Extraordinary Attorney Woo Season 1 Review – An extraordinary K-drama with ordinary moving parts

Extraordinary Attorney Woo is an extraordinary K-drama with an ordinary ending and cliched moving parts. Boasting exemplary acting, some solid cases and a lovable group of characters, this K-drama exploded in popularity over the weeks that it aired. Starting with a measly 0.9% share of nationwide watchers, Attorney Woo ended its final episode with a 17.5% share, not to mention staggering numbers of people watching around the world thanks to Netflix. You can watch movies free at 4khotmovies and you can also download seasons like Extraordinary Attorney Woofrom this site.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t bring this up but it’s important to note for Attorney Woo because in many ways, this widespread appeal is both a positive and negative for this drama. On the one hand, more eyeballs on a project is never a bad thing. On the other hand, that added pressure and expectation to deliver, especially during the latter episodes of filming after such a good reception, can sometimes make or break a series. And unfortunately, that feels like the case for this one.

Don’t get me wrong, Attorney Woo is a fun watch but the bubbling subplots, working alongside the different cases each week, eventually peter out and collapse with some unresolved conflicts and a rather rushed final few chapters to try and wrap everything up in a neat little bow.

Brought to life by the fantastic performance of Park Eun-Bin, the show centers on 27 year old Woo Young-Woo, who graduated top of her class at both college and law school. Her impressive memory and thought process are only held back by one thing – she’s diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Struggling in social interactions, Young-Woo tries to navigate the highs and lows of law through her work at Hanbada Law Firm.

Spread across 16 episodes, the series essentially juggles episodic cases with a longer running plot-line, with several different subplots sprouting across the run-time from that. The main focus here is, largely, on the different cases and there’s a good deal of accurate law drama put into this. The main subplot that then blossoms from this is a will they/won’t they romance with office heartthrob Jun-Ho.

Around that is a long-running saga involving Young-Woo’s parentage. It’s rumoured that she could well be the daughter to Tae Su-Mi, the prospective candidate about to take a big role in front of the public.

Coinciding with this is drama involving Min-Woo, a lawyer who doesn’t take kindly to the perceived preferential treatment Young-Woo is receiving at the firm. There’s another subplot involving Myeong-Seok’s health and wife, while Su-Yeon is desperate for romance.

All of these issues essentially bubble up across the episodes, with some even teased as big bouts of drama at the end of each chapter. Unfortunately, they’re sprung out for so long that by the time the final week of episodes crop up, Extraordinary Attorney Woo throws in a couple of longer run-times to try and hurriedly tie everything together with a neat little bow. And personally, I don’t think it quite works.

The other problem with this show, and perhaps it’s more of a personal gripe than anything else, is the way the series relies so heavily on “lightbulb” moments to resolve its tougher cases. Young-Woo is a woman absolutely obsessed with whales and this crops up in humorous ways across each episode. However, Young-Woo has a tendency to suddenly make a breakthrough, complete with seeing dolphins or whales, before coming to a conclusion that wins the day. While I do appreciate the show is directly about her, it sometimes feels like a cheap “get out of jail free” card to use.

Thankfully the series gets around that by including some morally ambiguous cases and some subjective endings. Sometimes Young-Woo finds herself on the wrong side of the moral compass, defending some rather shady characters. Other times the actual resolution – like a young man kidnapping a bus full of kids to let them have a good time away from the stresses of a draconian school – is likely to spark fierce debate on both sides of the argument.

Take nothing away from the characters and acting here though, because both these elements are fantastic. I mentioned Eun-Bin earlier but everything from her mannerisms to general demeanour is absolutely on the money. She’s so good in her role that it’s hard not to be impressed. This woman is 100% in line for some Baeksang Awards next year!

With all that said, Extraordinary Attorney Woo isn’t the best law drama out there and in many ways, its ending is disappointingly perfunctory. However, the show does manage to elevate its material with a great ensemble of likable characters and a solid premise. This is certainly a thought provoking drama all the same and easily one of the better K-dramas released this year.