Surprise! You didn’t think I was going to come back ever again did you?
I haven’t been writing recaps or summaries, but I have been watching dramas the entire time. I went through a period of time when I felt nothing was worth watching in the K drama scene (so I started recapped Baker King), but I ended up looking into dramas from other countries. I did try to write a post about that, but I never got around to finishing it. Maybe I’ll tell you that story some other time. But…but…let’s get to the point: Bu Bu Jing Xin is a great show, and I highly recommend it!
Let’s get down to the logistics:
Where to watch it: it’s being subbed in English on viki.com, so it’ll find its way to you. If you understand Mandarin, you can find the episodes on youtube.
Number of Episodes: 35 (about 50 min per episode)
What it is about: It’s about this girl from year 2011, who suddenly finds herself transported back to the past after an accident. She knows she’s in the right place but in the wrong time, and can’t figure out how to get back. Fortunately, she’s in the body of a general’s daughter, also sister-in-law of the Eighth Prince, so she doesn’t have to worry about how to survive. Living in the house of the Eighth Prince, she naturally gets to meet and befriend the other princes, who pretty much all fall in love with her in some way. In short: a time traveling reverse harem.
What it is also about: The politics of surviving as a prince in the famous (not that I even knew about it) fight for the throne.
What it is also about: A feminist perspective on the old days where a man can have many wives.
Well, it’s an emotional reaction. You know you’re in deep when you spend your free time reading about the show on forums (I recommend spcnet.tv), about the actual history on wikipedia (probably a poor source for chinese history), and wondering when you’ll find time to actually watch the show (answer: stay up till 3am). It’s rare that I feel this way. But what is even more important is that I know this show is going to stay in my mind forever.
Do you have the vague impression that you’ve seen a lot of shows (dramas, movies) but you can’t really remember them except for a few? This is one of those few for me. And not only that, I’m developing a huge interest in the actual history — I’m not a history person.
There have been few shows that have propelled me to look beyond the screen and into real life. One of them is Shiri, which suddenly made me realize that North Korea exists beyond the words “North Korea” that you see in newspapers. I can’t think of a second example besides Bu Bu Jing Xin right now.
A show has succeeded when it goes from being entertainment to education. It has succeeded when you see people translating chinese history pages for others in forums. I learned today that the actual 14th Prince was mostly a general in name, and flooded a town trying to create an ice rink for a married Mongolian woman. I also learned that Yongzheng was strangely buried alone. I just checked wikipedia and someone has added a lot of information on the page about the Emperor Kangxi.
I think it’s awesome that the writer of the novel, Tong Hua, was able to take a real piece of history and imagine the gaps in between. Why was the Crown Prince removed? How did the 4th prince earn the throne? What were they like in person, if you knew them personally and not as a historical character? They try to do this in history class, but it never achieves quite the effect of seeing people act in front of your eyes.
Of course it helps a lot if you get good looking actors to play the roles. The last I looked at one of the old paintings, none of the princes looked that good. And that last scene at the museum has completely changed the way I think of visiting a history museum.
Big thanks to Mrs Koala for introducing BBJX to me and other fans.