Extraordinary Attorney Woo (2022)

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

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

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)

Hot Stove League (2020)

Drama: Hot Stove League (스토브리그)
Network: SBS
Episodes: 16
Release Date: December 13, 2019 – February 14, 2020
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 22:00

A fledging baseball team hires a team manager who is not afraid to shake things up to make some changes. Will he be able to convince the team to succeed or will the team end up being disbanded?

Main Cast
Namgoong Min – Baek Seung Soo
Park Eun Bin – Lee Se Young
Oh Jung Se – Kwon Kyung Min
Jo Byeong Gyu – Han Jae Hee
Lee Joon Hyuk – Go Se Hyeok
Hong Ki Joon – Jang Jin Woo
Jo Han Sun – Lim Dong Gyu
Ha Do Kwon – Kang Doo Ki

I think almost everything that Namgoong Min touches turns to gold. And I’m so happy he finally won a Daesang for his fantastic performance as Baek Seung Soo. Actually, the entire cast was amazing!!

I started watching on a Sunday, kept hitting “next episode” until i realized i was almost done with the show!

How much I loved this drama? Let me count the ways. First, as I said above, amazing performance not just of Namgoong Min but from everyone – the management, the head office, and the players. Each episode focused one 1 to 2 persons’ stories and how Baek was able to help and resolve the problem.

I only have basic knowledge of baseball so didn’t really understand the stats, but it didn’t really matter because the whole point is more on how a manager was able to successful transform a low performing team to a champion. It’s not just how he worked, but how he influenced the people around him to become better versions of themselves.

You can pick up some tips on how to manage difficult people and how to deal with difficult negotiations, Baek Seung Soo is so good at it, i wonder why he is not a hot commodity. I guess they are uneasy with his unorthodox thinking.

I especially loved the episodes about Gil Chang Ju. You can really feel that he loved his wife so much that he had to do what he can for her, and he felt terrible for letting down the people. I would have advised him to do the same thing – play for one season and go to the army like everyone else and come back better and stronger.

I also loved the story about Baek’s brother and cried for Seung Soo. The burden Seung Soo was have felt – feeling guilty for his brother injury, feeling devastated for his wife’s miscarriage, and taking care of his parents. He never shared his pain with others and he stopped smiling. I really hoped that he would finally find a team that would actually want him and stay, but I guess he really is a drifter, off to go where no man wants to go and just kicking ass.

I also loved Lim Dong gyu’s redemption. Episodes 1-2 made him look like such a jerk but underneath it all, he also had his dreams. I think he learned his lesson when Seung Soo kicked him out of the team. But it also felt right when he came back because he is always a Dreams player.

The only episode I didn’t like was episode 15, i thought it was too much, like they had one more episode to fill but they dont know what else to do so they just made the WTF decision to trade Kang Duki and make the manager look like a tool. I also didn’t like Kwong Min, even though he was getting hit and humiliated by his cousin and his uncle, I didn’t feel sorry for him. And him suddenly changing his mind and agreeing to sell the team wasn’t too convincing.

Episode 16 was too simple for a finale. I wish we saw more efforts from Seungsoo to look for a buyer all throughout the show. The ending was easily resolved with just 1 company agreeing to buy the team after just 2 meetings. To think Director spent years looking for a buyer to no avail.

One thing I wanted to say, If the plan was to disband the team from the very start, it didn’t really make sense to bring a new GM and approve of all his changes. It then feels like all his (and everyone’s) efforts will just be a waste of time and the best players will all end up team-less (which is awful!). I wish the objective was very clear from episode 1 – if he can’t fix the team before the season then they will disband. Baek did so many changes that there’s actually a big chance to win the next season, and yet the company still went ahead and killed the team. Other than that, everything else was terrific. I wished there an epilogue or a special episode where we actually see them play during the season. I would have wanted to cheer for them even if it’s just imaginary. LOL.

Rating: 9/10