Extraordinary Attorney Woo review

Featuring Park Eun-bin and Kim Tae-oh, Extraordinary Attorney Woo has dominated the #1 spot on Netflix since its release, accruing praise from fans and idols alike for its stellar acting and layered portrayal of autism. We watched the first episode and tell you if the hype is well-earned.

First attorney in Korea with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - title image
Image credit: Namu Wiki

Extraordinary Attorney Woo starts with our extraordinary attorney Woo Young-woo, on her first day of work at Hanbada Law firm. 

In the drama, Young-woo is the first attorney in Korea with ASD. Her condition grants her extraordinarily high IQ, creativity, and memory, but leaves her struggling with social interactions and emotional intelligence. 

Over the series, we journey with Young-woo as she fights for her clients, forges new relationships, and combats the stigma of ASD, proving that being diagnosed with ASD doesn’t stop her from becoming extraordinary.


1. Young-woo first started reciting the law when she was 5 years old 

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - in office
Image adapted from: Netflix

The series starts in the doctor’s office, where we learn that, despite being 5 years old, Young-woo has yet to start speaking.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - doctor office
Image adapted from: Netflix

Young-woo’s father, Gwang-ho, played by Jeon Bae-soo, is also told that Young-woo likely has ASD.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - recite law
Image adapted from: Netflix

However, a subsequent altercation between Gwang-ho and their landlord stresses Young-woo out, and she says her first words, which are Korean laws on inflicting bodily harm.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - get smacked double gif
Video adapted from: Netflix

Her recital makes Gwang-ho so happy that he forgets that he just got beaten up. 

2. Accurate depictions of struggles people with autism go through

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - jumping baby young woo
Image adapted from: Netflix

Extraordinary Attorney Woo seems to have taken extra care in ensuring that the show’s portrayal of ASD is diagnostically accurate, such as discomfort in social situations and interactions, common experiences faced by the neurodivergent.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - in train
Video adapted from: Netflix

These scenes are shown from Young-woo’s point-of-view, like her feeling stressed out when she’s in a crowded train.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - angry old man
Video adapted from: Netflix

Or when she’s getting yelled at. 

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - nervous
Video adapted from: Netflix

We also see how anxious she is while preparing to speak publicly at her first court proceeding.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - hates contact
Video adapted from: Netflix

She shows clear discomfort when someone initiates physical contact with her.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - eating kimbap
Video adapted from: Netflix

The show also portrays other symptoms of ASD, such as restrictive behaviour where Young-woo only eats kimbap, because to her, the flavours are predictable and she can see all the ingredients.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - echolalia
Video adapted from: Netflix

Young-woo also displays echolalia, a type of repetitive behaviour under ASD diagnosis, where she repeats things that others tell her.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - whales
Image adapted from: namu.wiki

And last but not least, Young-woo shows a hyper-focus of interest on whales, her other love besides the law.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - doubt from others
Image adapted from: Netflix

The show also depicts the stigma that neurotypical individuals have against the neuro-divergent, where their capabilities are always doubted. In the show, her client and fellow workers seem to notice Young-Woo’s disorder first before getting to know her as an individual.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - objection
Video adapted from: Netflix

But Young-woo always proves the doubters wrong by showing she’s just as – if not more – capable as they are.  

3. Young-woo’s first encounter with Jun-ho

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - in front of revolving door
Video adapted from: Netflix

As she first arrives at the Hanbada office building, Young-woo faces her toughest opponent yet: revolving doors.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - stuck in door double gif
Video adapted from: Netflix

Even for neurotypical people, revolving doors can also seem daunting, with irrational fears like being trapped by the door and getting stuck in a loop.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - tae oh walk her through door
Video adapted from: Netflix

Luckily for Young-woo, a knight in shining armour, Jun-ho, played by Kang Tae-oh, comes to her aid to help her through the doors by stopping the door and telling her when to exit.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - waltz conunting
Video adapted from: Netflix

After helping her the first time, they share a cute moment where Jun-ho gives Young-woo a tip on using the door: counting tempo like a waltz.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - go through door tgt
Video adapted from: Netflix

They then brave the revolving beast together once again.

Bonus clip 

Extraordinary Attorney Woo - woo 2 young 2 woo
Video adapted from: Netflix

This iconic greeting between Young-woo and her best friend Dong Geurami, played by Joo Hyun-young, has gone viral, with idols and fans doing it all over social media. This is now the only correct way to greet your friends.

Verdict: 5/5

Extraordinary Attorney Woo’s thoughtful portrayal of ASD gives us a glimpse of what neurodivergent people go through on a daily basis. It also shows that people diagnosed with ASD are also just fellow humans trying to make sense of the world in their unique ways.

ASD-aside, the legal aspects of the show are also compelling, but not too over-the-top for the sake of drama. It’s like Suits – but Korean, and more wholesome.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo review: we’re not that different

In just one episode, the show has managed to flesh out Young-woo and her struggles really well. It is definitely exciting to see where Young-woo’s law career will go from here and how she will show everyone how truly extraordinary she is. 

And since all 16 episodes of the drama are now available, there’s no better time to binge-watch this extraordinary series than now. 

Extraordinary Attorney Woo is on Netflix

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Cover image adapted from: @netflixkr and Netflix

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