Extraordinary Attorney Woo: Extraordinary Attorney Woo
August 1, 2022 2:22 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Extraordinary Attorney Woo (Korean: 이상한 변호사 우영우) is a Korean legal drama starring Park Eun-bin in the title role, along with Kang Tae-oh and Kang Ki-young. I'm watching it on Netflix in Canada, but am not sure about other countries.

New lawyer Woo Young-woo ("It's read the same straight or flipped!") is on the autism spectrum (although the actor is not, which is why she initially refused the role before finally accepting it). A recent graduate, she has to learn to navigate the justice system and office politics while at the same time deal with her own feelings for the handsome Jun-ho (Kang Tae-ho).

I am a lover of workplace dramas that feature people who like and support each other (with the occasional jerk for contrast), and EAW delivers. The storytelling and cinematography are light and sometimes fluffy, but there are enough sucker punches to keep the viewer alert (the episode dealing with after-school academies, for example, is brutal).

Park Eun-bin herself is weapons-grade adorable and must be protected at all costs.
posted by Mogur (23 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I did not expect to love this, but I do. Particularly when Woo has her a-ha moment and her hair blows back and a whale jumps out of the water. It’s sweet and silly and sometimes quite moving.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:37 PM on August 1, 2022 [7 favorites]

It's also on Netflix in the US. I haven't watched it, though. (Too much other media to get through at the moment.)
posted by Spike Glee at 6:21 AM on August 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Title problem fixed
posted by taz (staff) at 6:23 AM on August 2, 2022

I'm watching this and enjoying it a lot. I was definitely worried initially at the whole autistic savant cliché, but the show seems to be handling the subject matter with heart and tact.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 8:21 AM on August 2, 2022 [3 favorites]

Very much enjoying this. The cafeteria scene where Woo Young-woo gives Choi Su-yeon an unexpected nickname was especially lovely.

The show has caught on like wildfire in Korea. The first episode had less than a one percent audience share but as of last week that had grown to over fifteen percent.

As I mentioned in The King's Affection thread, you wouldn't know that Park Eun Bin plays the lead in both dramas.
posted by plastic_animals at 11:09 AM on August 2, 2022 [5 favorites]

Here's the Dramabeans show page and MyDramaList show page links for your recap and 'where have I seen that actor before?' needs.

I wasn't completely won over by the first episode, I wasn't sure if there wasn't something gimmicky(?) about Park Eun Bin's portrayal of the character. But by a few episodes in I was fully onboard. And it's nice to see Kang Tae Oh in a leading role, I think I've only seen him as secondary lead in 'Run On'.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:47 PM on August 2, 2022 [3 favorites]

I quite enjoy the pace of this drama, as well as the characters. Very pleasant.

I have a question: Could someone point me to a diagram of how Woo's catchphrase works. "It's read the same straight or flipped - kayak deed rotator noon racecar."

To me, it sounds as if her name is a palindrome, but how does that work with Korean characters?
posted by Rabarberofficer at 9:29 AM on August 3, 2022

To me, it sounds as if her name is a palindrome, but how does that work with Korean characters?

Yes, her name in hangeul is 우영우. Yeoksam Station (억삼억) is also a palindrome.

Kayak, racecar, etc. replace the original Korean palindromes (see this tweet) for a screenshot
posted by kurumi at 6:09 PM on August 3, 2022 [7 favorites]

I'm enjoying this very much.

I found this by accident on Netflix and knew nothing about it. I was nervous about it being good representation. I found it hard to get a good sense of that through the subtitles and the differences in Korean TV vernacular, it sometimes seemed a little twee to my American sensibilities.

But then I laughed out loud when they put undercover Young-woo in a wedding dress and asked her how she felt and she said, "I am very uncomfortable! This dress feels like it's made of labels." Like, mood.

I'm onboard now.
posted by Horkus at 2:51 PM on August 4, 2022 [7 favorites]

Another thing: the intense physicality of Park Eun-Bin's performance. It's like watching a dancer juggle knives - from the slight movements of her head even when at rest to the slightly bouncy but slightly awkward way she walks, everything is varied but it all comes together. Heck, I've rewound more than one scene just watching what she's doing with her fingers.
posted by Mogur at 12:14 PM on August 6, 2022 [7 favorites]

I’ve found kdramas to be a welcomed break from Western media and Extraordinary Attorney Woo is a great example of why. It’s smart, charming, beautifully filmed, and even with all the tropes it still manages to be original. I almost passed on watching it because the preview on Netflix suggested (IMO) a caricature of an autistic person but based on the glowing reviews I gave it a shot, and while there have been a couple cringe-worthy moments (e.g., Young Woo in her garbage cleanup outfit in ep 12) the overall presentation of ASD has been respectful and even educational.

I struggled with the legal cases in a couple episodes, but I think one of the things EAW does really well is to show that there’s more than one perspective and that being on the winning or losing side doesn’t mean your client is better or worse than the other side (but there may still be karma in the form of a big white truck). There’s so much I like about the show including the female friendships and the whale analogies, but for me so much of it comes down to the romance. So far, I love it and the character of Jun Ho is played to perfection by Kang Tae Oh, but I’m hoping in the next 4 episodes he’s given a backstory and the opportunity to be more than just the best boyfriend ever.
posted by kbar1 at 2:02 PM on August 6, 2022

After the trip to Jeju - is it just me, or would Woo and Jung make an amazing power couple? Sure, there's an age difference, but it's not a huge one. Seriously, who else shares that love of the law and workaholic ethic?

Hmm, I feel a fanfic coming on...
posted by Mogur at 9:57 AM on August 18, 2022 [1 favorite]

Scratch that. Now I want to see the genius kid hacker and the genius autistic lawyer Fight Crime and also argue about what they should put in the gimbap.
posted by Mogur at 2:46 PM on August 18, 2022 [3 favorites]

I didn’t see Attorney Jung as a romantic pairing for Attorney Woo, but in my fanfic they would have broken from Hanbada along with the Spring Sunshine, MinWoo, and Jun Ho to join Attorney Ryu at her human rights law firm with the rooftop garden (ep 12). The genius younger brother and Papa Woo could also have joined them and together they would have formed a new family. Maybe this will all happen in season 2.

While I enjoyed this show overall, I felt like the writer did Jun Ho dirty towards the end (excepting his cat analogy – that was precious). In the early episodes Jun Ho was kind and protective of Young Woo, but then the writer changed his character to insecure and cowardly even when Young Woo was in danger. grrrr
posted by kbar1 at 7:48 PM on August 18, 2022 [2 favorites]

I just kept expecting we'd get a scene between Jun Ho and Attorney Woo's dad, I was looking forward to them bonding over their love for her. But the production company says they want to do a second season (news link), so I may still get that scene eventually. Heck, maybe we'll get a wedding in S2.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:13 PM on August 19, 2022

I also thought they'd meet and that we'd learn more about Jun Ho's backstory. Sadly, season 2 will need to wait until Kang Tae Oh completes his compulsory military service of 18 - 22 months, which he will reportedly begin within the next 6 weeks. Then again, he's so popular right now that "Netizens are volunteering to take his place in the military so he won’t have to go."
posted by kbar1 at 11:44 PM on August 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

Considering what Jun Ho's friends, roommate (no redemption for Minwoo), sister and brother-in-law were like, I hope in Season 2 we meet some people he associates with who aren't trash. He seems to only have good taste in romantic partners.

I loved this series and hope it does return after Kang Tae Oh finishes his military service.
posted by Julnyes at 12:59 PM on August 26, 2022 [3 favorites]

it's fucking uncanny how much i like this show. not my usual fare. sweet as sugar. an extra treat: here's how to make woo young woo gimbap!
posted by j_curiouser at 2:02 PM on October 9, 2022 [4 favorites]

Carefully not reading prior comments.

Episode 5 is bugging me. If the client developed the ATM technology, they’d have meeting notes, calendars, specs, emails - piles of documentation they could easily produce.

I know it’s all a pretext for doing an episode about body language and truth, but it’s irking me.
posted by bunderful at 8:18 AM on February 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

I know it’s all a pretext for doing an episode about body language and truth, but it’s irking me.

Honestly I had to stop watching because the incompetence of the legal team is so ridiculous. (Gasp! The other side had... a counter-argument! A visual presentation! The vaguest sense of strategy or advance planning! How could we possibly have anticipated that!) Maybe one day I'll have the patience to keep going, but it got downright stressful to watch that much stupidity.
posted by trig at 6:36 PM on February 10, 2023

it's not meant to depict law qua law, it's meant to provide a milieu to see woo young woo navigate a world hostile to her being.
posted by j_curiouser at 11:12 PM on March 1, 2023

I know.

But turns out I find that level of incompetence literally too stressful to watch. (And I've watched a lot of ridiculous dramas; my threshold isn't that low.)

I don't think it adds in any way to the show; I think it was just lazy writing, and it detracted (for me, anyway) from all the good parts (of which there were many).

Does the incompetence get better over the course of the show? In theory I'd like to pick it up again sometime when I have patience.
posted by trig at 4:05 AM on March 2, 2023

I can't say, really. if i were a great judge of legal competence, i probly wouldn't a been in jail those times...
posted by j_curiouser at 9:43 PM on March 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

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