Dramas, and entertainment media in general, want viewers to enjoy an immersive experience.
Whether it is cheering on your favorite NBA player to win the championship…
Or rooting on your favorite superhero in his quest to stop a purple man from snapping his fingers.
Great film and entertainment often have its viewers on the edge of their seats, following along the protagonist’s arc, sharing in their joys and sorrows.
Like all things, however, the key to fully enjoying an immersive experience is in moderation. It is never good to be too immersed in a drama. After all, it’s just for entertainment, and in the case of K-Dramas, fiction more often than not.
Unfortunately for Extraordinary Attorney Woo actor Joo Jong Hyuk, some viewers of love for the drama has no bounds.
In the most recent episode of the drama, Woo Young Woo’s frenemy Choi Soo Yeon confronts fellow lawyer Kwon Min Woo over his treatment of Woo Young Woo. Kwon Min Woo, has over the course of several episodes, become Woo Young Woo’s number one hater and hasn’t been shy about it either.
When Choi Soo Yeon confronts him over his overt disdain for attorney Woo, Kwon Min Woo doesn’t hold back. He laments the preferential treatment he perceives is granted to Woo Young Woo and has some choice words about the lawyer.
Woo Young Woo is strong. Didn’t you say she was top of her class in law school? This game isn’t fair. Woo Young Woo is constantly winning, but we aren’t able to attack her. Why? Because she is autistic. We have to constantly yield to her, help her, and roll over for her. To think she is weak is delusional.
— Kwon Min Woo
Netizens flocked to one of Korea’s largest online communities and shared their anger toward the character. One of the reasons why netizens are seething, according to them, is the fact that the character seems hyper-real, and people like him exist in the workplace.
- “He’s the epitome of those who are strong against the weak and weak against the strong.”
- “It makes me more upset because people like him actually exist, lol. The writer wrote a really good script…”
- “It makes me madder because this character feels so real. Woo Young Woo is the one who has to overcome a handicap… He’s the type to claim reverse discrimination when he sees someone in a wheelchair in front of the line, lol.”
- “It’s not even surprising this is hyperrealism.”
For context, the workplace in Korea is cut-throat. As promotions are based on seniority but aren’t guaranteed, Korean workers work harder not to fall behind rather than to get ahead.
Even with this said, some viewers felt Kwon Min Woo had gone too far and flocked to the Instagram of actor Joo Jong Hyuk who plays the character. Ironically, viewers expressed frustration over the actor’s acting prowess, blaming his acting skills for making the character even that much more dislikeable.
- “Your acting is too good, so it makes me more upset.”
- “Your acting is too good :(.”
- “Kwon Min Woo… I won’t let this go… Why do you act so well.”
- “You Kwon-technician (a play on words)! Is it true that you only have a job because of nepotism?”
- “Must you be this way, Kwon-technician?!!!”
- “Today, you’re particularly dislikeableㅠ.”
- “So, what’s the reason for today, huh? There must be a reason…”
- “Kwon-Technician was the villain!!! ㅠㅠ I hate you!!!
- “I dare you to write something on Blind (app).”
It seems Kwon Min Woo’s treatment of Woo Young Woo has viewers hot under their collar! Although it’s mostly in good fun, it may be prudent for viewers to remember that it is just a drama — and a damn good one at that.