Divorce Attorney Shin

Divorce Attorney Shin

TV-MA

netflix

A surprisingly nuanced and empathetic take on Korea’s divorce process

7.8

TV Show

South Korea
Korean
Drama
2023
Cho Seung-woo, Han Hye-jin, Jung Moon-sung
66 min

TLDR

Shin Sung-han is that slightly dorky but persistent and encouraging friend that we all need.

What it's about

After a personal tragedy, Shin Sung-han switches careers, from being a music professor to becoming an attorney specializing in divorce cases, to find out the truth he’s been seeking.

The take

There are plenty of divorce-related Korean dramas, but Divorce Attorney Shin is a gem among them. Based on the webtoon with the same name, the show is centered on an eccentric lawyer, whose trot-dancing ways and unconventional handling of clients doesn’t detract from his winning cases. Instead of the ruthless and collected attorneys we’ve seen previously, Shin Sung-han has a human side, a side that enables him to empathize with his clients. And like the lawyer, the show does the same, handling multiple cases, without discarding them by the end of the episode, and embracing its nuances in a well-rounded way.

What stands out

Divorce Attorney Shin, at first glance, seems to have an inherently soapy premise that’s ripe with melodramatic potential. However, instead of fully leaning into the soap, Divorce Attorney Shin takes a more slice-of-life approach that balances its drama with lighthearted comedy without being at the expense of the people filing for divorce. The unique humor is meant to humanize the unconventional protagonist, as Shin delightfully dances along to Korean trot tracks and messes with his fellow middle-aged best friends, still close from middle school. But it also helps keep him front-and-center of the series, especially as it builds up his character and the emotional weight of the primary goal he’s secretly been fighting for. It keeps the show from being too heavy at the start, while making it easy for viewers to root for Shin.

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