In today’s world, Emotionally damaging divorces are unfortunately becoming more common. Those who have been through such events become psychologically and emotionally impacted as they age. That being said, the mere thought of a lawyer and their paralegal secretly picking up a child from school who is involved in a case they are working on and bringing them to a fast food restaurant to obtain incriminating information potentially would undoubtedly set many people on fire.
While any real-life situation resembling a hypothetical like this would result in immediate legal consequences, the same scenario in the first episode of a new streaming series is more than enough to entice viewers.
Mastering the art of law can be complex. Life itself can turn out to be very complicated. With the first hour-long episode of the new hit Netflix show called Divorce Attorney Shin being released Mar. 3, a Korean lawyer named Shin Sung-Han shows that taking action outside ethical standards sometimes brings you closer to the truth.
Diving Into the Life Of a Divorce Attorney
Sung-Han, a music professor in Germany, is forced to return to his home country of South Korea, where he begins practicing law and eventually opens a vintage-style office with a historic aesthetic as a central theme. He specializes in divorce cases due to details from his childhood that have yet to be revealed. Jang Hyeong-Geun, the office manager, and Sae-Bom, an assistant to both, work alongside him.
In the first installment of this webtoon adaptation, a woman named Lee Seo-Jin is scandalized by a leaked se* tape involving her secret lover. She comes to Shin Sung-Han for assistance with a divorce that her husband has initiated.
We learn from Seo-story Jin that her husband is not entirely blameless. He is physically abusive and highly controlling, demanding a picture every thirty minutes to find out where she is and photographing her clothes daily to see if anything is missing. As a result, her lifelong friends do not want her to join them, as this usually results in public awkwardness and tension. As stated, the first episode revolves around a young boy caught in his parents’ agonizing battle.
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Balancing the Genres of Comedy, Drama, and Suspense
The scene at the eatery demonstrates how actor Cho Seung-Woo, who plays Shin Sung-Han, can bring out the smallest of details to elevate such a sensitive scene involving a small child. Seung-Woo appears in several Netflix Korean suspense-themed selections, including Sisyphus: The Myth and Stranger, which is no surprise. Kim Sung-Kyun, who plays paralegal Jang Hyeong-Geun in Divorce Attorney Shin, brings tense scenes like the tactful child-adult conversation back down to earth.
Not only has he appeared in international Netflix films such as 2022’s Seoul Vibe, but he has also recently appeared in Disney Plus Korean dramas such as Grid and Moving. Sung-Kyun is an excellent fit for a role that requires him to juggle multiple emotions.
Sung-Kyun is an excellent fit for a show that straddles two distinct genres due to his ability to transition between them smoothly. Even though actor Jung Moon-Sung plays failing real estate agent Jo Jung-Sik sparingly in the premiere episode, his mischievous antics will undoubtedly come into play in subsequent episodes.
Setting into motion the very first story arc of Divorce Attorney Shin, one cannot forget about the mother who arrives at Sung-Han’s office. Han Hye-Jin plays the shattered woman who wants nothing but to gain custody of her only son.
Hye-Jin is an award-winning actress who has not only lent her voice to the Korean dubbing of 2011’s Rise of the Guardians, which featured Chris Pine and Hugh Jackman but also has the unique attribute of hosting various shows like the comedy variety show My Little Old Boy and the KBS Drama Awards in 2011. Like the Emmy Awards, KBS celebrates actors and actresses on the Korean Broadcasting System’s network.
She plays Divorce Attorney Shin expertly, knowing when to pull back and when to thrust forward with the emotions that send viewers on a roller coaster ride.
The screenwriting minds of Lee Jae-Hun and Yu Young-a considered the concept behind Divorce Attorney Shin. With other Korean works under their belt, like the slice-of-life romantic comedy Run On and the midlife crisis exploration series Thirty-Nine (which can both be found on the streaming platform Netflix as well), not only is this new lawyer series an excellent watch for both domestic and international markets as it hits on social issues that affect us all but also reveals that sometimes you might have to think outside the box to defeat a societal injustice.
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