Sep 14, 2022 • 1HR 15M

​​​​Fantasies of progress on K-TV with Jenny Wang Medina

“Extraordinary Attorney Woo,” disability rights, and Korean feminism

Open in playerListen on);

Appears in this episode

Time To Say Goodbye
A podcast about Asia, Asian America, and life during the Coronavirus pandemic, featuring Jay Caspian Kang and Tammy Kim.
Episode details

Hello from Seoul (both real and fictional)!

This week, we welcome our friend and K-drama expert Jenny Wang Medina back to the pod to discuss the new Netflix hit “Extraordinary Attorney Woo.” 

The legal-procedural K-drama follows an autistic attorney, Woo Young-woo, who joins the ranks of a high-powered law firm and quickly proves herself invaluable. It’s wholesome, marginally sea-themed, and set in a fantasy playground of the professional sphere. 

We discuss the hot-button issues in Korea that form the backdrop of the show, like children’s rights, Buddhism versus Christianity, North Korean defectors, and eminent domain, just to name a few. We reflect on the rise of multiculturalism and minority rights in Korean society, TV, and film, which has led to the increased visibility of people with disabilities. Woo has also sparked a specific discourse around the portrayal of its autistic protagonist. Will the show also inspire a generation of women lawyers to move to Korea, expecting a feminist haven, or convince Korean parents to ease up on their kids’ time at hagwons? Only time will tell. 

If you plan to watch the series, we should warn you that Jay drops a couple of pretty extreme spoilers towards the end of the ep!

Later this week, we’ll be releasing a bonus recording of our book club with Lisa Hsiao Chen, author of “Activities of Daily Living,” for paid subscribers. We’ve also been using our TTSG Discord to plan subscriber meet-ups with Tammy in Seoul. If you’d like to join in, subscribe via Patreon or Substack. And you can always email us at and follow us on Twitter!