First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts: Extraordinary Attorney Woo

Park Eun Bin has earned a top spot in our “Actresses to Watch” list, and her role in Extraordinary Attorney Woo has us sitting up and paying attention. Come see why The Fangirls think this is a legal drama you should NOT miss. 

The Plot

(Courtesy of Extraordinary Attorney Woo is about a 27-year-old lawyer on the autism spectrum. Due to her high IQ of 164, impressive memory, and creative thought process, the brilliant Woo Young Woo graduated at the top of her class from the prestigious Seoul National University for both college and law school. However, she still finds herself struggling when it comes to social interactions.

How’s The Representation?

Autism has been unfairly portrayed in the media in past years, from some shows having autistic characters ‘cured’ to others reducing people with autism to people to be ignored. Extraordinary Attorney Woo is being much more considerate. Park Eun Bin is a versatile and sensitive actress, as she’s most recently shown in The King’s Affection and Do You Love Brahms? Her portrayal of Woo Young Woo seems to be well-researched, compassionate, and sincere.

Drama Geek: The internet is a buzz regarding this show and how it’s portraying autism. Many are saying the show is doing a fabulous job, while others still have issues. The biggest thing I’ve seen from watchers is that they are happy people are talking about it, and they’re excited a female character, in particular, is being shown. Shows like this tend to be ones you have to watch and see how it relates to your own personal experience.

Clkytta: Representation is important, even if it’s not perfect. This show opens up discussion lines about autism that’s a good step. The acting is stellar, and so far, it feels like they have been really respectful in the portrayal of a person with autism in the professional world. I have been totally charmed by this show; it makes me laugh, I’ve cried, and I’ve cheered.

Karie the Maknae: I’m always here for representation, especially in the hands of a skilled actor or actress. Oh Jung Se was stellar in It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, and Park Eun Bin is showing a similar level of compassion and realism. Her character’s situation may not be true to life for everyone — autism is a spectrum, after all — but she’s handling this role with grace and maturity and charm.

Will There Be a Love Line?

Kang Tae Oh is turning in a fantastic performance as the outgoing and kind litigation attorney Lee Joon Ho. He’s immediately drawn to Woo Young Woo, and seems to have an instinctual understanding of how best to connect with her. His thoughtfulness is definitely making viewers swoon, and Woo Young Woo seems to have accepted him into her inner circle quite quickly – she calls him randomly to share whale facts that happen to cross her mind. That’s true love right there, folks. 

Drama Geek: The way he looks at Woo Young Woo melts my heart. He is genuinely a nice guy to everyone and makes you want them to be close, even if it’s just for whale talk. They have a certain sparkle when together and I just love them. Another aspect people are talking about, is the need to show that love and romance do exist for those with autism, so I’m pretty sure the audience is rooting for these two.

Clkytta: Love is a strange creature and doesn’t understand boundaries, so of course, we will have a love line. Woo Young Woo is totally loveable and she is capable of loving. It may not be the smack-in-your-face adoration that we all are used to, but it will be the kind of love that survives anything. I’m very interested and excited to see the direction they take here. Plus, he is totally charmed by her and he wants to know what makes her tick. When someone wants to make a connection like that, well, it makes the rest of us want the connection too!

Karie the Maknae: Connection is PARAMOUNT, and Kang Tae Oh is portraying Lee Jun Ho’s emotional connection to Woo Young Woo so, so well. Every nuance of expression, every bit of body language is committed to showing us exactly how he feels, and I have to admit that I may have swooned more than once. He’s just that good! I can’t wait to see how things play out between the two of them.

The Supporting Cast is Stellar

From Jeon Bae Soo, who plays Woo Young Woo’s father, to Kang Ki Young, Woo Young Woo’s new boss, the cast of Extraordinary Attorney Woo are adeptly showing the viewers what life with an autistic person might be like. There’s a memorable moment in episode 4 when Jeon Bae Soo exquisitely describes how lonely it can be, and the love shining through his face and voice as he tells the story tells the viewers how extraordinary he himself is.

Kang Ki Young goes quickly from distrusting Woo Young Woo’s abilities to becoming her staunchest advocate, mentoring her without patronizing her. He was absolutely the right choice for this role. Rounding out the people in Woo Young Woo’s life is her lively and charismatic best friend, Dong Geurami (played by Joo Hyun Young), who adopted Woo Young Woo in high school and has been her champion in the best way possible.

Drama Geek: The side characters all make me so happy, even the lawyers who aren’t super sweet or nice to her. They round out her world to make things a bit more realistic, though don’t go too heavy into realism, because unfortunately that might be super depressing. Her dad is just a regular dad who has helped his daughter do her thing, and her best friend is also just a fun friend who stands by her side. I’m pretty sure Woo Young Woo adopted her in high school though. LOL.

Clkytta: I love the side characters so much. There is realism, like Drama Geek says, but there is also trust-building and a safe environment for Woo Young Woo to grow. Woo Young Woo knows what acceptance is, and I can’t wait to see how many more people she will pull into her circle. We know she gathered up Bestie in high school, and Bestie’s boss seems to also be on Team WYW. From the start, the other new female lawyer has tried to help her. They aren’t traditional friends, but she knows that Woo Young Woo knows her stuff. I mean, come on, who else are you gonna trust to bring your clothes in a really embarrassing situation?

Karie the Maknae: From her dad to the CEO who hired her to Attorney Jung, Woo Young Woo is surrounded by considerate and caring people. This support group will help her grow and meet the challenges of less understanding people head on. Who wouldn’t want these people in their corner, cheering them on? Kang Ki Young is especially relatable, and I’m happy to see him in a role that allows him to be serious and show off his range.

Do We Recommend?

Drama Geek: Yes! I think it’s worth anyone trying it out and seeing if it hits right for them. The cinematography and use of animated whales is sometimes breathtaking. The acting is superb all around, and the stories they’ve centered around so far, have been touching.

Clkytta: Oh yeah! I am really enjoying the storytelling, and who doesn’t love whales?

Karie the Maknae: There’s a reason this drama continues to climb in the ratings — there’s learning and charm and a slow-burn romance, all in the hands of a capable director who seems to be pulling the best performances possible from each actor. I’m here until the very end.

Until the next courtroom appearance, we remain –

The Fangirls

Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

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