: I know that there are some people who really are enjoying BBJQ. I don’t mean to discourage anyone from watching the drama, so please be warned that my review will be more focused on BBJQ’s flaws and why I decided to drop the drama.
There is an entire slew of flaws in BBJQ but one of the main biggies is that…Liu Shi Shi and Nicky Wu have zero chemistry in this drama. Z-E-R-O! Obviously BBJQ was already depending on milking off the intense chemistry of 4th/Ruo Xi & the LongShi ship, especially since this is their second collaboration, and they’re a real life couple. We were all expecting it already! But somehow these two just appear lifeless on screen whenever they’re together. There are no sparks, no sense of strong emotion, not even a shippy LongShi feeling. I swear, Liu Shi Shi has better chemistry with her supporting cast members than she does with Nicky here. That’s not to say that Nicky and Liu Shi Shi have never ever had great chemistry together……because they have, we all saw it in BBJX. But clearly this chemistry has not really carried over into the sequel. I find it hard to get emotionally invested in their relationship and their personal stories, particularly because of this lack of emotion and chemistry in their scenes. Zhang Xiao and Yin Zheng have an anatonistic relationship–Yin Zheng is basically the aggressor/bully who is trying to force Zhang Xiao out of the company (more on Yin Zheng’s frustrating behavior later..T_T””) while Zhang Xiao is this Mary Sue innocent victim who just wants to keep her job. But it never feels tense or full of conflict in their scenes, it just feels flat and bland. Zhang Xiao is frustrated with Yin Zheng but she never really conveys her feelings of betrayal or hurt or disgust (I don’t think she’s disgusted at Yin Zheng but I think it would be a possible reaction to what he did O_O) on screen. I think Liu Shi Shi did fine in all her tearing up scenes in eps 1-2, but as I got further into the drama, I began to feel like her acting has taken a couple steps backward from where it was before. It feels like she’s trying to look worried, etc, but not really just being the character.
The other thing that makes Zhang Xiao harder to relate to is that her personality has totally changed from Ruo Xi’s original personality. In ep2 (I think?) she gets amnesia and voila, gone are her memories of her time in the Qing Dynasty..as well as her old identity as Ruo Xi. Instead Zhang Xiao becomes a Mary Sue character who believes in the goodness of people no matter what they do to her. She has lost her old sense of skepticism, quick wits, and distrust that Ruo Xi used to have. Although I think Zhang Xiao might’ve really needed to lose her memories (although I wish not through amnesia, so cliched..) so that she could cope with the present, it’s also hard to relate to her now that she’s just a shell of who we used to know in BBJX. It feels like her character is oversimplified from the layered character that Ruo Xi/Zhang Xiao once was..as though the drama just took the easy way out by giving her amnesia so that it wouldn’t have to deal with all of this. It really detracts from what the drama could’ve been, and I think it would’ve been so much better if the script writer had taken on the challenge of making a narrative that would tackle Ruo Xi/Zhang Xiao’s character head-on, without the amnesia. Annnd even if the drama attempted to avoid all of Zhang Xiao’s angst and problems over her past, some difficult questions will probably pop up sometime anyways. For instance, will Zhang Xiao ever get her memory back? If she does, will it change the way she views reality and the people around her? Would she project her feelings for 4th onto Yin Zheng? And…would she even want her memories back? I mean, back in BBJX, Ruo Xi mentioned that she wanted to just forget everyone on her deathbed. So I wonder if Zhang Xiao would view her amnesia as a curse or a blessing?
(And just a thought…..if Zhang Xiao is such a good artist, couldn’t she have drawn the portraits of all the princes from memory?? I think it would’ve been a good form of catharsis for her..)
For Lan Lan, all I can say is that LSS’ acting for her improves ever so slightly and although Lan Lan has a dark story and ulterior motives, she still comes off as a 2D and uninteresting character. I think she suits Yin Zheng quite well and personally I don’t really care if she and him end up together in the end. (Which I know they won’t, since Zhang Xiao and Yin Zheng are ‘fated’!)
Sorry to all Nicky fans, but we have to admit it, Yin Zheng’s character is a jerk. He’s not even the bad boy-in-need-of-redemption kind of jerk, he’s just downright mean-spirited and not the kind of guy I would even want Zhang Xiao to get involved with. Forget him, Zhang Xiao, it doesn’t matter that he’s the reincarnation of the love of your life!!!!!!!! What are the warning signs about Yin Zheng, you might ask? Well, for one, he steals his father’s expensive magnolia hairpin (…….to give to Lan Lan as a present *facepalm* She doesn’t even have long enough hair to wear the pin in the first place!) and then uses Zhang Xiao as his scapegoat to take all the blame for him. Eventually the truth comes out that he’s the instigator of the incident…but he doesn’t give Zhang Xiao an apology, but instead continues trying to drive her out of the company by constantly bullying her. Not only that, he acts as though he’s not the one at fault for stealing the hairpin in the first place. i.e. His father (remember he’s the reincarnation of Kang Xi and is the boss of the corporation) basically lets him off easy by having him bow and apologize to all the employees in front of the company. Yin Zheng does it, but the whole time he acts self-pitiful and postures as though he didn’t deserve this humiliating punishment………even though he stole the hairpin. WTF? Not only did he get off easy (aka no jail time, no prosecution or anything) but he even felt like he shouldn’t be punished? If you think that the still (above) of Yin Zheng and Zhang Xiao is romantic, THINK AGAIN! It’s actually the scene when Yin Zheng has a tantrum over how he has to apologize to all the employees!
One of the explanations/justifications for Yin Zheng’s behavior, of course, is that ‘oh, he had to do it’ or ‘oh, he had a tragic and troubled past’. I think he is supposed to be a morally ambiguous character, meaning that many of his actions may be on the borderline between right or wrong & that it all depends on how we frame the situation. But most cases of his behavior here are not the same as when 4th had difficult political decisions to make and had to make sacrifices for a greater goal. Instead Yin Zheng is flawed in that he believes that the ends justify the means, and then goes off pitifully punching the mirror or stubbornly standing in the rain without an umbrella as though the whole world is wronging him. Overall, I’m not really feeling Yin Zheng’s character, nor do I have enough emotional investment in him to care enough to hope that Zhang Xiao or Lan Lan will change his ways and ‘redeem’ him. T_T
The second lead, Kang Si Han (Sun Yi Zhou) is supposed to be kind of like 8th prince since he is the one that Zhang Xiao is falling for first. So far he is a pretty perfect guy, good-natured, creative and caring towards Zhang Xiao. Perhaps he is modelled off of the virtuous 8th prince? After all, there was a snow scene (shown above) to allude to the snow scene with Ruo Xi and 8th in BBJX…hmm.. But I think Si Han’s darker side will be revealed soon, since the previews show that he will have a major personality shift later on. As for the chemistry between him and Zhang Xiao, I’d say it’s just ok. There’s nothing amazing about them being together, but relative to all of the other Zhang Xiao ships at the moment..he’s the best option. >_>”
Another flaw about BBJQ, in terms of the supporting cast, is that it tries to carry on the reverse harem genre that BBJQ was…but fails. If you don’t know what a reverse harem is, basically think of a harem except that there’s a heroine who has her pick from tons of handsome guy characters. Usually in this kind of drama, several guys fall for the heroine, but there are two main guys that she has to pick from. It’s pretty obvious how BBJX was a reverse harem–many princes fell for Ruo Xi (10th, 8th, 4th, 14th) or got close to her and Ruo Xi ended up choosing between 8th and 4th. Anyways, BBJQ’s ‘harem’ is kind of…disorganized and unintuitive, LOL. I don’t know how else to describe it. See, the thing that’s odd about this set-up is that usually reverse-harem dramas have a special situation that the heroine is in, which then lets her interact with all the guy characters. In Ruo Xi’s case, it was traveling to the past to be with all the princes. In dramas like Hana Kimi, it would be the girl living in a guy’s dorm, etc. But here, the guy characters who are in Zhang Xiao’s life all feel so random. O_O I mean, one of the side guy characters who ends up crushing on Zhang Xiao is just some stranger that she bumped into one day. LITERALLY! Another guy is..her ex-boyfriend. T_T” If this is what Zhang Xiao’s pick was going to be from, I think it would’ve been better if they had just made it the standard love square with Zhang Xiao/Yin Zheng/Lan Lan/Si Han. =_=
WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK! Avoid if you don’t want your BBJX memories tainted! *overly dramatic* Really though, I don’t feel like my love for BBJX has been contaminated or anything like that. Although BBJQ doesn’t do its predecessor justice, I don’t feel all too bothered by it…because I now view the drama more like a spin-off and not a legitimate continuation of Ruo Xi’s story in the modern day. After all, there is no sequel by Tong Hua, so everything that’s happening in this drama is based on what the scriptwriter decided on. (Aka lots of attempts at fan service and WTF plot twists, etc.) It was fun at first imagining what could’ve been..but disappointing to see just how short the drama fell of its potential.
😛 Re-purify your BBJX memories with….