Penultimate Episode of K-Bu Bu Jing Xin Hits 9% Ratings and More Frustrating Narrative Angst

I’m at wits end when it comes to K-Bu Bu Jing Xin, this drama has definitely taken me on a roller coaster of ride and mostly in unsatisfying ways. It kept me hooked but more like a bender for bad for my health junk food. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart: Ryeo wraps up this week with Tuesday’s final episode 20, but first we need to wade through Monday’s penultimate episode 19 that got enough ratings at 9% to push the SBS drama back on top over The Man Living in Our House with 7.4% and 7.1% for Woman with a Suitcase.

Episode 19 had noble sacrifice suicide, a leading lady who seems to care more about everyone else than her man, some long overdue but unappreciated emo jealousy, and one giant breath of relief that a romance that should be stirring was put on hold. K-BBJX did more than it got credit for, namely a fantastic unforgettable performance by Lee Jun Ki and a deft touch in adapting the Qing dynasty story to Goryeo, but good lord is the very end crescendo fail hitting me like a sack of floppy fish bricks. Sobs…..

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Penultimate Episode of K-Bu Bu Jing Xin Hits 9% Ratings and More Frustrating Narrative Angst — 50 Comments

  1. My heart breaks for Wang So. And this drama could never possibly reached this level of success (excluding in SK) without LEE JUN KI. He is the heart and soul of K-BBJX.
    Last night episode will forever cemented my eternal hate towards Haesoo. Congrats writer-nim for creating a dumb-wit damsel that will be inducted in the Hall of Shame of K-drama heroines.
    All I want to see now is for her to die for good. IF they are going to give me a reincarnation of Wang So to give a happy ending to our OTP, I am going to throw my TV out of the window.
    Haesoo should have died in episode 1. She has been nothing but bringing misery to everyone from Day 1 and been doing so much damages because of her foolishness. Her stupidity is the ultimate crime punishable by death and I want nothing more but justice to Wang So and Gwangjong.
    And what’s with the acting? Is she supposed to look all so happy instead of “trying to be happy” when she is leaving the palace? And dear God, please open your eyes instead of that painful lifting of heavy eyelids just to emote sadness. No hate but an earnest criticism.

    • Agree with everything you said Del. She is the most frustrating character in the show and I feel cheated for having related to her from the beginning. Sigh!

    • I think her lack of experience has made it hard for her to know how to act this role towards the end. She is struck on how to draw Hae Soo and make her shine. The writing is a problem bit the actress is too inexperience to carry this character…

    • omg ikr i was just screaming into the screen like pleaseeee so ily don’t cry, hae soos thoughts are just so confusing and not relatable like

  2. The ending of C-BBJX was so touching…Rouxi’s goodbye hug to 8th prince knowing she will never see him again….and then we have K-BBJX with Hae soo just wide eyed staring at 8th like she didn’t care……this last episode of K-BBJX is sich a let down from the heroine side. Lee Jun Ki as always delivered on his intense acting. The way K-Rouxi was written is so underwhelming compared to c-Rouxi. Not sure if it is the editing or that they couldn’t translate some of the heart wrenching scenes as touching in the K-drama version or the director or the acting…other than LJK…this version really has nothing going for it sadly…there was no child for 13th with the princess that Rouxi adored in the c version…hate to compare but but but I just can’t think of how well C-BBJX was executed on the T.V. screen this version..is such a let down.

  3. What a Rollercoaster I have not watched episodes 17,18 or 19 and no planning to watch ep. 20th not after watching the previews which looks like drama will end just like the Chinese version, to much melodrama for my taste no one will have some kind of happy ending. I do not like melo dramas but I think if we have seen a more organic relationship between So and Soo and no so much time skip, we the viewers would had been more invested in the story. Beside that what is the point to show that Hae Soo is a girl from the future, when this has really no effect to the plot, nor does she behave as someone from the 20th century. The only reason I watch until a week ago is do to LJG his portray of the 4th prince has been amazing, what a great actor, wish he can find a better script next time, and people will like his project not only internationally but domestically.

    • By this time in the original, I was a blubbering mess.

      I barely paid enough attention to this one to know what was going on.

      • almost everyone was a blubbering mess, but to an extent, willfully so for C-BBJX…K-BBJX is just …in itself, a blubbering mess. so sad, because it had so much potential.

      • I think with a stronger female lead we would have had something to love. IU acts like a fish: open mouth, spit out lines, repeat.

      • IU can be good but she is not a strong enough actress to elevate such terrible writing and worse direction.

        She was very good in Producers though, she can obviously deliver if the writing gives her something to work with. Better luck next time.

  4. Well, with one episode to go I think it’s safe to say this show has snatched the crown of Worst Sageuk of All Time from METS. Amazing achievement.

  5. This isn’t my “I told you so” moment. I knew IU couldn’t pull it off. She has no depth, she looked dumb and confused most of the time.

    Can you see her in the museum scene? In that moment where you feel her deep need and pain and relief at seeing him again in modern day.

    The story got confused. It’s like “but the original has this so we must too” but it would make no narrative sense.

    I also liked that there were no true evils in the original, this one has me wanting claw YHs eyes out.

    • Her O.O face pisses me off before I thought people were exaggerating but after watching it she really uses that expression a lot.

  6. What a letdown this k version has become. It did a really bad job convincing us of their epic love story. The main draw of the chinese version was their love, set again political fights of the princes. But I don’t feel anything here. Is it the writing, editing, bad acting of IU? Could more episodes had helped in flashing out the characters, and their love? Probably all of the above.

    In the chinese version, we witnessed the sweet love between Ruoxi and 8th prince, the progress and downfall of the love between Ruoixi-4th prince, 4th prince’s inevitable descent into cruelty. Yet thought it all, we were able to emphathize why it came down to this and why Ruoxi had to leave him. But I get nothing here. I only feel the pain of Wang So.

    LJK has a fantastic role here, I blame the production team and wrong casting of IU.

    • In the beginning IU was fine. She was innocent, and a child.

      In the end, she had lived through love, betrayal, death, and the need for survival. That means the acting needed minor accents of depth in every action, (as is the meaning behind the title).IU missed the memo and kept to doe eyed confusion.

      The editing was horrible and lack of a coherent plot didn’t help much either. But I do think if we had a better female lead, they could have at least held the love story together.

      • IU certainly did not offset many of the shortcomings this show had. I suspect LJK did. Her growth trajectory or downfall in palace life was not well played out, given many of her scenes in the past few episodes seem relatively shorter.

        To showcase BBJX in all its depth — well let me argue for at least half of it — with fewer episodes against a different backdrop meant that what script (and dialogue) could not do direction and editing had to make up for, in spades. I’ve seen really masterful characters (*ahem* editing/direction) in movies that had no more than 3 scenes for the entire movie! Yet their presence and character were felt and left an impression. Too bad. I don’t think IU is a bad actress; she’s actually scary good at times, but I suspect she didn’t think through how to characterize her downfall. It’s as if she’s the same person throughout, with bad stuff happening to her but not really to the core/depth of her. It’s hard to root for/invest in someone when you cannot feel/understand their despair.

      • IU was really good in episode 18, I could feel Hae Soo’s heartbreak at having to turn down Wang So’s marriage proposal for his Thrones sake and her anger at him for killing Chae Ryung (even if I think it was stupid and don’t understand why the hell she wants to insist that lying bitch was sincere to the end). But this episode, I neither get the character and can’t quite get the actress. Never has a heroine been written to be so unsympathetic.

      • I defended IU before and I think she was great in episode 18 (the proposal scene especially) but she really can’t bring out any sympathy for HS here.

    • LJK is the one holding down 99% of the fort of K-BBJX. 0.75% is Kang Ha Neul and the meager 0.05% is the writer for at least managed to deviate the plot from the original.

      First, I was duped to believe the so-called EPIC love story between 4th and Haesoo. Yet, the real epic love story here is actually between Wook and Haesoo. The romance between the main OTP was partially underdeveloped and partially due to IU having little chemistry with LJK despite the lovey-dovey scenes. All those kisses are just to shove to my face that they are indeed a couple in love. Period.

      But with KHN, all the love flow seems natural despite the lack of skinship. So, I say she does have really strong chemistry with KHN. Even at the end of episode 19, you can still feel the two oozes the long gone romance between them.

      And IU. Well, I was branded as being hateful for commenting on her as the main lead but I still stick to my stance that she is not cut out for the main lead just yet. She was not so bad in the beginning despite my frustration with her “deer caught in the headlight” look because the tone was pretty light and cheerful in the beginning and here, came the emotional part, I got so annoyed with her ways of emoting sadness, fatigue and frustrations, what’s with that painful way of lifting her heavy eyelids and I am saying this by no mean to mock her at all.

      LJK was the one having to do the most works. We could feel all the love from him and due to the shortcoming of IU as his partner, in the end, the romance appeared to be one sided. Sure, there’s the writing fault but the underwhelming acting worsen the interpretation.

      While I love LJK in saeguk especially in Goryeo saeguk (he is breathtakingly beautiful in SH) and he finally proven that he could do romance, I really hope he will take on something modern and light for his next project. He is too good in here and I am sad all his effort gone to waste with this lackluster below par adaptation.

      • I agree. I think IU did very well in her previous projects but she is no leading lady material much less a Sageuk leading lady. IU as Hae-Su reminds me of Uee in High Society. Both had pathetic writing that couldn’t be elevated by their sub-par acting. But Uee did a 180 degree turn and delivered spectacularly with Marriage Contract, I was in awe of how much she has progressed in terms of acting skills. Here’s hoping IU can do the same.

      • Dont they do screen testing in SK? I read somewhere that Twilight’s Kristen Stewart had to do scenes with at least 5 male actors before they decided on RPatz. For a supposed epic romance, they really failed in casting IU. She was fine in modern dramas but a character such as K-ruoxi needed a more seasoned actress with emotional depth like Liu Shi Shi and Sun Li. I totally agree that she was unable to show HS maturing as a character. Bad directing and editing were of course also to blame but great actors like LJK can overcome and even rise above it. This leaves an aftertaste of regret of what this drama could have been. Pls stop casting idols until they have proven themselves!!

      • @potofink – you think people like Taecyeon or Suzy or that Gaksital chick would have acting careers if Korean dramas regularly did screen tests or actually cast young actors based on auditions?

      • When IU was bashed heavily back when this drama just started airing, a lot defended her, including myself. I was willing to give her the benefit of a doubt. By episode 13, I have finally thrown the towel on her. Other than her hairstyles, there’s no maturity in Haesoo at all. IU gave us nothing but a character interpretation at face value. And LJK was also skeptical when she was first announced as the lead. Sure he said a lot of nice things after the filming ended, but did any K-actors ever bad mouthing their fellow c-o-stars? As far as now, everyone been pretty civil, so I took that as him just having to say nice things. Real actress like Kang Ha Na could drive a one dimensional typical K-drama villain but IU’s lack of acting prowess could only developed this much and it’s frustrating for a drama this heavy.

      • It’s interesting how even Zhou Dongyu managed to have better chemistry with Jun-ki and have a more believable, convincing love story in their film Never Said Goodbye, despite the same age gap between the actors as with IU and Jun-ki, time limitation (a film of 2 hours), barely any scenes together (they were separated in the beginning of the film), AND on top of that, a language barrier.

      • @Del – it’s ironic you say that about IU and KHN because I felt like their chemistry was only there when they had the forbidden love/serious physical desire going on. the minute Soo was transferred to the palace after Myunghee’s death and Wook started to treat Soo in a more chaste way, I got bored of them and couldn’t wait for their scenes to end. And all their interactions after that were just either boring or frustrating as hell because Soo/Wook were all about the attraction, without that it’s hard to sell the romance.

        But when she did a similar vibe with LJK (lots of sitting and talking), they actually worked much better together than when her and KHN did the same thing.

      • @Gina The thing about chemistry is that, it resonated differently to different set of audiences. Until the very end, I could not feel the chemistry between LJK and IU, putting aside the slacking in the writing, the romance came across as one sided for me. However, I was totally sold with the romance between Wook and Haesoo. Therefore to me, they have better chemistry compare to the main OTP.
        @Missjb I never looked at the fact that she is a singer turned actress. First, I was never into Kpop and secondly, all I care is whether the actors have the acting chop or not. I admitted that I was skeptical with IU casting right when the announcement was made because she never wowed me with any of her previous performance. Being a fan of LJK, I knew beforehand that she does not possess the same acting prowess to match her male lead. Having said that, she is not terrible, just not credible enough to portray a role so complex and deep as the female protagonist in BBJX. She should probably at this juncture settle for less layered and supporting role like Cindy in Producers which she excelled. Above all, the PD is the main culprit for failing to guide those ingenue actors including IU but should Haesoo being portrayed by stronger actress, even without guidance, she could probably gave better trajectory to even the most unlikeable character that is Haesoo. Please do not regard such comment as being prejudice towards IU because I have no reason to have such sentiments.

    • Please don’t look at Idol label on IU and Look at real performances… IU is Solid and great throughout the drama… In No way she can’t bring complexity and subtlity in her performances… To my surprise….. She is showing much more depth compare her male compatriot like Kang Ha Neul (plus he is mediocre). She is showing so much range in emotion that any recent singer turn actress (except Eun Ji maybe) can only dream of .. Once again, Female actress always get so much hate compare to male actor. oh the bias

  7. Watching this episode makes me sad. Not because the OTP got separated but because I DIDN’T feel sad that they parted. I should feel pity and sadness for Hae Soo. Instead, all I felt was good ridden.It’s not good when you spend a good chunk of the drama wishing that someone would push the heroine off a cliff. Hae Soo, I tried my best to like and understand you, but you made it impossible to.

  8. this drama is never been good (I think 2 episode is good) and it’s all been fan assumption that the story would be epic since day 1 it aired,
    not feel really cheated, I just feel like they could have make this one a happy ending, bad drama with happy ending is at least a happy ending,

  9. Pathetic story telling. How can you screw up when you have the source in front of you? The lead female character does not have a single trait I admire and her mind is like one effed up yoyo. Good riddance to her character and the series once it ends.

    • “how can you screw up when you have the source in front of you?” Cheese In The Trap, Scholar Who Walks The Night, Tomorrows Cantabile, Ha Ji Won’s last drama….

      It happens all the time. My bitterness over the last 4 episodes of CITT is still with me to this day.

      • @Kat – “My bitterness over the last 4 episodes of CITT is still with me to this day”

        Please come sit here by me, because that’s exactly how I feel too. A potentially great heroine-centric story with a dark hero and a slice-of-life psychological feel ended up being hijacked into some makjang crap with a cow-eyed brat who was like every kdrama lead in every makjang ever, at its centre.

        yep, still bitter. And now Kim Kyu Tae has joined Lee Yoon Jung on my shit list of PDs whose work I once trusted but should learn to avoid now.

  10. Kang Haneul was wasted too. I just feel bad for all actors involved. I was so angsty on the first half and the second half of the show was like falling off a stupid cliff. How did it keep getting worse? Didn’t they have all that time to edit? Who directed this crap?

  11. i really tried to like IU in this drama. i think she fared okay in earlier episodes when plots were still light. but coming into ep 17 onwards, her look being confused all the time really annoys me.i wish the pd and writer inserted some inner monologues to give the viewers’ better understanding on what is going on haesoo’s mind behind her trademark O.O look.

    and the poor writings of soo’s character really really arghhhhh… what is with her pinning on Chaeryung’s death punishment and blaming So all the way. logic fails. premeditated murder is a huge crime, be it in goryeo or in modern world.

    • seriously, the Chaeryung thing is so illogical and completely stupid. Does Soo think that bitch was going to be allowed to get away with spying and regicide just because she said a few nice things to her once and then kept lying and spying on her? Not because of the cruelty of the punishment (though I would not have been sad if she was steamed alive like the original) but because “she’s my sister, how could you do this to her?”

      It’s like the writer really, really wants us to hate Soo.

  12. Lee Junki is hard carrying the drama.sad that he and IU have no chemistry.i felt Hae Soo-Wook’s love but not Hae Soo x Wang So

  13. I think for me these episodes are pretty much what I expected so I’m not that upset though I’ll never watch them again (but then I’m never watching the gut-wrenching last episodes of the C-Drama either). With 20 episodes and the late move to Wang So being king, there is the expected rush to get all the plot points in. I’ve let the writer off the hook for a lot because I so enjoyed so much of this drama, and – if it is true – that the PD made him/her re-write the drama to expand KHN’s part than even these rushed episodes are on him. He really to me is the biggest issue in the flaws in this drama.

    However, one issue that I do lay at the writer’s feet is the whole issue with the maid. Why do k-drama writers, especially I feel in historicals, go out of their way to make us dislike the heroine. It drives me crazy. There are several different ways they could have dealt with this without making Soo seem like a silly ninny. That issue I lay clearly with the writer.

    On a different site, someone pointed out in the behind the scenes footage of some of these last episodes, the actors are using single sheets of scenes often seen at the end of live shoot dramas. That is how rushed this was by that point. I feel that LJK as an actor got screwed in particular because instead of seeing his slow decent into cruelty, it’s hurried and a bit all over the place. He’s doing what he can very well but as a viewer, I found it jarring. IU, who I’ve been relatively fine with (wide eyes and everything), isn’t up to the task in these episodes.

    I haven’t yet watched the last episode, but I would be surprised if it was like the book or the C-Drama. I just don’t think you do that but – hey – I’ve been wrong before. As of right now, I will happily re-watch from episode 1 to when they look at Pegasus. Heck, I’ve got about three different versions to choose from.

    • Above all, I am most angry that this drama did not do justice to LJK. For goodness sake, he wasted his 15kg for this?????
      The trainwreck that this drama is the fault of the bad decision. It’s either 20 episodes and cut off non-factors characters and plots, OR maintain all characters and meager plots yet extend to at least 24 episodes.
      LJK once again became the victim of this totally unexpected mess. This drama has every ingredients for success; solid material source, bid budget, pre-production, great actors in the form of LJK and KHN yet they screwed up big time.
      The only thing that I am happy of is though the drama is a flop in its homeland, LJK finally gets more recognition from new fans and he above all, deserving of all the credits and praises because he has been AMAZING all the way.

      • The thing is I don’t know when the drama got cut from the 30 episodes it was going to be when first announced down to 20 perhaps first skipping to 24. The C-drama is about 6 hours longer so 24 could have worked. I just think a lot went on behind the scenes confirming my belief that pre-production really doesn’t mean much in k-dramaland. But again, I found this drama highly addictive and it actually has been a win for most of the actors in growing their fan bases.

        Kang Ha Neul just signed on to a movie….so did IU. Ji Soo has already completed a drama (Fantastic) and is already starting another one. 13th prince actor is the lead in the weightlifting drama. LJK is doing fan meets like crazy and got the Lotte CF.

        I absolutely agree with you that LJK getting more recognition is so deserved. I have a feeling that everyone on that production knows they should be on their knees thanking him. Maybe even the PD recognizes that now.

      • @Kat – the original plan for this drama was 30 episodes?! No wonder it feels so badly paced.

        But I agree, it was addictive. Like someone said ‘I’m very often frustrated, but never bored’ lol. And I’m relieved that Lee Jun Ki at least is getting some recognition out of this, if SBS has any sense they should be throwing all their awards at him at the end of year because without him this drama would have ratings that even cable dramas would consider a flop. SBS, Kim Kyu Tae, the writer…. they really should be on their knees thanking him for managing to keep it afloat for so long.

        Also, even if the pre-production schedule was poorly managed, I’m glad this was a pre-production because it means the cast could move on quickly and not have to let the knowledge of the initial low ratings get them down in their work environment.

      • Oh? So it was planned for 30 and cut down to 24 and finally settled with 20 episodes?
        Tbh, I don’t know whether the writer or the PD should get the lion’s share of the blame. My bet is on the PD.
        The writer may sucked for writing the worst K-drama heroine ever but she was also the one writing the focal character of Wang So which further elevated by LJK’s powerful acting. Idk about others but the most addictive factor to me is Wang So. He is the one who keeps me coming back for more. Sure LJK did amazing but I have watched his previous dramas and he was excellent as always but none (except TBDAW) was this addictive.
        So this drama may sucked but bad is never worst than being boring. So I still credit this drama for keeping us entertained though getting us all frustrated at the same time, attempted to give up only to stay until the end. As Koala mentioned, to still succeed in gaining attention and make people tuning and stay is somehow a testament that there is something that actually made this drama worked in a really peculiar way.
        LJK is the backbone of this drama. For the most part and when I lurked at DB, mostly stay only because of him. I am glad that he is experiencing his second round of prime. Should there’s no THAAD tension between the two countries, he could probably be really huge in China now.
        I hope he will get casted in really quality drama next be it modern or another saeguk. All I want for him is a successful drama to validate him as a truly great actor that he is.

  14. IU was fantastic in episode 11 (one of the best episodes of a kdrama I’ve seen all year, in any kdrama – if only the rest of the drama lived up to the kdrama version of the rain scene), and I actually liked her better in the second half of the drama……. until now.

    She isn’t yet skilled enough to elevate horrible writing or fight past terrible direction, and Soo mourning over Chae-ryung feels more like a little girl’s tantrum than heartfelt grief. It’s not helped by the fact that it’s utterly ridiculous to be having all that “she was my sister” crap about Chaeryung at all, never at any point did they treat each other like sisters. And she just comes off petulant and listless in episode 19, instead of heartbroken and dying of grief.

  15. For the most part, I enjoyed the Kdrama version of BBJX. I liked LJG’s performance of the 4th Prince better than the original. I don’t know why, but in the original, I just couldn’t get behind the the 4th Prince. In addition, I think IU does deserve some credit as some scenes were definitely better played than others… especially episode 11. I think there are a lot of people (including myself) that cannot deny I wasn’t emotionally moved in that episode. I did she think was better than other idol actresses that get “passing grades” or the “she is improving” card for just mediocre performances. But in the end, I do think the heroine role should have gone to a more maturer, seasoned actress (not ANY idol) because the heroine is such a complicated and developing character. Someone that has more experience in playing different types of roles would have suited this drama better.

    • Yes. Episode 11 was stellar. The best in the entire drama along with episode 8 (the rain ritual scene). But seriously, I cried because of Woo Hee Jin and not IU, though IU was good in that episode.
      However, IU is the least of the problem. She is ok, not bad but not that good. I can still bear with her. The problems come from so many angles. I have no idea what’s up with these people. Probably seeing too much money and they all went cuckoo??? I first thought that IU and the writer (having checked her previous works which none was ever good) were the greatest liabilities yet it’s KKT that should be held responsible for the biggest mess he created.

  16. Well, I really think IU act better here compare to in producer… In Producer The roles is not challenging enough to claim such statement that she act better. This is her first challenging role, she is showing so much range in emotion No matter how much everyone want to believe that her character is terrible. She is awsome… I Mean it

  17. I don’t think IU that bad. Every actress, moreover Idol turn actress need experience by taking different roles. And this one is a good experience, moreover pairing with veteran actors. I disagree with peoples who said IU has no chemistry with LJK. I’m not an acting expert, so I cannot say much into details, and of course everyone has a different opinion. I’m just simply a drama lovers. So far I enjoyed their performance. I’m no fan of IU nor LJK. I cannot imagine Hae Soo played by actress other than IU. And thanks to SHR, I become fans of LJK. As for the final ep, at first I watched the RAW one, totally heart breaking and I cried a river. But later I watched again for the 2nd time with the SUB, I can calmed my self down and surprisingly the 2nd time watching is not much depressing like the 1st time. Wish for the sequel with the same players. After this I’m gonna watch running man for a self healing therapy !! No more drama in the meantime until I completely healed and my heart ready for another roller coaster in K-Drama Land.

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