K-Bu Bu Jing Xin Ends with 11.3% Ratings on Epically Awful Final Episode 20

Welp, the long Korean drama national nightmare that is K-Bu Bu Jing Xin is finally over, and those who stuck around long enough will now need therapy and recovery time. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart: Ryeo got its highest ratings ever with 11.3% for the final episode 20, while KBS notched 8.5% for The Man Living in Our House and it was 8.1% for Woman with a Suitcase on MBC. But who cares about the competition, I just want to punch the screen through every seething second the final episode of K-BBJX, an adaptation that failed so epically in the second half it washed away all the limited bits of grace generated in the uneven first half.

The central romance had no emotional resonance and the truncated narrative left everything underdeveloped. IU‘s Hae Soo ended up being the most frustrating character when even the evil baddies all had layers and hers was just not having a strong stand on the right issues and taking the wrong side every chance she could against Lee Jun Ki‘s 4th Prince. I couldn’t wait for her to die and ship back to the modern world and chalk up this story to a very bad batch of mushrooms induced nightmare, and in Goryeo poor So never met Hae Soo and ended up with a woman who actually appreciated his intensity and commitment to her.

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K-Bu Bu Jing Xin Ends with 11.3% Ratings on Epically Awful Final Episode 20 — 122 Comments

    • Apparently Lee Jun Ki did film a scene during modern times but they decided to cut it out. I guess they really wanted it to be different from the cdrama. Pity though… I’m not a fan of open endings cause it seems like sloppy writing (since it seems like they can’t choose between a good or bad ending) but for a time travel drama, I felt it was needed. I’m glad I dropped the drama after episode 8, I couldn’t take IUs acting.. O.O is an emoticon that will always remind me of IU from now on.

  1. So the twist is different from the Chinese version. Unfortunately it didn’t work. Through her letters, she claimed that she loves Soo. Sorry I don’t buy it. I didn’t see her struggles or had in any way showed her tiniest feeling for So. Perhaps it’s her deer in headlights acting. What a waste. Please choose a better project next time LjK.

    • He had chosen carefully if I must say in his defense. Investment from Universal Studio, acclaimed director with Best Director gong under his belt and steady acclaimed works in his resume, Pre-production, solid material source, Reference from a successful adaptation. What not? It was totally a case of misfortune for him.

    • I think the problem is for the past 2 dramas he picked ones that seemed to have all the ingridents to be a bonfied Hallyu hits that would launch his career into an even bigger level like DOTS or YFAS mania did for its male leads.

      • Ingredients for a bonafied Hallyu hit… You mean Scholar and this (or maybe Joseon Gunman)? With female leads like Lee Yubi, IU or Nam Sang Mi? With such inconsistent writers? If you though even for a moment that any of these dramas could’ve launched LJK’s career to a higher level (or even equivalent) of where Kim Soo Hyun and Song Joong Ki are right now in terms of popularity… I’ll just say I don’t get it.

      • There is no need to expect him to achieve the same stature as Song Joong Ki and Kim Soo Hyun. He had passed his prime, just accept it.
        What I want is for him to be in a quality drama, not necessarily a rating hit. Drama like “W” or “On The Way To The Airport” are not ratings hit but at least, they came across to be well done. At least, we don’t have to go reckoning on what went wrong when everything could be so right. At early stage, the only liabilities K-BBJX had were the writer and IU. I thought it would be fine since this drama is pre-produced, in the hands of an accomplished director and may be, the writer is better off working on adaptation instead of totally fresh material. But it turned out everyone messing up the drama minus LJK and KHN. So it was a case of bad luck.

      • @DEE…LJK is 34. That’s pretty young. SJK is 31 – and he had a big year with DOTS. Just looking at their age, I don’t agree with your assessment with LJK is past his prime. I hope LJK finds a good project in the future to re-solidify his career. By the way, I don’t know anything about drama-making so I’m going to throw this question out there. Is there a person who oversees the production of a drama? Who is ultimately the person in charge? I mean, there’s the writer and director, etc. but shouldn’t there be someone at the top, a general manager, who makes the shot and makes the tough decisions and decides, yeah this will work or nope, this won’t work.

      • @Del Lee Joon GI is 34. If he was a woman then I might agree with your assessment (thanks to society and it’s fuck up sexist attitude), but as a man – and a young/good looking one – he’s hardly passed his prime. If Moon Lovers haven’t been botched up so badly, it could have been a potentially big hit and boost his career. As it it, even with the series being a shit show, LJG have pretty much received universal praise and his popularity have sky rocketed. The bottom line is that the series might have been a failure, but it’s not a total loss for LJG.

      • @CC and @Applepie
        Let me get it straight that I am a huge fan of LJK, even before Scarlet Heart. It’s not that I think he is too old but I kind of feel like our desperate need to have him established himself to that level leaving a room open for haters to pin-point that he is a “has been star, an actor of yesterday”. Surely, Scarlet Heart could have had been the vehicle to propel him to new height of fame should it didn’t tanked badly. But I am more than pleased that he is getting recognized more for his brilliant performance. So, there’s the saying that LJK has large fanbase in overseas but sadly, not in domestic Korea.

      • Lee Jun Ki in his 20s was as huge as Kim Soo Hyun or any of the other current 20s Hallyu stars, if not huger. The King & the Clown made him hugely popular across Asia in the years when Japan was open to korean entertainment, and it’s spoken of with major respect even now because that was the film that started the trend of sageuk films.

        He already had that level of fame and said it put a lot of stress on him to the point where he couldn’t even go out comfortably, I doubt he wants that level of madness again. But I hope he has better luck with scripts and PDs next time. He wants a domestic hit, that’s perfectly normal for an actor.

      • @ Del. My comment was not meant to accuse or implied that you weren’t fan. If I came across like some defensive nutso fan then that wasn’t my intention. I like watching LJG on screen, but besides rhe occasional “he’s so hot” comment fangirling isn’t my thing. I don’t give two toss what so called ” haters” say about him. I just hope that he can be in better projects so that I can enjoy his acting (and prettiness) without subjecting myself to crap like Moon Lovers. I couldn’t make it through Scholar despite his pretty presence. I maybe shallow, but I have my limits and if it wasn’t for my fondness for the story of BBJX I wouldn’t even have bothered to finish Moon Lovers.

        By the way, do you also post on Dramabeans? There’s a poster there with your users name.

      • To him, fans are fans. The more love the more popularity. Yes domestic popularity may be preferred but as a performer to have sustaining attention with the audience is quite a feat. That’s hard even for veterans. Plus, given how many more followers ended on IG because of this drama, shows that this drama had traction. Up to the middle of its run, it had quite a rapid rise in fandom. Despite how it ended, the cast, and LJK most, deserves huge credit. It’s easy to criticize and serve up a dish of what-ifs but it’s apparent that all were pretty committed – though poor choices by the production team and higher-ups were made. That’s all one can do as an actor really – no matter how bad the ship sinks you stay committed and loyal. LJK has that in spades. He may not be the most popular but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone in a tough situation as those that he’s been dealt handle it so honorably and in such swaggering stride. I think he has anyone else beat in that department no matter how steep and popular his competition. I do believe if he wants it badly enough there will be a drama out there that not only showcases his acting skills but aligns with great writing, directing, production, etc. K-BBJX did give him one thing, which was exposure and showcased his versatility as an actor. I don’t think I could have quite said the latter until this point. That type of visibility is priceless.

      • I’m not a huge LJK fan, but I would say that he’s already a big Hallyu star since his second lead role in My Girl. I was indifferent about the fuss (because LDW was more my style) but I get he was so popular due to his anime features.

        SJK became more popular due to DOTS, but to me he was already a star since RM and SKKS. He was in Nice Guy and Wolf Boy too which were hits in Asia. I guess for K-actors it’s good to be in a KES drama, but as a drama fan, I’d prefer that my fave actors be in well-written and well-directed shows. ๐Ÿ˜›

      • @CC What I meant in the first place, he had experienced that level of popularity before, he had passed that “prime” what’s with fandoms and all sorts. We pretty much settled that he was once extremely popular and it’s normal that being overtaken by new crops of actors. Interestingly, this drama catapulted his popularity among international fans though can’t say the same in Korea. I just hope his current high marketability abroad could help to land him better roles with good solid team -great PD and writer because those roles normally go to current IT actors that could bring in high domestic ratings.
        BTW, yes, I also posted comments at DB only because of SH. I don’t normally catch any drama by episode, normally waited until its completed run but that’s the amazing thing that this drama made me did only to let me down. Sign.

      • The problem is not his dramas or his co-stars. You can’t forever keep blaming the two and pretend that he is somehow above it all. And I hate the obligatory female co-star bashing that goes with being a LJK fan – like putting down an actress doesn’t elevate your bias.

        He is in need of reinvention as an actor, right now he is just coasting along. The fangirls may love it but it is entirely correct that he is not among the new crop of talents and also hasn’t made the jump to anything that will get him critical accolades.

      • @K “and also hasn’t made the jump to anything that would get him critical accolades”

        …..except that he’s received more critical acclaim than ever for his acting after coming back from his military service. Arang, Two Weeks, Joseon Gunman, even Moon Lovers.

      • @Gina, on the fan sites maybe where they can’t seem to stop gushing. But I can’t recollect any review elsewhere. Plus those dramas are nowhere near enough to give him critical acclaim like say Gong yoo’s work this year.

      • @ K I’m guessing that @Gina’s point is that regardless of the ratings of some his dramas, LJK’s performances are generally well thought of. With the exception of SJ & DOTS going hallyu, I don’t think many Korean actors are taking on Gong Yoo this year. However, a lot of that is because of his well done success in movies where he sees the full script so there is a level of quality control that you do not and will not ever have in Korean dramas as best I can tell. I mean it was just a few years ago that GY did a Hong Sister’s drama that didn’t go so well, and I’ve always thought that was the reason for his long delay returning to them. It’s always going to be a roll of the dice in k-dramaland. I’m just rooting for them all. Fighting!

        PS: I do not generally Monday morning quarterback when people accept or don’t accept roles, but just imagine if Gong Yoo had accepted DOTS….I think he was one of the guys offered the role. He would own 2016.

      • @Kat well that is what I meant – to be considered a great actor you have to do some quality cinema and he hasn’t made that jump. With dramas there is always some good looking guy who is a decent actor and the next Hallyu star for fangirls. It all depends on what is the hit of the year. There too if you ask me someone like Ji Sung is more consistent in dramaland, no major highs but a consistent body of work.

    • I don’t think LJK picked the wrong project actually.

      He carried the show. Even though the plot went to shit, his portrayal of Wang So was one of the best performances from a K-actor that I have ever seen, in my 16 years of K-drama watching.

      The plot might have been bad, but we have to admit, it was addictive. Or LJK is addictive, which is why we are all still here. I’m sure he was disappointed with the ratings, but LJK probably picked up millions of new fans, and reinforced his status as a one of the best K-actors of his generation.

      Also, his performance is one worth watching and watching again. I’d skip the whole drama, and just see LJK. IU was sleepwalking through her role by the end, but LJK kept up the intensity, right to the very last scene. I am in awe of his talent.

  2. So very right. EPIC Mess. And that came from someone who loved this drama, who stick with it through thick and thin.
    I am at loss of words because I had been saying too much. I am going to rewatch episode 1 until 8. The rest, I considered a nightmare and thank goodness, no reincarnation. Wang So had suffered enough. Please don’t let him meet that dumbwit ever again.

  3. I already plan on finding and watching the SBS version through when they finally hook up and play shadow finger animals. I enjoyed those first 16 or so episodes and actually was fine with the last episode as well. It actually was better than I expected, and I liked that he knew he had the little girl and let Jung off the hook. I thought perhaps they would hook up in the future but I actually wasn’t fond of the C-Drama ending with her at the museum and the guy walking out the door. I will say I always expected more with Ji Mong and what he meant to all this; that I guess will not be answered.

    My expectations for this drama were always in the middle because of the 20 episodes, but I will not even try to justify the last several episodes before #20. Trying to mush five plus hours worth of narrative and character development into two hours is never going to work.

    It does seem that if this drama had had “normal” competition, it probably would have competed in the 10 to 13ish % range for its run. But LJG never has luck with competition of his dramas. Regardless of issues, I’m glad for the international success for all of the actors and the hard work they put into it.

    I’m glad Koala’s national nightmare is over. I think if I loved the novel and C-Drama to the extent she did, I’d probably feel the same way. I’ve really thought if another solid actor was in the Wang So role if I would have liked the drama as much. I’ve decided I probably would have still enjoyed the same episodes, but it wouldn’t have had the sparkle/cracktastic feel that I had for much of the drama. Hmmm…I don’t know…I just can’t imagine anyone else. Regardless, he definitely is the key to 99% of the success it got. I selfishly want to see him again soon without it involving me seeing a zombie movie.

  4. Seriously, I’m so confused..

    Since when does Wook have a daughter out of nowhere? How on earth..?!

    OK, then show implies that she is Woo-hee’s daughter. Since when did she even get pregnant?! When did she even gave birth to a baby when she threw her self off the castle before Baek-ha even went off to the battle.

    Suddenly there are all kids popping up here and there without the audience even having witness a woman with a pregnant tummy on our screens. Oh snaps.. I forgot that this show is a Master in Time-skips….

    • WooHee never had a daughter and neither did Wook. The daughter just happened to have WooHee’s talisman and be in Wook’s house. She was Hae Soo and Wang So’s daughter. Only one daughter throughout the end and it was Hae Soo’s shown by Jung pleading with Wang So that Hae Soo didn’t want her daughter to grow up in the palace. Wang So found out by the hair pin Soo always wore (I forgot if he actually gave it to her or not) and I’m pretty sure after WooHee’s suicide, the talisman went to Soo because they were good friends.

      • I’m talking about the other girl.

        She is not the same girl as Soo’s daughter. They look completely different.

        According to Baek-ha: “You are Wook’s daughter right? I’m your uncle. Your 13th uncle.”

      • No. She’s a different child. If you look carefully, Hae Soo and Wang So’s daughter is different from the girl that baek-ah saw. Most probably, she’s a relative of Woo-hee or something. Or yeah, I can bite the reincarnation theory lols. Also, many years had already passed since Hae Soo died then, Wook already remarried and so is Jung. So it’s not impossible to have a daughter or children rather.

      • I happened to lurk at Soompi though never leaving any comment since I am not a registered member.
        The little girl that Baek Ah met at Wook’s house is a historical indication seems a member (a Korean) explained that in history, the girl whom is Wook’s daughter will marry So’s son and only after her husband passed away, she had an illicit affair with her uncle Baek Ah. So, the drama tried to paint an inkling that she probably is Woohee.

    • @Del- really? I wasn’t going to comment on this post but after reading this I think my stomach just churned. That is disgusting.

    • @Bwear & @Ck1Oz
      Can’t do much since incest is pretty much everywhere in that era but I seriously feel they overplayed it. When they have taken creative license towards history, they could just choose to ignore or not having to come up with that scene at all.

  5. I keep thinking only if the lead actress was either Lee Bo Young or Moon Geun Young, then the drama would have been fantastic! IU just can’t act the part in this drama….I am not her antifan, and I actually like IU song’s and her acting in Producer, but this character was too high of a challenge for her and she didn’t meet the challenge unfortunately. Without Lee Jun Ki, I doubt anyone else would have kept watching K-BBJX.
    The ending was so confusing…2 kids…one supposedly from the Bakje princess, that Wook is actually taking care off??? When did the 8th prince even spoke to the Bakje princess or even have a relationship deep enough to take care of her kid????
    The other kid is Hae Soo’s and the 14 prince is taking care of….that is a nice twist to the ending.
    However, they should have made the 4th prince meet IU in Modern times like in the C-version.. that would have been a better lead into a possible sequel or at least an open ending like the c-drama. They already copied pretty much most of the important scenes, might as well copy the last scene too.
    I think they should leave it alone. The C-version sequel didn’t do so well. Since Korea can’t even use the base source of the popular novel and C-drama to make a hit K-drama adaptation, I doubt they can make a less popular drama from china into a hit…..

  6. I didn’t really think it was a complete flop. I mean, if you check Lee Joon Gi’s instagram account, his followers suddenly jumped to more than 1.3m. Not to mention, if you check his previous posts when SHR is not yet broadcasting, his likes will just accumulate to 50000, sometimes even less. If you check now, his likes will not go down 100,000. In a way, it made him popular. Really popular. Worldwide even. I should know because after watching SHR I became a fan and I’m not the only one.

    • The ratings at home sting but LJG’s popularity has exploded. I’m not a big social media person but someone mentioned he gained around 900,000 more followers on instagram just in the run of Scarlet Heart. Good. He deserves it.

      • I follow him on IG and started before the broadcast of SH. Back when I joined, it was only 391K and that was in June 2016. By now, he has more than 1.3 million followers. And you could view on how article on him never generated comment in soompi but now, every articles on him flooded with comments. They also said that it’s only LJK and not SH that picking up buzz on weibo and if you checked the social media page like ONE TV Asia, all bombarded with comments on LJK. So to speak, he really is becoming more popular after SH.

  7. I’m not even halfway done so I’m still enjoying it right now but I will watch to the end for LJK and I usually don’t do this sort of thing. Anyway, I hope LJK’s see a real bump to his career after this.

    I TOTALLY AGREE that he needs to act in a modern drama also. I mean look at him in the pic where he’s throwing a heart. He’s crazy gorgeous and he burns up the screen when he acts. Such a charming actor and person.

  8. Well if this isn’t a convincing argument not to watch K-BBJX, I don’t know what is.

    I shall now proceed to go re-watch the original Bu Bu Jing Xin for the 4th time and laugh/cry my way through all 35 hours.

    • Just watch the scenes with Lee Jun Ki , Han Ka-Neul and the evil queen. They’re worth it. Completely ignore (if you can) IU/Hae Soo.

  9. I am still wondering what the hell went wrong with this drama. Was it the writing? The producing? The Directing? What the…? I am so sorry for LJK, he really needs a good project Pronto.

  10. well, i guess its done deal then…im not watching this yet, but as someone who watched original cdrama, im waiting for positive review, but it seem half-half, both from writing, editing, OST also a problem, different version and acting became a problem, better save myself from some misery..

    i think im glad wangso was reincarnated in modern live, he will only suffer again in hae soo hands.

    • Except for LJK, pretty much everything was wrong with this drama. The pacing, directing, story… Even acting was all over the place… I ignored all this and pretty much enjoyed the first few epsidoes but when the time skip saga began, I lost patience.

      • Kang Ha Neul was good too and I expect his acting will get him good roles in the future but the character was underutilized and lost its intensity after the romance.. When it should have been more focused on his ‘evilness’

  11. I’m so sorry, Koala. I’m still glad I watched this because it introduced me to Lee Junki. It may have failed in many ways (especially that romance!), but it gave me one of my favorite characters ever in Wang So. I’ll remember him fondly despite the show trying to mangle him into a terrible imitation of the Chinese 4th prince in the last four episodes.

    I hope you make a longer review in the future (maybe a snarky one with comparisons to BBJX?). Thanks for your K-bbjx posts!

  12. The ending was so confusing! Who drew those paintings In the museum? Why did Ji Mong appear in the modern times? What was the purpose of the eclipse? What happened to Hae Soo after she fell in the pond at the start of the drama? Was she in a coma for one year during which she time travelled?

    The only part I loved was the little girl who appeared with Jung – she was Super adorable. I’m her fan now.

  13. And now I have to go rewatch some episodes of the original C-BBJX to wash off the terrible taste K-BBJX left in my mouth!

    EPIC FAIL SBS! Not even The awesomeness of LJK and KHN can make me ever rewatch this epic sorry mess!

    • If IU or her fans keep branding every single person who doesn’t worship the very ground she walks on as haters, then listen carefully darling, mediocre is what she will continue to deliver. If you truly are a fan of her and want her acting to be acknowledged then, encourage her to work on her skills more and not give up and to respond positively to the criticism.

      • @Gem
        You nailed it!!
        a lot of people acknowledge that IU is not that bad..her problem already stem from bad characterization and poor directing choice and she wasn’t that strong actress to make hae soo more coherent for majority of people to root for her…however, with proper guide,i think she can do well..
        that to say, comparing KHN to IU is a hoax.

      • Criticism ….?
        Seriously guys you call this her fault ???
        Is the female lead always be the chandler of the others mistakes ???
        OMG do you think that IU will be given a best script beside LJG and the hottest men who are beside her ??? Do you think the writer who want more viewers of swooning females who they love oppa and his naked body to show her female character with the best acting or even make her shine seriously pathetic comments from some think that korean writers write something make their female characters shine they are showing them as the stupidest , weak and pathetic make me frustrates bcz I will read comment attacking the female lead .
        Criticism ?? please If you want call your comment criticism then discuss the main problem in Korean drama which always write good scripts for male lead with the best lines and variations of characters 2nd talk about directing which give you the whole image so the directors are the maestro of the whole scenes and finally I think that girl IU do a good job with that character and with script that Top actresses are refused bcz they will be chandler of some stupid comments under word of criticism .

      • Let’s not be childish and be open with some constructive criticisms. For the most part, no one actually said that IU is bad. She is mediocre. Not bad but not too good. Sure, unanimously agreed that the character was so poorly written and a lot vented their frustration on the writer. Having said that, underdeveloped character like this definitely required an actress with more masterful acting to elevate it like what Kang Ha Neul did with Wook. Wook as a character has so much potential up against LJK’s So but he was not given a room to grow, given such minimum depth but KHN still make it worked that in the end, his Wook could resonated with the audience. IU is still green, lack of experience as an actress. She has not have that ability yet to elevate and save a poorly written character as Haesoo. That is what most of us here thought of her and not single handedly pin pointing that she is a lousy actress.

      • @Nilechocolate you should know by now that for K-dramas a) female leads will be given parts that make no sense and are rarely strong and actresses have to make the best of it and b) by episode 1 there will be comments saying how much they dislike the female lead while singing praises of oppas. I have never seen a fandom as hostile to female actresses as the K-one.

        I don’t get the comparison, fact is the drama is about HS. Expectedly the K-version diluted the character in favour of the male lead. KHN is a good actor but IU is in the majority of the scenes and the lead.

        Why focus on the actor when it is the drama that is misguided and terribly made and was smug about its success.

      • @Nilechocolate
        Listen, I think we can all agree to the fact that K-BBJX had a terrible writer, director, music-director and editor. It has been discussed to death. I have time and again stressed how much I have appreciated IU’s past roles but still she wasn’t good enough here. Sure, Korean industry usually write females to be weak, noble-idiots and what not, but even within these scripts seasoned actresses have time and again made their characters likable, I hope IU can get there which is why I think her fan-base needs to calm down and instead of fake praising her blindly, encourage her to work on her skills. Hard work and trying to improve constantly is necessary in every aspect of your life, I don’t know why fans tend to overreact, not all of them but some of them.

    • actually, she is good at looked happy but I can decipher another face she’s made, I am not following every other thing she did but she failed in most of the important scenes on the drama,

      I don’t think LJK is the god in this drama, he is good but compared to what IU did, aah I wish I knew what she is portrayed (even written in subtitle) cause all I see is a shocked face, some smile looking face and tears falling, just physical description, not bad or annoyed me from the screen but not delivered any of the emotion needed,

    • tbh I think this drama is emotional from the fans because it has tortured character but after saw so many sad things,
      I feel it ridiculous and it stopped moved me, yes they sad and we compelled to cry when others people crying but when I am thinking about how self-inflicted and how stupid the choice,
      I just laugh at it,
      people said you can judge the drama from the 1st 4 episode, oh god all those people who said tonnes of things, in the beginning, is right,
      I even back to see their comments and they mostly nailed it,

      and they alsso right about the fans that overanalysed the drama,

  14. @missjb REALLY!! you want to compare IU acting to Kang Haneul acting? that some delusional thing to say, dont you think?
    IU is good, but not to level that you can think she outdo kang haneul!

    IU, for me slightly better than jin se yeon or go seung hee who is in reality is the one with the title ‘PROFESSIONAL ACTOR’

    • Go seung hee is decent in Spy, I watch that drama and she is not terrible like some claim they want to believe , and actually improve alot since, and her performances in my beautiful bride is solid. Kang Ha Neul is a limit actor. In no way he is showing range of emotion the way IU does. Once again female watchers tend to favour male actor over female.

      • my..my…that line of argument again”favor male actor over female”…such a typical fan
        there is no used arguing with people like you.

      • lmao I’m not even a fan of KHN but this is another joke of the year?
        IU wish to be at KHN’s level

      • I agree with you. Kang Ha-neul is very average, which is compounded by the fact that he has no charisma or screen presence. Was IU terrible in this drama? Yes. Is her performance the problem? No.

        The fact that people are going around blaming someone playing a not-so-glorified self-insert role over a) the director, who ruined any bit of good acting he was given with his stupid close ups, and b) the roster of limited actors and routinely awful performances they churned out says a lot. The only prince that did respectably was Lee Joon-ki, and even he was looking completely ridiculous by the end, overacting such putrid material.

      • As someone who watched both Spy and My Beautiful Bride, I think it’s fair to say Go Sung-hee is an absolutely terrible actress and has all the appeal of a block of cardboard, and is completely unfit for lead roles.

        Even the girl who played the North Korean escapee agent in Spy and had a cameo for a few episodes, was better than her – now THAT is a rookie actress who deserves a chance at lead roles, before you start with the “you only like male actors and hate women” nonsense.

      • @missjb – Also, Kang Ha Neul is “limit actor” compared to IU? And “in no way he is showing range of emotion the way IU does”?

        Please tell me what you’ve been drinking because clearly it is strong stuff if it got you to hallucinate to that extent, and I could use some. And this is coming from someone who defended IU’s acting all along.

    • I watch an actual performance and judge based on that. If i think her performances is terrible i will say so. We are subjective regarding our opinion.and in this case, we talk about acting. But between IU and KHN performances is really showing an obvious gap in overall performances. Don’t judge her performances based on her idol turn actress status. I actually find it weird though, KHN who are doing endless movie is still showing the same performances despite his experience. Compare to IU who actually a singer.

      • I really want to know what you’ve been drinking, to end up thinking that. Or is idol fandom that delusional?

        IU is a victim of poor writing and poor direction, but better than KHN? No way.

  15. Its a total crap.
    I was kinda rooting for it from the beginning, despite my sincerest love for C-Bu Bu King Xin.
    Hae Soo’s character was a total mess and I wanted to say that she made that mess in that time. Super weak character.
    what a total disaster!

  16. @Nilechocolate

    Did i said it is her fault?!! No i did not!
    i only said her character is already doomed from the start by the writer and the director.
    if you go anywhere in discussion board, not one people said she’s horrible. we are only blaming her HAE SOO character, IU is not, she only does what she can with her limited skills.

    and saved it the argument that writer write good lines for male lead, if the male lead does not have the skills either, people will criticize him too!!

    • agreed with your comment. the one we should blame most are the director, script writer, editor, music department and some tv station. this is pre-produced drama. they should check back the drama before show it to the world. like us checking our answer sheet/paper work, revise it before the dateline.

  17. Don’t blame lee jun ki,this drama just not strong and starling like chinese version,and many the BTS scene is like wet blanket and kill the mood for me.

  18. Am glad I dropped this midway, i mean I was getting to like it in the first 10 episodes, then suddenly we move to 2 years later and Soo is now madly in love with So from no where. No matter how much I want them to be together, it just doesn’t seem logical. Starting from there everything else was a mess and a lot of princes fighting for the throne didn’t help either. This was such a poorly written drama even though it was preproduced and only Lee jun ki seems to be gaining from it. Am just saying it could have been much more better, a lot of dramas have let me down this year and this will be added to the list unfortunately

  19. Objectively, as a watcher of both C&K version, IU did much better job than Liu Shi Shi on C-BBJX imo. I compared them bec they both had given material fr same scripts. IU is a natural, she done a bubbly acting well, and i could feel her pain whenever she feel sad, tho unfortunately HaeSoo was a mess character. LSS was so cringey whenever she acted cute&bubbly, but the script given to her was great. The only time i liked LSS performance was on Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei.
    And as much as LJK amazed me in SHR, he did sometimes overacted on SHR :O

    note : no hate here, thats just my honest opinion.

      • I beg to differ. They were both pretty awkward in the bubbly scenes.. SS went overboard with her cuteness to the point that she seems more like an awkward ten-year old kid, whereas IU’s whole expression and bubbly show-them-all-my-teeth smile were awkward to the point that it seemed like IU herself was wondering why she should be doing this. But I would say that IU was slightly better, but that is mostly because the other actors acted like that too, so she wasn’t the only awkward one. It somehow fitted in the drama.

        As for the second half of the series, I must say that SS did a better job overall. It really felt as if Ruo-xi had matured from a girl to a grown-up woman (partly of that has to do with SS’s natural elegant and classy aura). The way she looks at things, the way she acts, the way she moves, it all shows how demure Ruo-xi has become after years of living in the palace. Whereas with IU, I don’t really feel that her character has grown up throughout the years. She became more aware of court politics, but she still felt more like a girl rather than a woman. Also, like I’m a bit underwhelmed with her sad scenes in the last two episodes. Like @Del says, what’s up with the heavy eyelids 24/7. It feels more like she is sleepy.

        She does shine in some scenes, such as episode 11 and the proposal scene. So let’s not take all the credit away… I just wish her acting chops were a little bit more consistent.

    • You can’t call your opinion ‘objective’ because it’s, after all, personal opinion, shaded & clouded by your own interpretations & assessments. Opinions are always subjective. You can only be ‘objective’ when you’re representing facts and try not to let your feelings/ opinions cloud your representation. Whether IU or LSS is a better actress is purely a matter of opinion, and hence, subjective.

      Just sayin’.

    • I am not sure if IU was better than Liu Shishi, but I definitely preferred LJG over Nicky Wu as 4th prince. For me, Nicky Wu’s acting was too subtle and stone-faced and sometimes I couldn’t tell if he was angry or happy or what. I connected more with LJG ‘s style where he displays more emotion and expressions in all of his scenes… I felt more emotionally moved.

      • The 4th prince in the Korean version and the Chinese version are almost like completely different characters and they can’t really be compared.

        I’m currently reading the novel, and Nicky Wu’s 4th prince was spot-on. The 4th prince in the original is supposed to be stone-faced, cold, subtle, and hard to read.

  20. 1st Thanks to all @Gem @faith , @K and @Alexa I am not a fan Of IU but I think to blaming her acting make me furious and thanks for your illustration
    I am just mad on writers and directors in general in SK they don’t hold their responsibility about the failure of the Drama success make me Go To watch Turkish , Indian and Chinese dramas bcz the writing I watched Maid , Age of youth .signal …. you can’t compare the harsh comments toward the idols girls is bcz the weak scripts and repetitive so nothing new when Kang Sora and Hwang Jung Eum refuse MOON Lovers I knew that they saw how the script is HORRIBLE to add to them beside it is a version from a successful original so the failure in rating is 99% .
    In General let us agree that Korean writers don’t write for quality but make money .

    • @Nilechocolate

      ahh..well…they truly ruined the show, aren’t they? they are remaking a beautiful show and the standard put on them is higher than any kdrama, yet they failed to deliver…it just frustrating when they decide to ruined the plot mover of the story , HAE SOO..

      i guess the only remakes that i consider successful will be Fated to love you, others is horrible

    • HJE denied being offered the role and was in the midst of getting married during the filming of this drama. Kang Sora turned it down but it’s doubtful she actually saw much of a script. The #1 person responsible for the issues in this drama is the PD. He changed the direction of the writing, filmed in a way that took up too much time, screwed up the editing and made his lead actress vulnerable to criticism by the way he films.

  21. Well, not the final i was waiting for, but i’ll take a positive attitude. It was more the story of how a prince with “flaws” became a great king . And being loved even for a short time is better than never being loved. As for those who think that LJK is a “has been or old actor ” i would say that that i’m not sure if the new actors can achieve to last this long in a cruel industry. I bow to all the actors (males and females) that are still working more than 15 years since their debut despite a strong and sometimes unfair competitive yard.

  22. thank goodness i didn’t watch the c-version. don’t get me wrong, am just not into bald head princess. the story might be an epic one but not for the ‘eye-candy’ actors. we need more than just a good story..it’s drama land afterall where all of our dreams should come in true.
    anyway, for me k-version is addicting and entertaining. i cried and laughed and swooning for the entire episodes. LJK is the saviour of this drama, he nailed it. I admit IU is not as strong as LJK but she’s improved time to time, tho i found she still keep doing that blank stare and can’t delivered the real of HS’s feeling/emotion.
    but overall …i love this drama despite all its flaws

    • You should definitely watch the c-version then. The actors/princes (minus 4th and 8th imo) in that version are “eye candy” too. The half shaven head actually makes you take a good look at them without all that hair in their faces. Plus the Chinese clothes and the way the actors carry themselves with charisma is to die for. See them in motion and just not in pictures to get the full effect.

    • I totally agree with you, IU has to work on her ‘deer in the headlights’ look but she has potential and am sure will improve, hey, SSK improved on When a Man Loves with her wooden expressions too, and did much better in Six Flying Dragons, so IU will too. I loved the drama and am still missing, it, don’t care what anyone says. and am very happy that many around the world loved it too, and fell in love with LJK.

    • The original Chinese version takes place in the Qing Dynasty, when Manchurians ruled and ordered all males to have the half-shaven head and braid hairstyle. It might not be for you, but it’s historically accurate. Considering the Manchurian custom of raising their children as skilled horsemen, the princes are supposed to be more brawny and not “pretty”. I’m used to watching dramas that take place during the Qing Dynasty, so I’m used to it and I find most of the princes to be quite good-looking. Based on the original novel, I think that every person was casted quite well and did great jobs in portraying their characters.

    • You should still watch it
      I did not like Qing Dynasty dramas due to the men’s hairstyle too. However, the men in the original C-BBjX was just that good looking that the hairstyle did not bother me.
      C-BBJX and the original Princess Returning Pearl(2002) was and still is the only 2 Qing Dynasty drama that I love and can watch over and over again.

  23. Well, that was dissapoiting. It almost made to you to expect to see “To be continued …” at the end. The setup was there and than it just ended.

    I didn’t have a problem with IU. Could she have been better? Probably. But that wouldn’t negate all the problems the series and the characters, especially Hae Soo had. Makes you wonder, how they could mess a series up so much. They had all the time in the world and still it looked cheap, and worse it didn’t make any sense. It wasn only the story, that was botched, but from the beginning from cutting, camera and music, it was a mess. All things that could have been avoided easily.

  24. Oh boy, Koala, it was bad on every possible level, except how beautiful LJK is.

    They wanted to make the ending different from the original?
    Really?
    Because everything else was so similar?
    By different, they must have meant a waste of everyone’s time and talent.

    Just shoot me for watching it.

  25. I don’t think IU’s acting could have had any effect on this drama, it was just poorly written. I think the production team are the ones at fault here

    • Mine too. I would never have watched it, if it wasn’t for SiG. The story would’t usually appeal to me. But I really love it and I am looking forward to every new episode.

  26. With all due respect – this Korean version was far better than the Chinese counterpart. There was far better character development. Better acting (for sure, by Kang Ha-Neul, and his character). The main thing the Chinese version had for it was Nicky Wu. That’s it. The Chinese guy who played the 8th Prince was pretty awful, and his character was poorly developed. There was no understanding of the attraction between him and Ruoxi and there was no story to show where it came from. By the end of watching the Chinese version I felt compelled to immediately continue with SH2, mostly for Nicky Wu, and also checked out historical facts. The Korean version engaged me emotionally. I was crying in the last episode. I am not saying that the Korean version did not have it’s own problems – but which drama is problem free? Overall, they did a good job, and that is why they had such huge following.

    • Meh. Nicky Wu is a mediocre actor, he has good moments but he’s not that consistent. Imo Kelvin Chang did better. But I would say generally there’s no particularly outstanding acting in BBJX, all the actors did their job well but no one stood out to me. The only reason BBJX trumps the Korean version, like by a lonnngggggg mile, is that it had a great story, it had great characterisation, and it had a great messeage. I loved how they woven Ruoxi into actual history, how the princes found that they were at odds with each other due to conflicting interests, driven by individual motivations, I like how the characters choose their own paths and then reap what they sow (in this aspect the Korean version majorly failed as most of their characters’ suffering were completely independent of their actions which just didn’t sit well with me). BBJX was a narrative masterpiece. I had some qualms with their horrendous utilisations of green screens and cgi but other than that BBJX was flawless.

    • faaar better???
      I mean the chinese counterpart is a character with backbones and stones face, when the Korean is pitiful “hero”,
      ofc you gonna identified with the underdog more,
      cause we hated seeing people getting misjudge and hope for the happiness, but character wise, he just a lovestruck possesive boy that cries good,

      chinese version fleshed out every character that even can make people care about heroine sister, in korean version, people only care about Lee Jun Ki, and I don’t even thing they care about wang so, it’s only lee junki

    • I liked the romance better in the Korean version but the C-Drama has the most riveting political manipulations that I have ever seen in an historical drama. I mean usually that stuff is dry and big yawn….I was on the edge of my seat.

    • Better???? Whoa..how is it better? The only things KBBJX has is LJK…other than him and his acting nothing else is going for the KBBJX. The CVersion at least made every small character memorable. Even Qiao Wei Rouxi’s maid was very memorable. Other than LJK in the KVersion..everyone is forgettable in the K version.

  27. Yes, I was an international viewer, I LOVED this drama, flaws and all, Lee Joon Ki was his usual magnificent self, and was over and above a superb Wang So, the whole cast and crew did a great job, the scenes will stay in my memory for a long time. Korea was crazy to not see what the rest of the world was feeling, all in all, especially LJK should win many awards for this. He never ever fails to deliver. Thanks, LJK, for letting us escape our daily strife by losing ourselves in all the characters that you have shown us. Hearts to you, and stay as humble as you are.

    • I don’t think Korean are crazy to missed the drama,
      I mean is it left with any payoff, is crying over the misery that never payoff good,

      nah they did a right thing to set an example that even if the drama lies on the fans to keep it having the viewer, a well executed drama gonna appreciated better,

  28. I enjoyed Scarlet Heart Ryeo for what it was, flaws and all. I don’t think it’s fair to put the blame on IU for the ratings failure. I think she did a good job and grew with the character as the show progressed. I liked how IU portrayed the youthfulness of Hae Soo in the beginning, but she did become a bit dull and robotic after the death of Lady Oh, which could be blamed on writing or direction. All the actors did well portraying the progression of fun young youths to battling adults and I could see the journey and why some of them did what they did. There was a lot of stories to tell and at times the episodes seemed rushed or events unexplained which may be why people didn’t connect with it. At the end of the day even though it wasn’t a ratings success I think the actors like Lee Jun Ki (who basically carried this drama), Kang Ha Neul, Nam Joo Hyuk, and Ji Soo improved and everyone brought something great to the drama.

    Only thing I’m really sad about is that IU didn’t provide any songs or vocals for the OST. ๐Ÿ™

  29. Am I the only one who find the drama wonderful? Now it is one of my all time favourite K-dramas. Yes, they are many hiccups and flaws but I find that there is a gem hidden and brilliance in it which many can’t see. And I gain everything from watching the drama and by understanding it, even the ending because I am happy with how everything is wrapped up. An acting is not the main thing about the drama, I prefer to immerse in the story itself.

    • @Rising Clouds No, you are not the only person who enjoyed this drama. I really liked it as well. I kind of expected the mishmash of some of the later episodes so I guess it didn’t bother me as much as others. I do think there is a what could have been aspect to it if it had the additional episodes. Episode 11 is probably one of my favorite drama episodes of the year. I really like the scene with HaeSou and Lady Oh and also So visiting HaeSou in prison and, of course, the scene in the rain. Love it!

    • Nope, you’re not! I loved this drama so much, it nearly drove me mad waiting for every episode. As much as I love the C-drama, watching this version with all its flaws made me realize the C-version wasn’t as perfect as I thought – for example, Soo is so hugely flawed as a character but even so she’s relatable. Ruoxi, as much as I love her, always seemed too perfect, almost a Mary-Sue in a way but much better. I still love the story, both versions, I’m just glad it’s over so I can finally put my heart at ease now and there’s not going to be any more vilifying comments about this drama.

      • Admired Ruoxi but didn’t always like her if you know what I mean. She did seem almost too perfect with her absolute knowledge of the smallest details of history. Wish the Korean version had had the # of episodes to do the Wang So as king justice.

      • The thing is, I have all emotional resonance with the princes but totally none towards both heroines from C and K-version. But I prefer Ruoxi compare to Haesoo because for goodness sake, she is too dumb for me to root for. I really enjoy the K-version until episode 11 and for the most part because of LJK but the problem that I have is how I wish that could have balance both the throne battle with the romance. I find that the romance taken too much of the focus which left the brotherly battle becoming a mere plot. But a show that still managed to get me this addictive is considered a good show in my book. Wish they could have perfected it given that they have so much advantage and luxury in hands.

  30. If anyone wants to see a masterpiece, they should really watch the C-version BBJX. It was a well-deserved award drama. If you want to see what a prince aura and chrisma is like, then C-version is for you. Each prince, regardless how silly they are when they are playing around, but when it came to real business, each prince has such royal posture, aura and charisma, that you would think they were actually real princes. For most viewers, they found the actors much more attractive after watching the show. Unlike the K-version, all the princes are more like whiny babies than princes. Like many others mentioned above, what I really love about c-version is that there are no bad/good guys. They each have their own ambition and why they side with certain people. There are no regrets and no whining. They may fight each other to death, but they never target the women, except for 9th prince. But honestly, he wasn’t that cruel. Their actions are based on survival and not on random hatred for no reasons. RS was such as a sad character. She was stuck in the middle with all the men who loved her in one way or another and vice versa. There was not a single prince who didn’t love her, either as lover, friend or as a soulmate, and well they should be. She risked her life and saved their asses on multiple occasions. Unlike HS, who’s brain was stuck at the age of 13, RX understood their actions. She may not like them, but she understood that their actions were based on survival instinct. She herself also learned how to survive in the palace by being cautious. What I really hate about the HS is that she’s dumb and so easily bullied from the beginning to the end of the drama when her character was not supposed to be. RX/HS character is supposed to be highly intelligent. She has high IQ and EQ. She has a temper and no push over for anyone. On so many occasions, the 8th prince consort wife and sister tried to bullied her but they never succeed. The princes loved her not just because she was kind and cute. But what really attracts them are her talents. What makes the story from C-version so riveting is the powerful love story. The love between lovers, the love between brothers and the love between soulmate. I don’t see any love whatsoever at all from the K-version. They are more like random people thrown together. The best way to describe the K-version is considered as a summary of a story.

  31. Wow, I heard people here were haters and it is true. Did you even watch the drama? I think it is pretty funny to accuse the fans of SHR of overanalyzing the drama. The drama is complex, there are many details that people (who only have hate in them and are not able to look beyond the surface) miss because they are too busy looking for imperfections to point out and feel better about themselves. No drama is perfect, this drama could have been a masterpiece but it was NOT a FLOP. It is number one in ALL ONLINE STREAMING DRAMA WEBPAGES (official ones and unofficial ones), in many Asian countries it is also number one. I encountered people from ALL OVER the world in the forums and comment sections for dramas, they all loved it. Some people even learned important life lessons from it. There are only 112 comments here? For the final episode? And you call this a popular blog? LOL Each episode of MLSHR got over 2000 comments each time. Is the owner of this blog Korean? That would explain a lot! XD

    • nah then you miss the point of gigantic lee jun ki fanbase who gonna rave and camp 24 hour for him to comment, IU deer princess with no fault and geeat acting fans, EXO fans, jisoo , nam jo hyuk, hong jonghyun model fans, and broadcast simultant in more than 8 asian place,

      more coverage, more people see, but so funny that half is about how baf it is and the defender who overanalysed only to not have any clarity after,

      is it popular ?? yes
      is it good?? hell no,
      enjoy the popularity of bad drana is better though, at least it gonna remember as the bad drama,
      twilight is popular, is it good?

      • I don’t get why you have to be so bitter and yet keep posting comment on this drama. Let those loving the drama enjoying whatever and however flawed the drama is. If it annoyed you so much with their comments on what they feel good about it, then stay away from reading.

        Gosh, people like you really so patronizing to think that your views are the only one that matter.

  32. Honestly, I don’t think it was that bad! I quite liked the ending. It was better than So never knowing he had a daughter which is what I thought would happen. My only vexation with this finale was that So wasn’t in the future. But she left him all alone in Goryeo, I suppose it’s only fair that she lives in the future without him. Tragic but somewhat justifiable.
    I still love the C-drama but this version is near and dear to my heart as well.

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