Extraordinary Attorney Woo (2022)

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Drama: Extraordinary Attorney Woo (이상한 변호사 우영우)
Network: Netflix, ENA
Episodes: 16
Release Date: June 29 – August 18, 2022
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:00

Plot:
This drama tells the story of Woo Young Woo, who has autistic spectrum disaster, and how she navigates her way in her work and personal relationships.

Main Cast
Park Eun Bin – Woo Young Woo
Kang Tae Oh – Lee Jun Ho
Kang Ki Young – Jung Myeong Suk
Jin Kyung – Tae Sumi
Joo Hyun Young – Dong Geurami
Ha Yoon Kyung – Choi Suyeon
Joo Jong Hyuk – Kwon Minwoo
Jeon Bae Soo – Woo Gwang Ho
Baek Ji Won – Han Seon Young

Review:
Woo to the Young to the Woo! Park Eun Bin made WYW so cute and charming while being fierce at work. No wonder she has a lot of support from loyal friends and her dad. And she even managed to get the most popular guy in the office to fall in love with her. But of course, this is KDrama. In real life, sad to say, she probably wouldn’t be treated so nicely by her colleagues. Still the way they depicted WYW made me think how I should also treat people with disabilities and to show more consideration and support for them moving forward. I’m also curious to find out if there really is a genius autistic like WYW?

It’s a role reversal where the male lead is the candy girl, meant to be the support for the female lead and he doesn’t need to do much but to look pretty and support WYW. I hope they also give Junho a meatier storyline in S2. Like handling his own case at work, and exploring more stories of his relationships with his family, friends, and other colleagues that is solely about him and not relating to WYW. I want to know more about him and what makes him tick and thrive.

Another character I love is Ms. Spring Sunshine Suyeon. She is always nice to WYW and defends her when Minwoo and other people are mocking her, or putting her down. And even though she sometimes gets overshadowed by WYW, she doesn’t mind and instead even helps and supports her. In S2, I hope she is also able to show her legal brilliance and win cases too. And I’m curious to know more about her relationship with her father. Her only fault is liking Minwoo, which I really don’t understand.

Kang Ki Young has always played the funny sidekick or bestfriend/neighbor. His role as Jung Myeongsuk is slightly different because he is serious here, although once in a while his comedic skills still show. Myeongsuk is one of the nicest and most supportive bosses in Kdrama Land. At first I thought he would be the one that would hinder WYW to succeed, instead he is one of WYW’s mentors, to the point where WYW even visited him on the day of his surgery hoping he won’t die, and visiting him during his recovery. Was surprised at his illness, but it’s a big wake up call for him to live a better life (and to the viewers who have a similar lifestyle as him!). I hope he gets better and be happier (with his ex-wife) in S2!

I also like Dong Geurami and Hairy guy. Not sure how they are able to keep their restaurant afloat with zero customers (maybe Hairy guy is really rich?). And WYW’s dad sacrificed a lot for his daughter. A tiny part of me wishes he gets back with WYW’s mom but I think they despise each other so much it won’t happen (plus Sumi is still married and no way will she get into a scandal or relationship that will potential ruin her ambitions).

Speaking of Tae Sumi, Jin Kyung the actress has been playing villain characters in the past few years. I loved her when she played the nice characters and she’s scary when she plays the villain. Here, she plays a complex character of being a villain to WYW’s family because she abandoned them for her ambitions, yet I feel that she is also a good person. She is a respected attorney and boss in her company, and she seems like a good mom. I hope in S2, we get to know her and her son more and we get more interactions with WYW. It’s not too late to form a mother-daughter-sibling relationship. I think WYW can be a strength to Tae Sumi’s ambitions and she can also be a good influence to the younger brother.

My friend said she thought the format of the show was boring and repetitive but since this is a legal drama so I already expected episodic cases every week and not the slice of life kind of storyline.

The last episode was a little underwhelming maybe because we all know there’s going to be season 2. Season 1 didn’t go out with a bang, but it opened up so many possibilities and more stories to explore in the next season. I want to know why WYW’s boss seems to hold a grudge against Tae Sumi while she seems oblivious to her dislike. Will the boss turn out to be the villain and Sumi the good one? I also want to see the nice pro bono lawyer in season 2. I almost thought WYW will resign and work for her by end of season but I think WYW has a lot more to learn in Hanbada before she can leave and open her own practice.

The only downside to his drama is Minwoo (the character, not the actor). He was so awful to WYW throughout most of the show but suddenly the writer made him nice in the end, and justifying his behavior because he is poor and needs to take care of his family. Everyone knows he wrote against WYW in the bulletin board, but no one knows he tried to make WYW quit or that he also sabotaged one of the cases. He got off without getting any “punishment” for his bad deeds and even became part of the good team. And I don’t understand why 2 girls are fighting over him – are the girls too shallow? Geurami only likes him for his looks, while Suyeon started liking him just because he was nice to her in Jeju. She just shook off all the hateful things he did to WYW? If Minwoo is going to continue being part of the good team in S2, I don’t mind, it’s just that his character development was so rushed and he never apologized to WYW. They can introduce a new villain attorney that will keep WYW in her toes.

Rating: 8.5/10 (9 minus 0.5 for Minwoo)

Juvenile Justice (2022)

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Drama: Juvenile Justice (소년심판)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 10
Release Date: February 25, 2022

Plot: This drama is about bringing juvenile offenders to justice.

Main Cast:
Kim Hye Soo – Shim Eun Seok
Kim Moo Yool – Cha Tae Joo
Lee Sung Min – Kang Won Jung
Lee Jung Eun – Na Geun Hee

Review: This is a heavy drama about juvenile offenders. Bullying, murder, gang rape. Should they be punished or help them reform? Can they really change? This drama will make you think and this is not just applicable to SK. It’s an issue around the world. I realized it’s very important for kids to grow up in a loving and stable family/environment since their childhood trauma remains even when they grow up as adults.

I liked each of the cases although not always how these were resolved. It also made me think how far should we do our jobs. As judges they weren’t supposed to investigate but they crossed the line. Coz if they don’t do it who will? Or maybe they need everyone or the system (prosecutors, police, workers) to effectively work together to reform the children.

On the downside, I just couldn’t connect with or care for the two main leads despite their sad background stories. Cha Tae Joo is clingy and needy, although I like that he really cares for the kids. Eun Seok is too harsh and does not even smile. I would be scared if I had a mother or even a teacher/boss like her. She is soft hearted too and fair.

Rating: 8/10

Lawless Lawyer (2018)

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Drama: Lawless Lawyer (무법 변호사)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: May 12 – July 1, 2018
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:00

Plot
Bong Sang Pil goes back to his hometown after 18 years to avenge the death of his mother. More than revenge, he seeks justice and tries to take down the two people responsible for his mother’s death and the countless crimes they’ve done.

Main Cast
Lee Joon gi – Bong Sang Pil
Seo Ye Ji – Ha Jae Yi
Lee Hye Young – Cha Moon Suk
An Oh Ju – Choi Min Su

Review
What I liked about this drama is that it went straight to the plot from the very start of the show. The flashbacks were effective in setting up the background and motive why Sangpil wants to go back and avenge his mother’s death. What I didn’t like was how the plot stayed and dragged on until the end and the middle part felt like nothing was really happening. I was tempted to fast forward some scenes but stopped myself because Lee Joon Gi is such an eye candy and his team is too funny!

The relationship between Sangpil and Jaeyi came out of nowhere in the earlier episodes. Like, one minute Jaeyi didn’t like him, but when she found out her mentor killed her mom, she and Sangpil had grieving sex (is that what you call it?) and the next day they were a couple. i guess having a similar experience really makes you closer. I didn’t mind the rushed romance because the story focused more on their revenge and they work well together. I like how their minds clicked and how they discussed things as a couple and colleagues. I also loved the lawless lawyer team, esp Kwangsoo, Geumja and Geun Gang. They may have an unorthodox way of investigating but it still worked.

Just to go back on what i said about the plot dragging for the entire duration of the show, for a show about lawyers and prosecutors, I expected episodic cases where Sangpil and Jaeyi accepts some cases and helps people with theis legal problems, but there was none of that there. The story really focused on the key players of Moon Sook’s past schemes and showing how her and An Oh Ju are so powerful.

I really hated An oh Ju from the start, but the actor was so good that I actually felt bad for him in the end. All he did was follow the instructions of his boss (Moon Sook’s equally corrupt father) and become loyal to the daughter (Moon Sook), yet Moon Sook treated him like a lowlife. Yet he did some terrible things and I liked that he died in his hometown (well I preferred that he pay for his crimes through jail time but I guess death is also not a bad way to go.

As for Nam Soon Ja, she got what she deserved, which is jail time, but I feel like her daughter didn’t learn anything. Like she is still power hungry like her mother, and didn’t apologize or acknowledged that what her mom did wa wrong. I dont even know why Moon Sook likes her when she doesn’t even look like she’s a great prosecutor.

Cha Moon Sook was so evil I wanted someone to please slap her face (and pull out her hair!). I dont understand why she wants power so much but I guess there’s no rationale for greed. I feel bad for the citizens for being duped into thinking she is this amazing woman when all along she schemed, and killed to get her way. The finale was not that impactful for me, since there were no big twists or shocking reveals. It is more like – will An Oh Ju or Nam Soon Ja betray Cha Moon Sook or not? I expected more dramatic turn of events that will publicly humiliate Moon Sook but there was none. Still it was satisfying to see Cha Moon Sook wearing prisoner clothes for a change.

Rating: 8/10

Hyena (2020)

Hyena-KD-2020-LSmp1
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Drama: Hyena (하이에나)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 16
Release Date: February 21 – April 11, 2020
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 22:00

Plot
To survive in a highly competitive environment, two rival attorneys with only high-class clientele tear apart anything that stands in the way of their ambition.

Main Cast
Ju Ji Hoon – Yoon Jee Hae
Kim Hye Soo – Jung Geum Ja

Review:
Gah!! I loved this drama!! The flashy directing and styling, the posh office, the trendy suits and the intense story are reminiscent of Suits. I’m surprised this show came from SBS – it looked more like a cable tv drama.

Where do I start? I didn’t know I needed to see Kim Hye Soo and Ju Ji Hoon pairing until I saw this drama! Kim Hye Soo was amazing as the rough and street wise Jung Geum Ja. She is tough and willing to do what it takes (legally of course) to win her cases. Yoon Hee Jae is the complete opposite – he is suave, smart and polished. He is used to winning his cases but is at a loss when he gets pwned by Geum Ja every single time. He can’t believe he got duped by a “trash” and fell in love. The worst was in that episode where Hye-won poured wine on Hee Jae’s head and Geum Ja saw and made fun of his humiliation.
I have to say, what Geum Ja did at the start was really awful but Hee Jae should have been smart enough to know that he is being played. I was wondering how they can get past that when people find out their secret. I believe Geum Ja also somehow fell in love with Hee Jae even when she was playing him, except that she is not a romantic and prefers to stick to her goal. At this point in her life, she is hungry for money and success and does not need love to complicate and confuse her.
I loved their angry dog-cat fights, their witty back and forth taunts and their too potent sexual tension coming off every time they are near each other. That “push Hee Jae to the wall and kiss him deeply”, all the drinks and real talks they shared, and that one and only bed scene.
It took some time for Hee Jae to like and respect Geum Ja but once he did and they started working together as a team, they were unstoppable! Although they didn’t end up together romantically in the end, I didn’t mind because being equal partners is even better. and I’m sure that Geum Ja can buy her dream building in a few years’ time (with Hee Jae’s help).
I love their little legal team of misfits – from the cute rookie lawyer, Geum Ja’s sweet secretary, pretty and feisty Ms Boo, funny Atty Ga, sharp minded Atty Kim and police detective Joo Ho.
As for the legal cases, the main stories revolve around Issume Holdings and Chairman Son, so every 1-2 episodes is either about the son or the daughter or the mistress, etc until we are able to connect the dots and find out the bigger secret why Issume is so important to Song & Kim. I liked each case and how Geum Ja/Hee Jae handled them. The worst guy is Attorney Song – I really liked him at first when I thought he was Hee Jae’s mentor until we learn that he is the a$$ that has been manipulating his wife, his clients, even the government all along! Feel bad for Hee Jae – he was betrayed by Atty Song and further disillusioned with his father.
The inclusion of Kevin as AP EON was great! it was fun to see Hee Jae feel jealous of another guy – who is either his equal or even better. I found Kevin so handsome at first although I am team Hee Jae all the way! But when he started to team up with Atty Song, his handsome face became ugly to me! Not only did he not get the merger that he wanted, Geum Ja also rejected him! haha!
Just to go back to Geum Ja – her childhood trauma was painful and hard to watch. Even when the father died at the end was anti-climactic. He somehow redeemed himself when he interrupted Geum Ja’s attacker but he never really apologized to her. At least, he’s gone and she is free from her past!
This is one show you shouldn’t miss!
Rating: 9.5/10
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