Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is roaring in its first week on Netflix but is facing some unlikely competition for the number one spot from a quirky Korean legal drama that is delivering the verdict on streaming audiences.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo follows an autistic lawyer with an eidetic memory as she uses her talents in the courtroom to devastating effect. The series focuses heavily on humanizing and exploring autism and how attorney Woo Young-woo works with the condition day-to-day and learns to interact best with people.
It’s a beautifully done show which originally aired weekly in South Korea before the distribution rights were snapped up by the all-conquering streaming behemoth that is Netflix. The series has received plaudits for its treatment of its titular character, and its theme of a kinder and better-understanding society.
Autistic characters in pop culture have historically been portrayed as wackier or not capable of understanding, with these characters rarely written by those with lived experiences. According to a Yale study, one in 38 South Korean children has autism, and roughly just 2.5 percent of the nation’s school-age population.
Only 14 of its 16 episodes have been aired so far, with the final two set to drop by the end of August. It’s sitting pretty so far on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb, with an 80 percent audience approval rating on the former, while a 9.1 rating on the latter site. Sitting at #1 for non-English television series on Netflix, and just behind The Sandman for any television series on the service.
Titular star Park Eun-bin is also set to star in a historical drama about the 1947 Boston Marathon, following the Korean delegation. Boston 1947 does not have an international distributor as of yet.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo is available to stream now on Netflix.