Extraordinary Attorney Woo (이상한 변호사 우영우) was a Korean TV drama with an autistic person as the lead character and central to the story. It depicted the challenges and prejudices faced by an autistic in Korea, in particular a lawyer.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo (이상한 변호사 우영우) was generally received by real-life autistic persons. The show and the team, in particular the lead actor Park Eun Bin (박은빈), positive reactions from both autistics and neurotypicals. I am autistic myself and my opinions about the show only represents my own, this prompted me to contact autistic people and asked them some of questions about the show and autism.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Portrayal of autistic persons was never good. For decades autistic characters were portrayed with stereotypical traits and quirks, and usually depicted in a negative way. I asked fellow autistic persons about it.
Before watching ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’, what was your opinion on films and dramas based on autism, as well as, the portrayal of autistics / persons with autism?
Autistics agree and so do I.
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 the highest, I asked them …
In general, how well did ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’ explained autism, as well as, in putting to the light the challenges autistic people face daily?
Autistic A, Evelyn, wanderingFranzi, all gave a rating of four (4). Lawrence gave a rating of three (3), while Autistic B a rating of two (2).
Next, let’s talk about the romance between Woo Young Woo and Lee Joon Ho.
There were viewers who reacted negatively when Woo Young Woo said she had no idea they were already dating. As an autistic man / autistic woman, can you explain more about it?
Pretty strong answer from Autistic A. In a way I agree, it is one of the stereotypes seen in other shows with an autistic character. Someone who is different gets the blame and the lack of one shifts it to gender-based blaming.
When Woo Young Woo broke up with Lee Joon Ho and did not explain her reasons, there were viewers who said she was inconsiderate and said that she used her autism as an excuse. As an autistic man or autistic woman, what is your take on it? Did she use her autism as an excuse? Was she inconsiderate of Joon Ho’s feelings? Why or why not?
I totally agree with them. Not explaining the reasons for a break up is not an autistic thing, it is a relationship thing. This is the same with the previous question, the autistic person was blamed because she is autistic; if she was non-autistic, the audience would defend her decision and make Lee Joon Ho as the inconsiderate one in their relationship.
Many autistics / persons with autism expressed their satisfaction with how ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’ portrayed autism properly and with respect. Do you share a similar view? Why or why not?What is your message to everyone who is non-autistic or non-PWA?
Extraordinary Attorney Woo (이상한 변호사 우영우) is about an autistic woman’s growth as she navigates on her own—for the first time—a world with prejudice about autism. However, an integral part of the story are the legal cases.
What can you say about the cases Attorney Woo Young Woo, and friends, handled throughout the series? Were the cases refreshing to see on TV? Were there anything you think they should have done differently?What other shows do you recommend related to autism (implied or stated), and why?
The YOOki (柳紀 ・ 유 기) Chronicles is ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (Yuki ・ 雪亮)’s return into casual and personal blogging. The name “YOOki” is a mash-up of the acronym of YourOnly.One and my nickname ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (Yuki ・ 雪亮).
Interestingly, according to Chinese legend, 「柳」 (YOO) is an ancient Chinese surname. The ancestors of the surname were closely linked with the ancient sage-king named Yu Shun. In Korea, the 「유」 (YOO) lineage traces to the Xia, Han, and Joseon dynasties. Holders of the surname Yu or Yoo had a reputation for charity and diligence.1
It is also the word for “willow” or the “willow tree” which means graceful or slender; and a tree growing near a body of water which provide continuous nourishment and resources for everyone. It can also mean to exist, an oil (anointment(?)), and simply as “U” (you).
The hanzi 「紀」 (ki) character means to record, be disciplined, provide order. While the hangul equivalent, 「기」 (ki; gi), means energy, spirit, a banner, and a period of time; and is also a suffix used to make a gerund or an infinitive.
Can you guess what I mean by 「柳紀」 and 「유 기」 as the Chinese and Korean for “YOOki”?