Extraordinary Attorney Woo’s first season concluded earlier this summer, yet has already found fans both domestically and abroad. Showcasing Park Eun-bin’s outstanding lead performance, Extraordinary Attorney Woo humanizes autism without making its protagonist into an irreverent caricature.
From representing North Korean defectors to mediating marriage disputes, the show’s cases are both engaging and heartfelt.
1. Episode 1
Extraordinary Attorney Woo is a refreshing reminder that K-dramas can have global appeal, transcending language and country barriers. Moon Ji Won’s fully realized scripts give viewers something new each week as Young-woo becomes an experienced lawyer while facing unique social situations ranging from representing North Korean defectors to mediating marriage disputes.
One of the show’s hallmark strengths lies in its realistic portrayal of autism. While Young-woo’s whale fantasies sometimes provide “lightbulb moments” that solve cases, this approach marks a welcome departure from other shows which simply exploit her disability for comic effect.
Park Bo-young shines as Young-woo, her character being both curious and imaginative while being capable of reciting entire passages of law without pausing for breath. Her performance really stands out among legal dramas.
2. Episode 2
Attorney Woo is an enormously popular Korean drama, known for its stunning acting, intricate cases and relatable characters. One of its most poignant moments came when Young-woo reflected upon her identity as an autistic woman.
Episode one starts out with a wedding. While walking down the aisle, she accidentally trips and falls, exposing herself to all who attend as her dress falls open exposing a tattoo of Bodhisattva on her back.
This scene highlights Echolalia’s autism-related characteristics such as echolalia, noise sensitivity and touch sensitivities as well as her fascination with whales. Additionally, she expresses that her emotions don’t belong to her – this theme can be found throughout the series while simultaneously drawing attention to ableism in Korea.
3. Episode 3
Extraordinary Attorney Woo is an engaging drama that makes viewers think. Rare among its peers, this show addresses disability head on with an intelligent and inventive legal case presentation.
Young-woo displays many characteristics associated with autism: echolalia (repeating other people’s words), touch and noise sensitivity, rigidity, difficulty making eye contact and an obsessive interest in whales – yet she possesses both intelligence and photographic memory to become a successful lawyer.
Your heart will ache with pride as you watch her develop supportive friendships with Dong Geu-ra-mi – her BFF who famously made his greeting into a TikTok trend – and co-worker Choi Su-yeon; cleverly avoided in this drama from being made rivals as their relationships organically blossom against workplace bullies together.
4. Episode 4
As the show juggles cases and subplots, episode four offers us a chance to witness Young-woo take on a personal case which confronts her with her own ableism as it’s hard to maintain moral compasses when taking on clients that seem dubious.
However, it’s worth it to watch her connect with Dong Geu-ra-mi — now a TikTok trend — and Choi Su-yeon as they form relationships that grow organically over time as they support each other against office bullies and form friendships that stand the test of time. Their bond serves as a thoughtful side story that challenges westernized autism perceptions in an entertaining manner.
5. Episode 5
Extraordinary Attorney Woo has mesmerized audiences around the globe. It expertly balances being both heartfelt and humorous with an outstanding ensemble cast and relatable characters.
Young-woo enlists the assistance of an incredible newcomer, skeptic, ally and love interest to take on complex cases spanning social and legal concerns of today. Such cases include domestic violence claims against North Korean defectors as well as parental pressure for her to make the cut at a prestigious law firm.
Young-woo’s inner struggle is one that truly provokes thought; you find yourself wondering whether she should use her disability as an asset or fight it all the way so as to become the best in her field – something which the show does in an amusingly ambiguous fashion.
6. Episode 6
Extraordinary Attorney Woo has no fear in taking on complex legal cases that pose ethical dilemmas, while at the same time providing answers on how autism impacts daily life.
This episode opens with an intense debate regarding the worth of autistic lawyers. Jung Myung-seok, an attorney from Hanbada who serves as senior counsel, objects strongly when Han Seon-young wants to hire one as CEO.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo may succumb to some familiar K-drama tropes (surprise disease diagnosis! sudden enemies-to-lovers switch!), yet still manages to show the reality of living with neurological disability without turning Young-woo into a caricature. Park Eun-bin’s exceptional performance is what truly elevates this series and is what has earned its high viewership figures in Korea and abroad; Netflix even featured it as the most-viewed non-English series three weeks in a row!
7. Episode 7
Extraordinary Attorney Woo captured Koreans hearts and viewers around the world within just 16 episodes, as it premiered on ENA and became one of this summer’s most-watched K-dramas on Netflix.
This drama portrays autism with dignity without making its protagonist into an eccentric caricature, deftly balancing genres (legal, romance and workplace) to deliver an engaging narrative which proves you can be both whimsical and earnest at once.
Episode 7 finds Young-woo embroiled in a scandal regarding nepotism at her law firm. She attempts to defend herself, yet relies more on others’ kindness than on creating her own path – yet ultimately, her efforts pay off in spades! Additionally, this episode emphasizes the value of having strong support systems.
8. Episode 8
Attorney Woo is a thoughtful drama that features a highly likeable cast. While showing the reality of discrimination, this film doesn’t go further by challenging the system that creates these realities.
Original broadcast on ENA and later distributed globally by Netflix, Extraordinary Attorney Woo follows Woo Young-woo, an autistic rookie lawyer at a major law firm. Utilizing her unique thought process and taking on cases using it against any prejudice she encounters from those around her, this show shows Woo’s journey.
Starring Park Eun-bin, who may best be known as an actress and former child starlet, the feel-good drama has taken audiences by storm and was the top non-English show on Netflix for 10 consecutive weeks – proof that K-dramas can be powerful storytelling tools regardless of language or origin; yet its widespread appeal could both help and hinder its success.
9. Episode 9
Attorney Woo juggles various cases throughout the series while dealing with its various subplots – some are humorous while others reflect more seriously on life with autism.
Bang Gu-ppong of Mujin Academy was charged with kidnapping students. However, his explanation that he took them for recreational purposes instead of kidnapping was misconstrued as such by authorities.
Park Eun-bin has received much acclaim for her performance as the show’s protagonist, receiving praise for working closely with a special educator to accurately portray autism in her character and demonstrate various symptoms such as echolalia, noise sensitivty and rigidity. Park is an approachable yet refreshing heroine; her dynamic with coworker Choi Su-yeon adds another reason why people watch the show.
10. Episode 10
Attorney Woo is an exquisite solution that the world sorely needs right now. Its overwhelming success (it racked up 69 million hours of viewing in its initial weeks alone!) has shed light on various complex issues while emphasizing the value of powerful storytelling.
Park Eun-bin’s performance as Young-woo is exceptional; many viewers have responded well to her character. Yet the show has raised some concerns over its depiction of autism – she displays traits associated with it such as echolalia, noise sensitivity and touch sensitivity as well as awkward gait, poor eye contact and an obsessive fascination for whales.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo avoids turning Young-woo into a bizarre caricature by emphasizing her supportive friendships with her co-workers. From her romantic pursuit with earnest Hanbada litigator Jun-ho to developing deeper ties to Choi Su-yeon as an eager rookie attorney, Extraordinary Attorney Woo shows how Young-woo learns to assert herself and embrace her unique qualities.