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Park Eun-bin takes the case in ENA’s Extraordinary Attorney Woo

In our bustling month of premieres, we can’t forget ENA’s Extraordinary Attorney Woo which stars the ever-adorable Park Eun-bin (The King’s Affection), along with Kang Tae-oh (Doom at Your Service) and Kang Ki-young (A Moment at Eighteen).

Park Eun-bin plays the central character, Woo Young-woo. Intelligent, bright, and curious in personality, her perspective on the world can sometimes be a little different, due to having autism spectrum disorder. The story follows her growth as she starts working as an intern at a large law firm and encounters new challenges through each case she takes on.

Kang Tae-oh will be playing a law firm employee named Lee Joon-ho, whose job mainly involves assisting lawyers with their casework and providing support. Owing to his warm and affectionate personality, he gets along well with others at work and quickly becomes friendly with Park Eun-bin as well.

Kang Ki-young takes on the character Jung Myung-seok, a senior attorney at the law firm. He put his nose to the grind in order to succeed in his career and takes a lot of pride in his work. Being highly dedicated and responsible, Park Eun-bin gets placed under Kang’s management when she is hired.

Supporting cast includes Park Eun-bin’s father Jeon Bae-soo (Love All Play), the head of the law firm Baek Ji-won (Snowdrop) as well as competing law firm partner Jin Kyung (Melancholia).

We also have Park Eun-bin’s bestie Joo Hyun-young (SNL Korea), Park’s school and work colleague Ha Yoon-kyung (Hospital Playlist 2), and Park’s fellow intern Joo Jong-hyuk (Happiness).

On the production side, directing is helmed by PD Yoo In-shik (Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim 2) with scripts penned by Moon Ji-won (Innocent Witness). Extraordinary Attorney Woo premieres June 29 on both ENA and Netflix.

Via Sports Kyunghyang (1), (2)

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Why the helmet hairstyle? 😟

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Because it looks like a hair a person with autism could have. Easy to comb, simple and plain.
It will also make her looks less aware of herself, i suppose, which may be a characteristic of an autistic person.... Not sure...
But on the bright side, I am sure PEB will rock the role wonderfully, because she is great.

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Looking forward to this one sounds interesting premise. I have started to notice certain conditions are getting highlighted in dramas Autism and Dementia seem to be the top hits for mental health and brain conditions with a short lead time to the demise of the character. Do you think they are the equivalent of PPL for health professionals as we can’t all read the sponsors details in the credits I wonder if there is a hospital or medication for whichever condition is getting highlighted.

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@reply1988: What an astute observation (I remember that you’re a therapist in RL). Yikes. That would be be depressing even if it might have at least some positive effects if these conditions are sensitively depicted and draw on the current medical knowledge.
I was hoping it was solely socially motivated and driven but that is probably somewhat naive of me.

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Yes let’s hope it is about raising awareness as discrimination and bullying is such a big feature within the dramas and usually its about class or sexism. I forgot the other physical symptom I have seen a few times is a deaf parent where they usually will use their child as an interpreter which is obviously inappropriate especially in medical situations. I have only seen it happen once where someone mentioned calling the interpreter service.

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I think it is mainly due to _Good Doctor_'s success. Writers always try to emulate successful plots rather than being innovative. It's why we have so many medical romance dramas all over the world since _Grey's_ came out. K-dramas are the same. We had the whole historical drama debacle of the last couple years because of it.

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But will this show really show autism per se? I have to wonder if the show is simply riffing off of the success of the Good Doctor but maybe not really understanding the nature of the neurological condition known as autism.

I know that you are a therapist and can maybe offer some insight here. I view autism as not so much a disability but rather (when not associated with other drawbacks) as an 'other ability'. It seems like a two sided coin- on one side is the incredible hyper-focus which may in some circumstances give that autistic person an actual advantage in some kinds of tasks or occupations as opposed to those whose neurology is more statistically normal- but at a price in other areas like empathy. The problem with an autistic lawyer would be that things like empathy, etc are part of what makes someone an effective lawyer. Is there a way of overcoming this so that our autistic lawyer can actually be effective?

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They will do what they did with Good Doctor and have others befriend her to be her social skills advisors. They have already set the scene on how they will work together using their mixed skill set for the benefit of the client.

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That makes some sense. I could actually see how the Autistic Lawyer could be a superb legal researcher and someone whose abilities would make it easier to spot things - or holes- in the evidence.

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Lurve Park Eun Bin!!!

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Same here and could not see her in her last role as I do not like Sageuks. So waiting for this one.

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I do too and so does my wife.

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I am always, always here for Park Eun-bin. She will knock this out of the park, just as she did with her previous characters. I just hope the depiction of autism is accurate and respectful.

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Judging by the hairstyle they gave the character, I don't have much hope for respectful.

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What's wrong with her hair? Anyone could want to have that hairstyle. Prejudice begins when people judge others by appearance

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@lovekdrama

The only thing I can do is laugh at your comment. One, for your lack of understanding and two for you using words that don't mean what you think they do.

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I became a fan of Park Eunbin’s acting prowess after The King’s Affection. She was so so wonderful. I hope she and Rowoon get to act together again. What a pair of cuties!

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She has been great in everything she has done but in particular I would suggest watching her in STOVE LEAGUE and also in DO YOU LOVE BRAHMS?

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@oldawyer: Thank you for the recs.! I will definitely try to find them.

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Just a a few points about pronunciation. After almost a year of studying Korean, I’ve come to understand how much Korean names are distorted when they are transcribed into English. The romanised versions are often so different from Korean as to be a crime against the language. A few things that some of you might appreciate knowing:
1. The last name of ‘Lee’ doesn’t exist in Korean and it was an awkward approximation to create ease of pronunciation in English no doubt by westerners. In Hangeul, it is written as ‘이’ which is pronounced as ‘ee’ (as in ‘eat)’.
1A. Similarly, the last name ‘Choi’, ‘최’ doesn’t exist in Korean and in Hangeul, the pronunciation is much closer to ‘Che’ as in ‘cherry’ because if the combination of two vowels.
2. Koreans neither separate the first and second parts of their names in writing nor when they pronounce them.
3. What is transcribed as ‘woo’ in Korean names is often ‘oo’ as in ‘coo’ because in Hangeul, there is a combination of vowels which is pronounced as ‘woo’ and that is not what is present in most Korean names that are transcribed with the ‘woo’ convention. For instance, Jungoo in Hangeul is written as ‘정우’ yet transcribed as ‘Jungwoo’ in English which is not accurate.
4. There are 7 different levels of speech in Korean, each with its own level of formality and politeness.
5. Friends call each other by intimate names (as well as an older person calling a much younger person who they know) which are created by the addition of ‘a’ as in ‘apple’ to a name ending in a consonant (eg ‘Deokima’ ) and the addition of an ‘ya’ if the name ends in a vowel (eg Jungooya).
6. Koreans elide over the final consonant in the first syllable of many of their names as it gets combined with the second syllable and creates a melodious rhythm. The last consonant in the second syllable is also often not vocalised.

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Thank you so much. I have been searching everywhere how to write the first name as I knew it wasn’t a capital letter or hyphen but it seemed odd not to have a capital for the second part of the name.
I have heard ‘ee’ when people say Lee so assumed it was a silent L just as some of the letters have different sounds like they pronounce coffee and coppee. I also noticed the translation issue with names as I heard the ‘a’ on the end of names or they would be called sister and the translation would put their name in.

Wow 7 levels of speech! I noticed the formal politeness in terms of names for a relative when someone used a completely different word it may have been Goblin and Princess Hours so I assumed it was the royalty and historical element.

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@reply1988: Pleasure!
Hangeul doesn’t have capital letters unlike many other alphabets.
Re the translation point, you’ve noticed an important point which is that younger people must use honourifics for older brothers and sisters and that is gendered both ways (depending on your gender and theirs). So they would not use their older siblings names but instead use the appropriate honourifics. Subtitlers must regard this as confusing so they replace them with the names which is a glaring no no!

Foreigners like me are taught 3-4 of these levels of speech as you are correct that there are different words used depending on who one is talking to. There are 2 levels which are largely used for formal writing and in historical accounts including in Seijuks so not taught to foreign learners.

Also, I have just learnt something else which has blown my mind. If one is talking to someone about a third person, different honourifics have to be used depending on the relationship with the 2nd and 3rd persons. Complicated but fascinating.
Sorry for carrying on. I love what I’m learning so much that tend to want to talk about it all the time!
They would also use different verb endings with their friends than what they would use with parents, grandparents, teachers, other older people and the elderly.

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I would love to study Korean too but the timing is not good now due to the lack of practice options. I learnt basic sign language and lost it due to lack of practice so won’t let that happen again. Thanks again for taking the time to explain I think you are doing very well for the first year of studies. How are you learning is it online live teaching or with pre recorded course?

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@reply1988: Thank you for your encouragement! If I didn’t have to work for a living (long hours), I would spend considerably more time on my studies so not as diligent as I would like to be.
The classes are live Zoom ones and with a wonderful Korean teacher who has migrated. I love her so much as she is funny, sharp, mischievous and enjoys teaching.

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To provide some explanation regarding last names... I'm not an expert, but it's complicated because most Korean last names are Sino-Korean words.

With the example of "Lee," the general practice in South Korea is to spell these as "이" ("Ee"). In North Korea, the general practice is to use "리" which is pronounced as "Lee" or "Rhee." Hyun Bin's character in Crash Landing, for instance, had the last name 리.

Funnily enough, historical figures from the "Lee" family - like the Joseon kings - are often romanized as "Yi" in sageuks like Yi San.

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This is an interesting point the long lasting impact of other cultures on the language of multiple countries.

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@tccolb: Thank you for your very useful comment. My comment was incomplete as I focused only on the contemporary naming in SK. Thank you for the reminder re the NK pronunciation convention and the historical Joseon context.

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I have a (non-royal family) colleague whose family name is Yi. And Yi Sunshin- arguably the greatest man in the history of Korea- was not a member of the royal family (but perhaps the greatest admiral in history according to Admiral Togo who led the Japanese forces in the destruction of the Russian fleet in the Straights of Tsushima in 1905).

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The "coppee" is because there's no "F" sound in Korean. There also isn't a separate "R" and "L" sound, there's only one letter "ㄹ" that is kind of a combination of the two. For Koreans learning English, one of the biggest challenges is pronouncing words that have the two letters together like "girl" or "world".

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Thank you this is so helpful as I have noticed a couple of actors when speaking in English everything else was ok but then they said something that didn’t sound right and I bet it was a word with that sound. I noticed that with people from countries that have issues with V and W. I am sure for English speakers speaking Korean they trip up over specific sounds too. It is interesting how we the age you learn a language can shape your ability to make certain sounds that non native speakers will always struggle with. I always think of Xhosa one of the Zulu languages in South Africa is one that has click noises that I think must be really hard to learn. I only know it because of the click song.

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And if you think that this is interesting (or even convoluted) just check out Japanese.......

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@dncingemma: Thanks for the insights. Some of these I have intuitively noticed over my years of watching dramas as well as light researching, but you put the info in an easy-to-understand and succinct manner. I’ve wanted to study Korean for several years now, but never got around to it. I have no doubt there’s a lot of nuance I’m missing due to shoddy translations and weird romanization choices.

Unfortunately, what you said about a romanized version of a language barely resembling the actual language is not just a problem in Korean, but in many other languages (including my own native tongue). The way my names are spelled, and subsequently pronounced, in English is just…a mess. I often have no choice but to accept it because English-speakers can’t usually pronounce it and I’d rather they say the incorrect romanized version passably than humiliate me by butchering the syllables.

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@ladynightshade: Thanks for your positive feedback!
I hope you get to study Korean one day soon. I have many years of study ahead of me which I look forward to.
And I empathise with you re mangled non-Anglo names rendered into English. My last name has been victimised(😂😭) like this my entire life. So many appalling versions. Even when I spell it as a rule of thumb, some people find it difficult because it is long (but not particularly difficult as doesn’t have silent consonants and we have had to change the sound of one double consonant to render it palatable to an English speaking country).

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It must be such a nightmare not being able to hear your own name pronounced properly.

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@reply1988: Thanks for the compassionate understanding. There’s a special kind of humiliation in it, especially in public settings. One of my names also happens to have sounds that are “funny sounding” in English so that becomes doubly annoying when I have to introduce myself. There’s always some double-takes (if the person’s not being a complete dick) or just straight-up snickering. I’ve been asked more than once why I don’t anglicize my name. It’s rude and irritating, and severely impacted my self-worth when I was younger.

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Oh no that’s horrendous. The things some people have to endure as children. I don’t know how our parents deal with the whole layer of preparation needed for supporting children living outside of their home culture. My mum came to the UK at 19 and always wanted us to speak the Queen’s English so no one could make any comments about our intelligence or right to be here. Yet the reason my mum came here was her Island had been part of the Commonwealth take over back in the day when England ruled a significant portion of the world. Our ability to speak English fluently with a local accent was irrelevant when people looked at our skin colour first and made their own assumptions.

I feel for you.

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It really is. None of my names are common so I have had people from all walks of life butcher them. Though, it's a different thing to have your family mispronounce your name. My name is in a different language than my parent's mother tongue.

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English is indeed a mess- but a glorious mess which puts most languages to shame in terms of its ability to express things- not least because it is constantly adopting words from other languages.

But the speakers of other languages have the same difficulties- just yesterday I had a Spanish interpreted
hearing in which our Spanish speaker spoke of living on "Queen Street". It took several minutes to straighten this out: What the witness meant was in fact an address on Quinn Street. To a Spanish speaker Quinn is pronounced 'Queen'.

But I know what you mean about names in particular. I am particularly sensitive because if you see my family name you will pronounce it wrong and if you hear it, you will spell it wrong- because, of course, it is not an English name. So, I strive to get names right whenever I can. Want some real fun? Try Polynesian names.

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Thrilled to see Kang Ki-young in this drama! I have faith that Park Eun-bin will do well in this role. Will definitely be keeping this on my radar.

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@dncingemma and @reply1988 as an old white American ahjumma, I'm loving this conversation and knowledge you bring here. My youngest taught English in South Korea when I started watching kdramas and he explained a lot about the "rules" of conversation otherwise I would have been lost.
But as a human being I want you to know that I always try to pronounce a person's name as they want it. To me it's the most respectful thing to do. And it's hard to read when others are so disrespectful.

Keep up with teaching the rest of us here - I for one love it!
kam-sah-me-dah!

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@stpauligurl: Thank you for your kind comment. It is such a joy to be able to interact with Beanie’s such as you on this site.

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It sure is for me as well @dncingemma!

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Wow, your son got to live the dream, how long did he live there?

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He was there for a total of three years. His experience was a little different as he was born in Seoul and then "came home" to us when he was about 5 1/2 months old. But he enjoyed his time there except the air pollution was bad...
Still, I learned a lot while he was there.

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What an amazing experience it must have been for him. My American friend adopted a Korean baby who is nearly a man now, they grow so quickly. I am sure they will all get to visit sometime soon now he is older and travel will be easier again.

Yes I heard the air pollution is terrible and some people develop breathing problems.

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thank you @reply1988 - he is now a grown man and works as a music therapist. I'm very proud of him.

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Music therapy, he must be in demand these days it’s such an important resource. ☺️

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@stpauligurl: I felt a bit teary in how lovingly you described the wrenching experience of adoption. I understand that inter-country adoptions are complex and they inevitably involve loss of identity, biological parent/s, extended family, cultural immersion, language and belonging but I also understand the reality of being at times abandoned and/or surrendered because a child was either unwanted, unloved or the parent/s at times were deceived about the fate of their children. I know there are wonderful adoptive parents worldwide obviously such as you as well as brutal and unsuitable people who should never have been allowed to come near a child let alone adopt them.

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Thanks @dncingemma at the time our boys "came home" korean adoptions were common - unlike now.
they both grew up knowing they were adopted and from where and that I so appreciated the decisions their birth mothers made because they loved and wanted their babies to have a better life.
My youngest reached out to his birth mother while he was there, but she wasn't ready to see him. But he reached out.
I didn't feel threatened that he wanted to find her and tole him I hoped they would meet some day.
And yes there are some people who should not have, or be around children.

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@stpauligurl: Families are created through love and in multiple ways. Yours is a wonderful example. Thank you for sharing a part of your family’s story. I appreciate knowing it.

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@sunnysaturdays It’s so true, it’s a basic to greet someone properly. If the conversation starts with mispronunciation, ridicule or a demand that you make it easier so THEY don’t have to feel awkward then how could anyone feel valued?

Thank you for saying this.

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