You know those shows and movies you add to your Netflix watchlist, but don’t actually watch until months later? Well, that’s exactly what happened with the Extraordinary Attorney Woo.
When I tell you this K-drama has been on my mind for months after watching it — that’s how much I loved it. I’m kind of ashamed that it took me so long to talk to you all about it, but I’m here now. And if it matters to you at all, I’m not the only one obsessing over this show — the reviews/ratings are through the roof!
So, because the news just broke that the production company, AStory, is thinking about turning it into a franchiseshere are 16 reasons why you should watch the show before it really blows up:
1.The show follows Woo Young-woo, a super intelligent young woman who is hired as a rookie attorney at one of the most prestigious law firms in Seol. Young-woo is on the autism spectrum and is learning how to navigate her career and relationships on her own for the first time.
2.The show beautifully explores the complexities of living with autism in such an honest and vulnerable way. While there can be signs/habits to check for when it comes to autism, the disorder looks different for everyone.
3.The lead actor, Park Eunbinis who hooked me in initially because she starred in another K-drama fave of mine called Hello, My Twenties!
4.Park Eun-bin actually turned down the role several times because she was worried she might offend people. So she decided to take on the lead role in the historical romance drama, The King’s Affection (2021), instead.
5.That’s right, director Yoo In-sik and writer Moon Ji-won were so adamant about having Park Eun-bin as their lead that they waited an entire year for her to finish filming The King’s Affection so that she could play Woo Young-woo.
6.The character Woo Young-woo is partially based on American animal science professor Dr. Mary Temple Grandin, who was diagnosed with autism when she was an adult.
7.Speaking of art imitating life, some of the legal cases were inspired by true events, like the lottery incident in Episode 11, “Mr. Salt, Ms. Pepper, and Attorney Soy Sauce.” it was based on a 2013 case presented by the lawyer Yang So-young. I mean, who doesn’t love watching a project based on real-life events and then immediately looking up the event afterwards to compare?
8.Every scene is handled with such care that it’s hard not to get emotionally attached to it. It took me less than five minutes to fall in love with this show, and I mean that literally. In Episode 1, we learn Young-woo was non-verbal until he was five years old, so this scene had my eyes leaking like a faucet:
9.After that, the series fast forwards to Young-woo’s adult life where viewers are immediately introduced to her many tics like unusual movement patterns, fixating on particular subjects (Young-woo loves whales), unwavering routines, and verbal repetition to name a few. Despite being such a complex character, they didn’t exaggerate her or turn her into a caricature, which was very refreshing.
10.The series also shines a light on caregivers. Young-woo’s father is a single parent and has been since Young-woo was born. I absolutely adore their relationship, because he’s so protective of her, but he also understands the importance of letting her grow as an individual. The physical and emotional stress that caregivers deal with is often overlooked, so it was very interesting to see it explored in so many ways on-screen.
11.There’s a budding romance between Young-woo and Lee Jung-ho that you can’t help but root for; it’s a slow burn that’s worth the wait. Sorry to all you “enemies to lovers” fans, but this isn’t that. They start off as wholesome friends and their connection grows stronger with every passing episode. And it’s not the only “will they, won’t they” relationship we see on the show.
12.Honestly, Jung-ho deserves his own spotlight because that man is a hopeless romantic’s dream! He’s kind, empathetic, intentional, and a true friend. From the first moment he met Young-woo at the law firm, he tried to make her feel comfortable. What viewers will love most about Jung-ho is the way he took the time to learn about Young-woo’s likes and dislikes, so that he’d always feel safe whenever he was around.
13.But romance isn’t the only thing glorified on the show. Friendship is also a major theme. The series explores just how difficult it can be to build solid relationships with people. Not everyone is welcoming to those they believe are “different” or “inferior” to them. I love that the writers didn’t minimize her experience or view it through rose-colored glasses. We get to see the good (like her dad and her eccentric best friend, Dong Geurami) as well as the bad (like her jealous colleague, Kwon Min-woo, and disapproving clients).
14.Okay, her friends deserve another spotlight, too, because we all deserve people like Dong Geurami and Choi Su-yeon in our corner. They’re complete opposites, which is so entertaining to watch, but it’s their shared love for Young-woo that really left an imprint on my heart.
15.The series is composed of 16 episodes, with each one running 70–80 minutes long. But instead of being overwhelmed by the length, the stories instantly suck you in and leave you begging for more, because there’s so much emotion packed into each storyline. This is another nod to the excellent writing and casting of the show.
16.Lastly, autism advocacy is at the heart of the series. It dissects how we view fairness and proves “normalcy” is subjective. You’re bound to end the series with a new perspective on life.
Have you seen Extraordinary Attorney Woo? Tell us what you liked or disliked about it in the comments below!
Also, I thought I should add that I am watching this show as a person not on the autism spectrum. I personally do not know what it is like to have autism. My views may be different from those who are actually living with this disorder. I respect all differing views and am open to learning more.
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