Cover Park Eun-bin as Woo Young-woo in 'Extraordinary Attorney Woo' (Photo: Netflix)

'Extraordinary Attorney Woo' is one of the best K-series of 2022 and it just got renewed for a second season. Here's why you should watch it on Netflix

On August 17, ASTORY, the production company behind the sensational Extraordinary Attorney Woo confirmed that the K-drama would return for season two sometime in 2024–an exception to the rule that K-dramas don't have multiple seasons and a testament to how well the show is loved by all.

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Topping Netflix’s Global Top 10 Non-English TV chart, Extraordinary Attorney Woo follows Woo Young-woo (played by Park Eun-bin), a rookie but genius lawyer with Asperger's Syndrome at Hanbada Law Firm. While she faces prejudicial treatment at work and in her daily life, she effortlessly cracks cases by focusing on details and legal loopholes that nobody else spots.

Aside from offering a fresh and heartwarming spin to legal dramas, here are five things we loved about the series.

1. Shining a light on autism

Extraordinary Attorney Woo breaks the mould in representing disability in film and television, and offers a glimpse into the life of someone on the autism spectrum. Specifically, through Woo's eyes.

As a viewer, we're able to walk a day in her shoes as she prepares for work (she eats gimbap every single day to maintain a daily routine), wears headphones in the subway to cancel out external stimuli, counts to five on her fingers before entering a room, deals with various people in and outside of the courtroom (especially those who think she's unfit for her job), tries to interact with her colleagues, and manages her meltdowns.

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It consistently tries to break down commonly held misconceptions about autistic people with emotional insights that tug at the heartstrings. To add on, every episode ends with an important takeaway, whether it is autism, dementia, LGBT rights or even school pressure.

2. Woo's endearing love for whales

While Woo is a graduate of Seoul National University with an IQ of 164, she's often looked down upon for being a person on the autism spectrum. However, she quickly gains recognition and respect for her excellent memory and creative thought process, which helps her navigate cases and court hearings.

Her ability to recall laws to refute claims and build strong arguments can bring even the strongest courtroom opponent to their knees, and in every case that she cracks, she's inspired by what she loves the most in the world–whales.

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Indeed, whales are a recurring theme and often appear via Woo's imagination whenever she seeks comfort or has a "Eureka!" moment while working a case. Each episode is accompanied by a new whale fact that's linked to a solution for a case she has been assigned to.

3. Real stories, real people

It's not all script and storyboarding. Woo's character was actually partially inspired by a real-life person named Mary Temple Grandin.

Grandin was a professor at Colorado State University and a world-class zoologist. She was diagnosed with autism when she was two years old and doctors believed that she would have trouble communicating and that she would need to be cared for her entire life.

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Despite the doctor's prognosis and against all odds, Grandin achieved a doctorate and played an important role in promoting the humane treatment of livestock for slaughter. She also used her influence and personal experiences to speak about autism to break down the stigma surrounding autism.

Additionally, some of the legal cases in Extraordinary Attorney Woo were inspired by true stories published by actual lawyers such as the lottery case in episode 11.

4. The loveable cast and heartwarming relationships

Aside from swooning over Woo, fans are also equally invested in the people around her. This includes her loving appa (played by Jeon Bae-soo), with whom she bonds over their shared love for law books; her BFF Dong Geu-ra-mi (played by Joo Hyun-young), and their infectious "Woo to the Young to the Woo, Dong to the Geu to the Rami!" dab catchphrase; and her supportive colleagues.

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There's also senior lawyer Jung Myeong-seok (played by Kang Ki-young), who initially didn't believe in Woo but soon warms up to her, eventually becoming her strongest supporter and ally after bearing witness to her brilliance. Not forgetting fellow workmate and romantic interest Lee Joon-ho (played by Kang Tae-oh), who'll surely hold a special place in your heart.

5. For Park Eun-bin

Woo is the heart and soul of Extraordinary Attorney Woo and it's hands down Park's best work to date. The former child actress made her television debut when she was only five years old. It wasn't until 20 years later that she landed her first leading role in the time-travelling romance K-drama, Operation Proposal.

Park was last seen in The King's Affection as Crown Prince Yi Hwi–the portrayal that earned her the Top Excellence Actress Award at the 2021 KBS Drama Awards and a Best Actress nomination at the 58th Baeksang Arts Awards.

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Due to the delicate nature of the character Woo, Park was apprehensive about taking on the project and turned down the offer a few times. "Because the theme and the issues it addesses, I felt a heavy sense of responsibility. I did not want to offend or hurt anyone," she said, adding that it was director Yoo In-shik and writer Moon Ji-won who convinced her to accept the role.

Yoo revealed he waited for a year for Park as he felt that there was no alternative. "There weren't many actors who could play the character of Woo. It's not an easy role. Even Park felt burdened but I couldn’t imagine another actress playing Woo. So, I had to wait... and I did wait. And she's doing so well!"

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