My knowledge of Chinese movies or dramas is limited to Martial Arts genre. When someone recommended Bu Bu Jing Xin aka Scarlet Heart aka Startling by Each Step to me I was skeptical especially when I saw the promo posters.
The only person I find adorable having that Qing Dynasty hairstyle is Jet Li from his Once Upon A Time movies. However, when my friend said that it is about a girl who traveled back in time to the 16th century and woke up as a youngest daughter of a Manchu nobleman it sparked an interest in me.
The main protagonist is Ma’ertai Ruoxi (Cecilia Liu). Her sister is married to the 8th Prince of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty. She will be involved in the struggle of for power by the numerous princes in the Imperial Court. She will be romantically linked to the 4th Prince (Nicky Wu) and the 8th Prince (Kevin Cheng). They are both secretly vying for the position of the next Emperor of China.
As she was trapped in this timeline, through smart decisions and charm she gained the favor of Emperor Kangxi himself. She attends to him directly and has witnessed major events in Chinese history. Keep in mind that while they used real historical figures, it is still fiction.
This Chinese drama series is based from a popular novel written by Tong Hua. It was a huge hit in Mainland China and around Asia that prompted a Korean TV producer to make their own version of the series. If you want beautiful sets, detailed costumes and engaging story this is your drama. A little trivia, the main OTP of the story became a real couple and are now happily married. If you are looking for romance with palace intrigues go ahead and watch this here.