Bu Bu Jing Qing <步步驚情>, the long awaited modern sequel to the popular time-traveling drama Bu Bu Jing Xin <步步驚心>, finally began airing on April 22. However, the first few episodes triggered much confusion among fans, who were perplexed as to how the sequel related to the love story between Maertai Ruoxi and Emperor Yongzheng.
In the prequel, Bu Bu Jing Xin, a white-collar worker named Zhang Xiao (Cecilia Liu 劉詩詩) accidentally travels back in time to the Qing Dynasty, where she becomes Maertai Ruoxi and finds herself involved in the political intrigue of the palace. She falls in love with Fourth Prince (Nicky Wu 吳奇隆), who becomes Emperor Yongzheng, but fate forces them apart. Ruoxi later passes away, causing Zhang Xiao to be revived in the modern world. Wondering if her experiences were all a dream, Zhang Xiao visits a Qing Dynasty museum exhibit and discovers that she really did exist during that time.
In a surprising twist, the Zhang Xiao in Bu Bu Jing Qing has no memories whatsoever of having lived during the Qing Dynasty. Instead, the first episode shows her avidly watching Bu Bu Jing Xin on her television. Intrigued by the love between Ruoxi and Yongzheng, Zhang Xiao finds an interest in Qing Dynasty history and takes to visiting a museum about the Qing Dynasty palace. There, she meets Yin Zheng (Nicky Wu), a man who bears a strong resemblance to Yongzheng. The resemblance brings tears to Zhang Xiao’s eyes.
Though a similar version of the museum scene was shown in Bu Bu Jing Xin as well, netizens expressed their confusion about how the scene in Bu Bu Jing Qing is meant to be interpreted. Since Zhang Xiao has no recollection of her Qing Dynasty past, it makes no sense for her to cry upon seeing Yin Zheng at the museum. That she later follows him to his company and applies for a job there makes her seem more like a crazy stalker than a woman searching for her lost love.
Was “Bu Bu Jing Qing” Censored?
Another perplexing situation was the removal of a classic line from Yongzheng to Ruoxi: “If you can’t come to my world, then I will go to your world and find you.” This sentence is even featured as the tagline on Bu Bu Jing Qing’s promotional posters, and was meant to be uttered by Yongzheng prior to his death.
However, the line does not appear in the TV broadcast of Bu Bu Jing Qing, though it is heard in a sneak preview released on Tencent Entertainment prior to the official air date. In the sneak preview, Zhang Xiao also remembers having traveled back in time to the Qing Dynasty. Because of the difference between the preview and the official broadcast, netizens speculated that Bu Bu Jing Qing had been censored before its broadcast on Zhejiang Satellite TV.
In response, a Zhejiang TV employee maintained that Bu Bu Jing Qing had not undergone any censoring: “In order to ensure the requirements of fans and viewers and the show’s authenticity, not one cut was made after we received the release from the producer.”
The drama’s production company, Chinese Entertainment Shanghai, was not willing to comment on the matter. Nevertheless, it was previously reported that the number of episodes had been reduced from 39 to 35.
Some netizens surmised that Bu Bu Jing Qing’s storyline had been changed to accommodate the ban against time-traveling dramas, which SARFT put into effect in 2011.
Multiple Endings Filmed for “Bu Bu Jing Qing”?
At a recent press conference, Nicky Wu revealed that the cast had filmed multiple endings for Bu Bu Jing Qing, and that he himself did not know whether Zhang Xiao and Yin Zheng would end up together.
Producer Karen Tsai (蔡藝儂) confirmed that Bu Bu Jing Qing indeed has several possible endings. “We did this because we didn’t know how to bring it to an end,” she explained. “It’s like Fourth Prince says in Bu Bu Jing Xin: ‘The beginning of this story is up to you, but the ending is not.’”
Bu Bu Jing Xin filmed more than one ending as well, according to Tsai. The alternate ending reveals that the driver who crashed into Zhang Xiao at the beginning of the drama and sent her spirit back to the Qing Dynasty was in fact Nicky Wu’s modern-day character. However, this ending was scrapped because the producers feared that portraying a problematic driver, which is a rampant societal issue, would reflect badly on Nicky’s image.
“Bu Bu Jing Qing” Trailer
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This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.