Extraordinary Attorney Woo makes Netflix Top 10 for weeks
by Ishini Fernando
Extraordinary Attorney Woo, the South Korean legal drama directed by Yoo In-shik that came out on Netflix this summer, quickly made fans of viewers across the globe. The show follows the story of a brilliant new attorney who is autistic, Woo Young-woo (played by Park Eun-Bin), as she begins her career in law.
Woo gets a job at a big law firm called Hanbada, an exceptional opportunity after struggling to find a job after graduating, despite having been a top student in law school. Woo’s socially awkward tendencies and quirks at first make it difficult for her to fit in at her new workplace. She is pushed out of her comfort zone and presented with many challenges as a junior lawyer. However, while her capabilities are initially questioned by her neurotypical colleagues, Woo Young-woo has great determination, a high IQ, a photographic memory, and an obsession with whales that makes her endearing to those close to her.
While she inevitably faces prejudice in her line of work, she quickly proves her value to the firm and her team with her strong work ethic and unique way of doing things. She makes strides with her creative, out-of-the-box approach to problem-solving, despite struggling with day-to-day interactions with clients and colleagues. Although she eventually forms bonds with her peers as they get to know and understand her, she also makes a few enemies. Episode by episode, legal case after legal case, the audience gets to follow along as the protagonist navigates workplace politics, legal dilemmas, family secrets, new friendships and even love. The show is entertaining and engaging, and its characters bring light-heartedness to many serious topics.
While the legal drama was a massive hit, having earned its spot on the top 10 in Canada list on Netflix and remained there for weeks, it also garnered some criticism for leaning into stereotypes of autistic individuals often portrayed on television. Many feel that the show missed a great opportunity for education and proper representation. However, Extraordinary Attorney Woo still raised a lot of awareness on an international scale, which is no small feat. Due to its immense popularity, the show has already been renewed for a second season.