Record Breaking K Drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo Highest Rated!

The final episode of the hit courtroom K-drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo, which aired in South Korea on Thursday, broke its own ratings record (Aug 18). According to Nielsen Korea, the conclusion of the 16-part series received an average nationwide rating of 17.5%, the highest in ENA’s program history. Because of the success of Extraordinary Attorney Woo, ENA, a relatively new pay television channel in the country, rose to prominence.

The fictional drama revolves around the brilliant female heroine Woo Young-woo (played by Park Eun-bin), South Korea’s first lawyer with autism. The story follows her development as a brilliant rookie lawyer, her working problems as an autistic person, and her connections with her colleagues, including a growing romance. Its record ratings put it in the company of other top-performing K-dramas in South Korean cable television history, such as Goblin (2016–2017), which achieved an 18.7 percent rating for its final episode.

Other popular South Korean series in recent years include the massively popular romance Crash Landing On You (2019 to 2020), whose finale received an average nationwide rating of 21.7 percent, and the infidelity drama The World Of The Married (2020), which received an average nationwide rating of 28.4 percent for its final episode. Extraordinary Attorney Woo, praised by many for its touching plot, performed well outside of South Korea, where it is available on Netflix.

It was the most-watched non-English language series worldwide from July 4 to August 14 – with the exception of a drop to second place in the week of July 18. As of August 14, it had been seen for over 69 million hours worldwide. The series has been on Netflix’s top 10 television charts in Singapore for seven weeks, with five of those weeks at the top. It is also the most-watched television series on Netflix in various South-East Asian countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

The core cast has also expressed their love for the just concluded series. Leading lady Park says she admires her character’s tough and daring personality in an interview with Malaysian daily The Star. On Thursday (Aug 18), actor Kang Ki-young, who plays Woo’s tutor Jung Myung-Seok, tweeted an Instagram photo of the cast with the comment “Unforgettable moments.”

Singapore fans said it was a well-written drama with a superb cast, but it could have been wrapped up more satisfactorily. “I think the portrayal of the relationship between Woo (and her family members) might have been developed better,” says Madam Clara Chan, a 59-year-old housewife who has attentively watched the series as it aired. As is, it feels rushed, and some of the characters’ decisions feel like a sudden personality shift.

“However, it was a good way of exposing viewers to what autism is all about, and it made a point of showcasing people from various ends of the autism spectrum.” Ms. Mia Su, a 30-year-old housewife, says, “It was a pleasant, positive ending where Woo has got the strength to face the world as her unique self.” Overall, it was a good plot that avoided being treacherous.”

According to the entertainment website Soompi, an ENA source has revealed that Season 2 production is “already in talks.” However, on August 17, Mr. Lee Sang Baek, the CEO of STORY, the show’s production firm, was quoted as claiming that they “will make Season 2” and that “the goal” is to screen it in 2024.

He also stated that the cast, director, writer, and production team will not be replaced “as long as there are no unforeseen changes.”

In the meanwhile, until Season 2 airs, they will provide various products based on the drama’s intellectual property, such as a webtoon that is already serialized, a musical, and merchandise.