Skip to main content

Netflix’s new weekly K-drama, Extraordinary Attorney Woo, has captured audiences’ attention. With Park Eun-bin in the leading role after her success in The King’s Affection, the actor takes on a new type of role. The 2022 K-drama centers on a female attorney on the autism spectrum. Over the past few years, main characters on the autism spectrum are few but have quickly picked up momentum.

‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’ tells the story of an autistic attorney who loves whales

From a young age, Woo Young-woo lacked social and speaking skills. Her widowed father one day learns his daughter is a genius when she can recite criminal laws word for word. Over time, he soon realizes she is on the autism spectrum, but this does not deter her from living an everyday life and achieving her dream of being a lawyer.

Now an adult, Young-woo has got the hang of the small nuances of society, like human expressions. She is also the only and first practicing lawyer in South Korea to have autism. Extraordinary Attorney Woo follows Young-woo’s journey as she begins her career at a prestigious law firm.

All the while, she learns about interacting with others, how not to talk about her love for whales, and live an adult life. At the same time, she proves her worth by displaying her autism does not deter her from seeking justice in the courtroom.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo airs every Wednesday and Thursday on Netflix.

‘Good Doctor’ came before the American series about a medical doctor on the autism spectrum

Before Extraordinary Attorney Woo, Good Doctor is one of the most recognized K-dramas with a leading character with autism. Believe it or not, the 2017 American series The Good Doctor is a remake of the 2013 K-drama. Joo Won plays the role of doctor Park Si-on.

As a child, he was sent to a facility and diagnosed on the autism spectrum. His impressive spatial skills and ingeniousness led him to become a resident in pediatric surgery. But Si-on must prove within six months that his autism does not threaten the operating room or attending patients.

Si-on faces obstacles as his colleagues do not believe he is fit to practice medicine due to his lack of empathy. Hospitals are competitive, but Si-on faces a new life obstacle; falling in love.

Good Doctor is available on Viki.

Netflix’s ‘Move to Heaven’ tells the story of a young teen and his uncle helping the dead move on

One of 2021’s resonating K-dramas with an impactful story was Netflix’s Move to Heaven. The drama was a major success, winning three awards at the 3rd Asia Contents Awards. Actor Tang Jun-sang stars as Han Geu-ru, a teenager with Asperger syndrome on the autism spectrum, much like Extraordinary Attorney Woo.

He and his father own the company ‘Move to Heaven’ that takes care of the deceased belongs and gives them to the next of kin. When Geu-ru’s father passes away, his only support system is gone. He goes into the custody of his ex-convict uncle Sang-gu, played by Taxi Driver’s Lee Je-hoon.

Sang-gu is forced to promise to help Gae-ru run the company for a few months. But as they dive into the heartbreaking and emotional stories of the deceased, Sang-gu faces his past and his responsibility to his family.

Move to Heaven is available on Netflix.

Actor Oh Jung-se plays the role of an autistic older brother in ‘It’s Okay to Not Be Okay’

One of the most recognized K-drama characters on the autism spectrum is from It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. The Emmy-nominated drama stars actors Oh Jung-se, Seo Yea-ji, and Kim Soo-hyun. A female children’s book writer is known for her lack of empathy. She also harbors dark secrets from her childhood.

Ko Moon-young (Seo) soon meets a psychiatric hospital caregiver, Moon Gang-tae (Kim). When his mother is murdered, he is left to care for his older brother on the autism spectrum, Moon Sang-tae (Oh). The three characters’ lives intertwine as they help each other heal.

Oh’s portrayal resonated with fans on the autism spectrum as he became friends with a particular fan. After their first initial meeting, Oh kept his promise to take the fan to an amusement park. Park’s Extraordinary Attorney Woo might give Oh a run for his money.

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay is available on Netflix.


5 K-Dramas That Outrank ‘Squid Game,’ According to IMDb Scores