Netflix’s original k-drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo starring Park Eunbin has been taking the world by storm these past couple of weeks and for a reason – the drama is sweet and brings an important topic to light. Today we bring you are review of it.
My mom was back home for less than a week and we somehow managed to binge watch all 16 episodes of Extraordinary Attorney Woo during that time. It “helped” that I had fever for about 3 days (non-covid related) so I couldn’t work or do anything properly and so being in bed and watching this was the ultimate solution. I didn’t want to watch the drama on my own because I knew my mom would love it and I was right. Extraordinary Attorney Woo is what I would classify as a family drama – it’s slow, heartfelt, with the right amount of humour and nothing to be particularly shy about. It highlights autism representation, team-work, character development and is case-based which makes it a very enjoyable read. More on it in the review below.
From MyDramaList: Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, 27-year-old Woo Young Woo graduated at the top of her class from the prestigious Seoul National University for both college and law school due to her high IQ of 164, impressive memory, and creative thought process. Working as a lawyer, she finds herself struggling when it comes to social interactions.
Possible minor spoilers ahead:
I am a big fan of case-based tv series and Extraordinary Attorney Woo is exactly that – I’d dare even say it ended up being more focused on the cases than I expected it to be. Of course, not every case can be as interesting or thrilling but my favourite part is always seeing the team work together and find solutions, even when they’re feeling like they’re on the wrong side of justice. Because Extraordinary Attorney Woo is case-based it also means it’s rather slow regarding personal lives of our main characters and their character development. Before I started the drama I wasn’t sure why they’re considering a second season but now I do – so many questions are left unanswered, a lot of characters and their relationships weren’t fully fleshed out and since it’s a case-focused series it could pretty much go for another season or two. I’d definitely watch it.
The absolute highlight of the series was Park Eunbin as Woo Young Woo. Her portrayal of this extraordinary character was brilliant and hopefully worth some serious awards because she did her job so well I couldn’t even see her as anything else but Young Woo whenever I saw her outside of the drama. You can tell she definitely did her homework for this character and tried her absolute best do her justice from start to finish. It was heartwarming to watch Woo Young Woo’s character development throughout the drama and to see her blossom and open up to others more and more. Her questions, identity search, thorough investigations, bond with her co-workers and friends, even her romantic interest and family drama – she nailed it all without an exception. Woo Young Woo will definitely be one of those classic characters we look back on in the future.
My favourite part of the drama was the already existing and new friendships which were developing throughout it. Extraordinary Attorney Woo gives us such interesting characters that I dare say mostly aren’t even supporting but main ones as well. I loved the lovely friendship between Woo Young Woo, her school friend Dong Geurami (which gave us the viral greeting) and the chef Kim Min Shik. They were always there for her, always ready to provide her with advice (no matter how silly it might be) or simply there to make her laugh and feel seen and appreciated. On the other hand, the comradery between Woo Young Woo and her attorney crew started uncertainly – during the first two episodes I wasn’t sure what direction will the relationship between her and her co-workers go in. Luckily for all of us, no matter their mistakes, mishaps and problems, the Hanbada crew actually ends up being quite above my expectations with most of them going through some sort of character development throughout the show. Did not expect it at all.
Ha Yoon Kyung as Choi Soo Yeon and Joo Jong Hyuk as Kwon Min Woo were both excellent choices. Soo Yeon ended up being rather unexpectedly one of my favourite supporting characters and it was so enjoyable to see her gain more confidence in herself and her own opinions, pursue things she thinks are right and slowly but surely get rid of unnecessary judgment. I especially loved her during the last couple of episodes and her maturity really shined in these. Min Woo is the resident bad guy of the drama but you could see that a lot of his prejudice and tactics comes from his own issues with self worth and personal problems. I’m definitely not going to defend him because he was scheming half of the series left and right but I’ll just say that the last few episodes really did him justice and they were lovely to watch. The fan-favourite Lee Junho who is played by Kang Taeoh is another highlight of the series. He’s sweet, attentive, positive, kind and overall just a nice person which is rare to see. He has his own issues (like not being able to say no) but we unfortunately don’t get to see a lot behind his character which I was sad about and it stopped me from connecting with him more. He was lovely but if do get a second season – more backstory and development for him, please. He deserves it.
Last but not least, I will dedicate a whole paragraph to my favourite character of the series alongside Woo Young Woo and that is the amazing attorney Jung Myung Seok. When I first started the drama I thought oh, here comes the strict and judgmental senior and then attorney Jung decided to prove me wrong in every single way. Not only was he the best mentor to our Woo Young Woo and her co-workers even when the situation wasn’t the best and they were losing/making mistakes, he was also such a nicely fleshed out character with a proper backstory and such a strong presence throughout the entire drama that it was impossible not to like him even when he wasn’t making the best choice. My favourite thing about him was the fact that he listens. Not once did he completely disregard everything his juniors told him but he also fought more and more for his crew as the series progressed. While his storyline might not be the happiest, I am so glad we got to see more of his private life and that he became such a big part of the storyline which definitely became obvious whenever he was absent from work. Kang Ki Young was absolutely lovely in this role. My new comfort character.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo is a sweet mixture of character- and case-driven series and while not all cases were interesting (there were a few where both mom and I were thinking – why is this even a case?) the characters, their relationships and personal lives made up for it. While there’s definitely some scheming, plot-twists and drama in here, it was done in an enjoyable way and offered character development to everyone which is rare to see. At the end of the day, although Extraordinary Attorney Woo is a bit slow, its heartfelt nature is making it worth watching without a doubt. Considering the genre, the format of the drama and above everything else some of the loveliest characters I’ve seen recently Extraordinary Attorney Woo gets a 9/10 from me. Watching it gave me that sweet thrill of feeling like these characters are your friends and I haven’t felt quite like that since Hospital Playlist – Ha Yoon Kyung knows how to pick her dramas.
Header Image Source: Netflix Korea