The first two seasons of Cobra Kai launched on Netflix in August and quiet honestly, I wasn’t expecting it to be THIS good. The show first debuted on Youtube Premium. When it was first announced that the Karate Kid sequel was coming to Netflix, I’m not gonna lie, I was a little scared just like a lot of fans of the original Karate Kid out there. Now, I’m not usually one to criticize reboots or sequels. First of all, I think that sometimes, we can really benefit from a good reboot and even if I’d rather forget about some of them, some have been a real success. But for Cobra Kai, I was excited but mostly scared that they’d try too hard to recreate an 80’s atmosphere or even a bland copycat of the original Karate Kids. BUT this show is so much more than a sequel, it is…
1. Nostalgia and all the feels…
Even though I wasn’t born in the 80’s and didn’t grow up with the Karate Kids movies per say, I felt completely submerged by nostalgia and by the joy of seeing some of the most iconic characters ever created all grown ups and with kids of their own. Daniel LaRusso, Johnny Lawrence, both are now middle aged men and let’s just say their lives couldn’t be more different. As a matter of fact, we could even say that the tables have turned. I won’t spoil you by saying more. The emotion is definetely here, especially because the original cast could not be complete. In an interview to Rolling Stone, Ralph Macchio (Daniel LaRusso) said that he felt very emotional because Pat Morita (Kesuke Miyagi), director John Avildsen and producer Jerry Weintraub were no longer with them. But when he came on set, he remembered saying “Wow, this is where the magic all happened” and trust me, you’ll definitely feel the magic and the Cobra Kai/ Miyagi legacy.
2. Newness and major developments as well
The narrative arcs given to the original and new characters are definetely giving a breath of fresh air to the story. Even though fans of the original trilogy came for the orginal cast, they probably weren’t expecting these lifestyles for their favorite characters. Their passion for Karate is passed on to a younger generation and the possibilities for characters development are basically endless. Ralph Macchio said that the show “connects because it tells relative stories for today’s generation, but yet has that nostalgic embrace of the original and never loses sight of its source material”. The creators really knew how to reinvete the story.
3. It’s addictive
Yes, once you get started, you won’t be able to stop. The format of the series plays a huge part in this, as each season has only 10 episodes of about 30 minutes. I binge watched it as if I was watching two movies, because each episode merge so well into the next one. It always sort of end on a cliffhanger which makes you want to see more. The good thing is that two seasons came out on Netflix at the same time. The bad thing is that we have to wait for season 3, which, fortunately enough, has already been filmed and hasn’t been impacted by the lockdown. While no official date has been released yet, the creators said we should be able to get the third season pretty soon in 2021.
4. The well nuanced and not stereotyped characters
The characters of this show are so well written, so realistically complex that you’re always proven wrong when rooting for only one. For instance, when it comes to the love triangle between the three main teenagers, you can definitely be #teammiguel for one episode, and for the next one #teamrobby. I won’t tell you more, you’ll definitely see what I’m talking about. I was worried to see yet another basic love triangle -the nice vs the bad guy-. But boy was I wrong. Both of them are deeply good people and it’s hard to love one more than another.
Same for the grown ups, whether it’s Johnny or Daniel, their relationship to karate is so different, their vision of their past relationship is so altered by their ego and by time. Thanks to this show, you really learn about Johnny’s side of the story. And I’m pretty sure that next time you watch karate kid, you won’t be rooting for LaRusso as much as you used to.
5. Passion and action
You’ll learn that “balance” is the main ingredient in this show as much as it is in “Miyagi-Do Karate”. Well, creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Josh Heald really did manage to balance passion and action. There’s a good amount of love (between the characters but also towards their passion for karate) but, let me tell you this: the action scenes are AMAZING!
Another misconception I had when I first started this show, I thought this was gonna be mostly aimed at kids. But the show is full of violence, blood, sweat and tears. And there’s also a pretty good amount of swearing (not that I thrive in chaos and violence btw). It’s a drama-action show with a fair amount of comedy (especially thanks to Johnny and his love for new technologies…).
It’s raw and real and fun and badass and it’s GREAT.
Have you already watched Cobra Kai or are you planning on it? Let us know in the comments below!