The significance of South Korea’s ending new drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo is neatly encapsulated in the third episode, titled “This Is Pengsoo.” Autistic rookie lawyer Woo Young-woo (Park Eun-bin) is assigned to defend an autistic client accused of killing his older brother. Over the next hour, the show humanely portrays the range of those on the autism spectrum and challenges the subtle ways of discrimination against them. The case has a momentous impact on an efficient Young-woo, who briefly quits her prestigious law firm, fearing she’s the “weakest link” of the team. And Extraordinary Attorney Woo basically becomes a nuanced and wholesome attempt to disprove this fear.
The show, which aired on South Korea’s ENA channel and streams on Netflix globally, is an instant charmer. Anchored by Eun-bin’s superlative lead performance, it sheds a light on Young-woo’s reality without turning her into a quirky caricature, following her as she joins one of the country’s top law firms and finds a lovely unexpected mentor, an ally, a nemesis , hidden family secrets, and obviously an enchanting love interest. Extraordinary Attorney Woo deftly straddles being genuinely heartfelt and funny, and it balances genres (from legal to romance to workplace) without going over the top. The 16-episode first season, wrapped on August 19, is an ideal watch. And its streaming numbers seem to agree.
About those numbers: Since its debut in late June, the show has mostly retained the number one spot for Netflix’s non-English programming, with its viewership growing steadily as new episodes dropped weekly. According to Netflixthe number of hours viewed more than tripled from 23,950,000 for the week of July 4 to 77,430,000 for the finale during the week of August 15. That’s right: Better Call Saul and She-Hulk: Attorney