On Bu Bu Jing Xin, 5 years later

Chinese DramasDrama Reviews

It has been 4 to 5 years since I watched and wrote about Bu Bu Jing Xin in 2011-2012.  Now that all the BBJX feels are being retold in the k-drama spin-off Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, it seems like it’s the perfect time for me to reflect on the drama that means so much to me.

Is BBJX a perfect drama?  No!  Yet, BBJX still holds a special place in my heart, even after all these years have passed.  You see, it was the very first drama that I fully recapped on my blog.  Needless to say, I discovered that recapping is a lot of hard work!  I had to rewatch so many scenes over and over to write my recaps.  And I screencapped the heck out of the drama!  But, it was worth it.  I was totally in love with the show, so much so that I was willing to go through the long process of writing about it.  Looking back on my old recaps, I am slightly embarrassed by how overly dramatic I was.  It’s kind of like reading my old diary.  LOL.

I think of BBJX as a kind of marker in my life.  If I look back over these 5 years since I saw BBJX, I can see so many changes that have happened in my life.  In terms of my blog, I wrote about several more dramas and I expanded my blog a lot!  I did a lot of things that I never thought I would, and I also encountered changes and challenges that I never imagined would happen.

All the while, Bu Bu Jing Xin has been a journey:

Listening nostalgically to the soundtrack.  Even the instrumental tracks.

Belting out “Three Inches of Heaven”.

Come on, you know you want to listen to it again!

Rewatching the Ruo Xi’s death scene over and over.  (Erm, does that sound morbid?)

bbjx7

Looking at the stills and behind the scenes pictures.

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^This remains a priceless picture to this very day!

Rewatching 14th prince scenes over and over.  (14th prince forever!)

Finding out about the cast members’ subsequent dramas.

Watching fan-made music videos.

Finding out that Liu Shi Shi & Nicky Wu are dating!  *mind blown*

nwlss

Watching the spin-off Bu Bu Jing Qing…and being majorly disappointed.

lssnw1

…But still listening to the Bu Bu Jing Qing OST.

Finding out that LongShi got officially married! *mind blown x2*

lssnw2

Still convinced that Yuan Hong was perfectly cast for 13th prince. (13th forever!)

BBJX1

Watching the Xin Bu Bu Jing Xin movie spin-off.  Not even Tony Yang & Ivy Chen could save the movie.

bbjxm1

Seeing Nicky & Liu Shi Shi’s wedding photos!  Seeing videos of their wedding!  Seeing the BBJX cast reunite!  *mind blown x infinity*

lss14r

Still rewatching 14th prince scenes.

Yuan Hong got married!

yh

Up comes Scarlet Heart: Ryeo.

What…….

Rewatching BBJX scenes, remembering all the angst, and wondering how in the world I survived it.

What next?

(c) My Drama Tea

heisui

I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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  • I am also a fan of Bu Bu Jing Xin and have watched it many times. It was actually the first Chinese drama that I read about (in an article in the Wall Street Journal, of all places!) and sought out.

    I particularly like the last four, very sad episodes so I understand your re-watching! Although I didn’t originally like 14th Prince – I felt he was a bit stuffy, just a follower of 8th Prince – now he is my favorite Prince. Because he came to love her after so long and from such a distance, he understood that Ruoxi was different and didn’t try to make change her mind or actions. Originally, I thought 13th would have been the best choice but now, I think his playboy ways would have deadened any romance between the two.

    I’m sure we could have a nice long chat about BBJX – isn’t it funny that after such a long while and across such long distances, it’s still a show that interests people?

    As for the Korean version, I like it as well but the shorter number of episodes and the pretty harsh period of history has brutally compressed an interesting story, I hope there’s a directors cut – I’d buy that DVD set!

  • My wife and I often look at the DVD set we bought of Bu Bu Jing. We adored Rouxi and 4th Prince. The ending brought hope and tears to our eyes. Great re-cap.

  • Hi Heisui,

    I haven’t watched Bu Bu Jing Xin – I think it came out before I started watching Chinese dramas. Since you like it so much, I will look for it. I am not sure I will like it if it is really angsty, but on the other hand, I love Zhen Huan, and it has plenty of angst. How would you compare the two dramas? Which do you like more? You’ve written how much you like Zhen Huan; is Bu Bu Jing Xin of the same caliber?

    • That is a hard question! The two dramas are very different from each other. I think overall, LZH had a higher quality. BBJX had more of an endearing effect. Both were so angsty that I doubt I’d rewatch them all over again.

      Outfits / Setting: LZH’s outfits/headpieces are more creative, intricate and luxurious-looking than BBJX. I think LZH also has a better set. Most everything looks authentic. Everything in BBJX is aesthetically pleasing, but doesn’t have the same authentic feel as LZH. Both dramas have some bad CGI/green screen scenes.

      OST: Both have great OSTs, but BBJX’s theme songs to appeal to me more. Maybe because I can sing along with them more easily.

      Story: BBJX is about one heroine with many princes. At first it has more of a “shoujo” feel to it because the heroine becomes friends with all the princes (which leads to romance). Eventually the heroine gets caught up with the princes’ fight for the throne, which is when the angst starts. There is more romance/love triangles in BBJX. In LZH it’s more about surviving the harem and getting vengeance, less about romance.

      Dialogue: LZH dialogue is more complex.

      Casting/Acting: LZH had the more talented cast overall. Sun Li was amazing as the lead actress. When I first watched BBJX I thought the lead actress was amazing, but looking back, she didn’t have very strong acting skills. The reason why I think the cast still worked for BBJX is that they had good synergy.

      Angst: Both had tons of angst.

  • Have you been brave enough to watch SHR? I read BBJX first and half heartedly watched a few episodes back in 2012, but got interested in SHR. Halfway through my live watch, I couldn’t stand it anymore and binge watched BBJX. What a beautiful rendition. I will say that SHR hit me in the gut, while BBJX was much more of an intellectual joy. I hope you watch SHR and give us your feelz..

    • Hi, I have watched eps 1-2 and eps 19-20 of Scarlet Heart: Ryeo. I wanted to check out how it was in the beginning..and then decided to wait ’til it finished so I could see the ending. Lol, I don’t know if I will watch the middle episodes yet.

  • And, just like that you make all the feels return. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since I just slugged through Scarlet Heart Ryeo, desperately trying not to compare. In that Kdrama’s defense though, I was also watching LZH at the same time AND comparing it to BBJX so, it never had a chance.

    Listening to the OSTs….. heartbreak all over again. Gooey warm, heartbreak, if that’s even a thing. I’m still giving you credit for introducing me to these glorious dramas. So now, I’ll just wind me way off the internet and regret that I can’t find anything as good to watch ever again… sighsss. lol

    • Ooooo I’m curious about your thoughts on LZH. Yesss the OST revives so many memories and feelings within me!
      While watching a few episodes of Ryeo I also tried not to compare. But it’s inevitable. >_<

      • LZH was the best!! I was keeping up with your recaps for a while but then I got into marathon mode and couldn’t stop. I think I’ll go back post by post and meet you at the end. I’m in this post-drama haze right now so much that I wish I had savored it longer.

  • Thanks so much for posting this look back and all of your old recaps! I’m a longtime lurker on your old BBJX posts, so I thought I’d finally let you know how much I appreciate them.

    I think part of what makes BBJX so great is that it tends to avoid most of the worst tropes of the current crop of romantic, historic dramas. 1. There are no designated villains. All the characters have reasonable and complex motivations (even 9th, who’s easily the least sympathetic prince). 2. On the other hand, there are no perfectly good characters either. 4th, especially, is quite an anti-hero despite being the main love interest. 3. Characters fall in love, but it doesn’t become some sort of all-consuming obsession that makes them abandon every ounce of common sense. I love the fact that 8th is unwilling to abandon his ambitions (and the trust that his followers have placed in him) for Ruoxi. 4. I also love the fact that there’s no jealous, petty female character hellbent on destroying the heroine. Even though 10th’s wife (I forget her name) initially shows some of this tendency, it makes sense, in context, because she’s young and spoiled and eventually grows out of it.

    One of the only bad things about this drama is the fact that it set off a trend for making Yongzheng (one of my favorite historical figures) the emperor in so many random Qing dynasty dramas. 🙂 I enjoyed LZH, but it was very difficult to get into because the emperor character was so different from the picture of Yongzheng in my head. I fell in love with Yongzheng after watching the drama Yongzheng Dynasty (YD) as a little kid. Have you seen it? If not, I highly recommend it! There’s no romance, only lots and lots of politics. The actors are much older and not as good looking as the ones in BBJX, but I suspect that whoever cast BBJX was influenced by YD, since many of the minor princes in BBJX look like younger, more attractive versions of their actors in YD.

    • Thanks for commenting. It’s always good to hear from a lurker for the first time. I definitely agree with #4. It’s annoying having so many dramas (period & modern alike) that have a female villain whose only purpose is to break up the OTP or ruin the heroine’s life. I haven’t seen that drama, but it sounds good. I agree that there are too many Qing Dynasty dramas focusing on Yongzheng. Way too many Yongzhengs to keep track of. 😛

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What’s New?

-Quartet ep4: Seems like the drama is focusing on one character's story in each episode. Now that we've gotten to see each main character's background story, I wonder what direction the drama will take. Each episode leaves me still impressed with each lead actor...seriously. Matsuda Ryuhei is 100% Beppu here. I even forget that Beppu is acted by Matsuda Ryuhei when watching his character!

-Kamenashi Kazuya, Kimura Fumino, and Yamashita Tomohisa will be starring in an upcoming spring jdrama called Boku, Unmei no Hito desu. Kamenashi and Yamashita are reuniting again, after their popular roles in the high school drama Nobuta wo Produce.

-EVERYONE. I highly recommend watching the Taiwanese romance movie Our Times, starring Vivian Sung, Dino Lee, and Darren Wang. It is TOOOOO GOOD. It's your usual high school-first-love-story but it does it SO WELL. GOOO WATCH IT.

-On an indefinite hiatus.

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