Since the release of its fourth season, Cobra Kai has been striking hard on Netflix with a staggering 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As one of the most-watched shows on the streaming platform currently, leaving behind the second season of The Witcher, the series has taken the world by storm. Continuing the simplistic plotline of The Karate Kid (1984) after 34 years, the show has surprisingly succeeded in reviving the franchise whereas more successful franchises like Star Wars have faced disappointment. Here are 7 reasons why Cobra Kai succeeds while other franchise revivals have failed.
7. Cobra Kai Doesn’t Take Itself Very Seriously
You might not be able to see the kicks in the series but at times you can sense the plotline from a mile and that’s what adds to the charm of Cobra Kai. Sure, the series has brought back the iconic characters from The Karate Kid, but it never tries to take them too seriously. As a true homage to the 80s nostalgia, Cobra Kai is full of corny and cheesy dialogues even when the stakes are high which makes it so binge-worthy.
6. Focus on Character Development
Character development is always the centre of the series and the showrunners are damn good at it. Instead of indulging in vapid clichéd lines on morality, the series has instead chosen pure action oriented drama with major characters changing dojos throughout the season for various reasons. Cobra Kai entirely flipped the script by showing the flaws of Daniel LaRusso and redeeming Johnny Lawrence almost effortlessly, and that’s a masterclass in character development.
5. Cobra Kai Blurs the Line Between Good and Bad
While The Karate Kid clearly demarcated good and bad, the series blurs the line by making everyone human. Almost no one in the show is entirely good, including the major protagonists, and that’s what makes the series so exciting to watch. The series even managed to explain the deeds of John Kreese without glorifying it, showing that humans are product of their nuture.
4. Cobra Kai is Brand New Yet Nostalgic
When the entire industry is full of remakes and reboots, Cobra Kai is a brand new step in bringing back the nostalgia of the ’80s. With ample space to plug-in the characters of The Karate Kid franchise, Cobra Kai expands its universe with new characters, plotlines, and social issues that are relevant in the current era.
3. Excels at Fan Service
No reboot is without fan service but no fan service is always better than bad fan service. Where a mega-franchise like Star Wars failed at fan service by bringing back fan favorite characters to do almost nothing for the storyline, Cobra Kai has excelled at the art. Whether it is Chozen or Terry Silver, the show knows how to use these characters instead of just scoring brownie points with the viewers.
2. The Art of Building Climax
Despite all its rivalries and drama, Cobra Kai is inherently a sports genre at its heart where actions speak louder than words. Sure, the storyline might be predictable at times, but the show never disappoints in building up to the main act. Be it the school fight scene or Daniel and Johnny teaming up to take down Cobra Kai, the show knows how to keep the viewers glued to the screen.
1. Johnny ‘Badass’ Lawrence
Let’s face it. The heart of the series is Johnny Lawrence and there’s no argument about it. An underdog story at its finest, Johnny Lawrence is an inspiration for everyone out there who are thinking it is too late for them to start over again. It takes a big person to accept his flaws and to consistently work to be a better version of themselves everyday while fighting their inner demons. Sure, some of his ways might seem a bit brash, but the hottest fires forge the hardest steel. Throughout the series, he has developed from a bully to a caring mentor with the best interests of his pupils at heart. From No Mercy to Show Mercy, Lawrence has come a long way.