“Bu Bu Jing Qing” Overwhelms Viewers by Airing Three Alternate Endings
After getting off to a rocky and confusing start, Bu Bu Jing Qing <步步驚情> finished its 16-day broadcast on Zhejiang Satellite TV on May 7. To the surprise of many viewers, the finale contained all three alternate endings, rather than just the one ending voted on by fans.
Bu Bu Jing Qing began airing on April 22, drawing in viewers who were eager to see how it continued the story of Bu Bu Jing Xin <步步驚心>. The prequel had aired three years ago and ignited the popularity of leads Cecilia Liu (劉詩詩) and Nicky Wu (吳奇隆), who later became a real-life couple.
Though Bu Bu Jing Qing drew a lot of criticism, particularly due to its confusing and illogical plotline, fans still hungered for a happy ending for Zhang Xiao (Cecilia) and Yin Zheng (Nicky). The drama retained an average viewership rating of 1.1, even soaring up to 1.6 in certain episodes.
Multiple Endings Aired
Before the finale aired, Zhejiang TV allowed viewers to choose their favorite ending among three options. Throughout the broadcast of Bu Bu Jing Qing, the TV channel had employed a specialized department to monitor and analyze netizens’ real-time reactions to the drama. However, Zhejiang TV wanted viewers to have their say in how the drama would end.
However, viewers were shocked to discover that the finale actually contained all three possible endings, rather than merely the most popular one chosen by fans. In the first ending, Zhang Xiao witnesses Kang Sihan (Sun Yizhou 孫藝洲) get hit by a car and lose the use of his legs. Feeling guilty that the accident was caused by her blaming Sihan, Zhang Xiao decides to marry him instead of Yin Zheng.
That ending turns out to be a dream, and Bu Bu Jing Qing moves on to the second ending, which shows how Yin Zheng became blind after being attacked by one of Sihan’s loyal friends. He chooses to leave Zhang Xiao, but she finds him and decides to take care of him for the rest of her life.
After that ending is proven to be untrue, the true ending of Bu Bu Jing Qing is revealed. Zhang Xiao and Yin Zheng reunite at the Qing Dynasty museum exhibit where they first met. Amid applause from their family and friends, they embrace and kiss in front of the painting that depicts their life from 300 years ago.
Reaction to Finale
After watching the surprising finale, some viewers expressed frustration at the multiple endings, claiming that they had been tricked. However, others praised Bu Bu Jing Qing for keeping the audience guessing and for finally giving Maertai Ruoxi and Fourth Prince a happy ending.
Although Zhejiang TV had previously announced that the final ending would be determined by fans, an unnamed employee revealed that the final episode was aired exactly as it had been delivered by Chinese Entertainment Shanghai, the drama’s production company, and that Zhejiang TV had not deleted or altered any of it.
Bu Bu Jing Qing was originally meant to satisfy the different expectations of different viewers, according to the drama’s executive director, Li Guoli (李國立). “When we were creating the screenplay, we had already considered the option of showing several endings,” he said. “We designed various different possibilities based on each character’s development.”
Though the multiple endings may have hinted at the possibility of a sequel, Li Guoli asserted that he had not considered filming a third installment.
This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.