Cobra Kai

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Cobra Kai
Cobra Kai.jpg
This show is proof that you can resurrect a long-dead franchise successfully and to critical and fan acclaim.
Genre: Comedy-drama
Martial arts
Action comedy
Running Time: 22-40 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: May 2, 2018 – present
Network(s): YouTube Red (formerly)
Netflix
Created by: Josh Heald
Jon Hurtwitz
Hayden Schlossberg
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Television
Starring: William Zabka
Ralph Macchio
Seasons: 3
Episodes: 30


Cobra Kai is a 2018 martial arts comedy-drama television miniseries currently broadcast by Netflix. It's based on the original The Karate Kid films and continues the story after the events of the original trilogy.

Summary

Thirthy-four years after the events of The Karate Kid, Johnny Lawrence decides to revive his karate days by reopening the Cobra Kai dojo to train his young neighbour Miguel Diaz and his friends so they can learn to stand up for themselves and not let others bully them. However, this rekindles his old rivalry with Daniel LaRusso, who starts the Miyagi-Do dojo to counterattack the ruthless philosophies of Cobra Kai. However, when the teens start using karate to rise to power at school and Johnny's old sensei John Kreese returns, things will get complicated.

Why It Rocks

  1. Great acting, especially from William Zabka and Ralph Macchio, who reprise their iconic roles as Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso.
  2. Many new and promising characters like Miguel Diaz, Samantha LaRusso, Amanda LaRusso, Aisha Robinson, Robby Keene, Chris, etc.
  3. It serves as an interesting and intriguing continuation of the original films by featuring Johnny Lawrence resurrecting the Cobra Kai karate dojo to teach the young Miguel Diaz and his friends to stand up against their bullies and improve their self-esteem, leading his old rival Daniel LaRusso to start the Miyagi-Do dojo to fight against Cobra Kai's philosophies. In the process, this switches Johnny's and Daniel's roles from the original film.
  4. Good character development.
  5. Many funny scenes.
  6. Well-written storylines.
  7. The fighting sequences are amazing.
  8. Many actors of the show are ex-Disney Channel and Nickelodeon child stars. Seeing them here perfectly showcases how they have transitioned into more adult roles.
    • To name a few, Peyton List and Jacob Bertrand do a very good job playing Tory Nichols and Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz.
  9. It expands upon the franchise's mythology and unravels previously unknown aspects from some characters which may change how you saw them. For example:
    • Johnny Lawrence used to be abused by his wealthy stepfather Sid Weinberg, whom his mother Laura married so he could have a better life. This, coupled with bullying from his classmates, prompted Johnny to join Cobra Kai and see John Kreese as a father figure. This in turn canonizes the backstory William Zabka himself conceived for Johnny while playing him in the first film.
    • John Kreese was once a weakling like Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence who used to be abused by other guys until he learned to stand up for himself. However, the loss of his girlfriend while he was fighting on Vietnam, coupled with the ruthlessness of his captain, led him to lose any sense of morality and mercy to become the ruthless and deranged man he is today.
    • The Cobra Kai dojo's name was conceived by Kreese because he fought for survival above a pit full of cobras during the Vietnam War.
  10. It has nice call-backs to the original films and provides a well-handed sense of nostalgia instead of doing it for the sake of fan service, like Johnny giving Miguel a skeleton custome for the Halloween party.
  11. It pays homage in a beautiful way to the late Pat Morita, who played Mr. Miyagi, often featuring him in flashback sequences and photographs, remarking the influence he had on the life of Daniel and his family.
  12. Some heartwarming and poignant moments, like when Kumiko and Daniel read Mr. Miyagi's last letter to Yukie before his passing, mentioning how much he liked feeling part of the LaRussos.
  13. Great plot twists, like how John Kreese reveals himself as still been alive at the end of season one.
  14. The return of many beloved characters in season three, like Kumiko and Chozen Toguchi from the second film. The latter even gets a redemptive arc which showcases how much he changed following the second film.
    • Special mention goes to Ali Mills. After not appearing in season one and two, Ali finally makes a return in the last episodes of season three and the exact nature of her break-up with Daniel is fully explored.
  15. It pokes fun at some fan theories, especially the one which alleges that Daniel LaRusso was the real villain of the original film.
  16. It sends the very good moral that bullying should not be tolerated.

Bad Qualities

  1. Some of the show's storylines can feel like a rehash of some plot points of the original trilogy.
  2. Some characters like Sid Weinberg, Kyler (Miguel Diaz's bully), David (John Kreese's bully) and Tom Cole are mean-spirited and unlikeable.
    • Special mention goes to Daniel's son Anthony. He's a total useless and generic character who just appears to tease his parents or his sister Sam and never does anything productive. You could take him off the show, make Sam an only daughter and the show would still be the same.
    • Kyler comes across as a spoiled rich brat who bullies and taunts Miguel for being weak and hides his behavior a secret from Samantha.
    • Demetri can also count. Despite being one of the good guys, he starts off very snarky, pessimist and sarcastic to the point you can question whether he is also a bully from a certain point of view. Fortunately, he changed for the better in the third season.
    • David, John Kreese's bully, is also the source of Kreese's violent nature who desire's no mercy and wants his future students to do that.
  3. Some can feel that Hawk's redemption at the end of season three was forced, as he was seemingly forgiven for all his cruel actions so quickly.
  4. Instead of being assumed to be a victim of child abuse, Kreese is revealed to have been bullied too.

Reception

The show has been well-received by critics and fans of the franchise. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds a 100% rating with a 95% audience score rating, the second season holds a 89% rating with a 90% audience score rating and the third season likewise holds a 89% rating with a 90% audience score rating. Meanwhile, its IMDB score is 8.6/10.

Trivia

  • Before his passing in 2005, Pat Morita conceived a potential fifth Karate Kid film which would have had a dying Mr. Miyagi training Johnny Lawrence, who now works as a doctor, into his peaceful karate arts so Johnny can find balance on his life before Miyagi passes away and gets send to Okinawa so he can be buried there. The concept never got off the ground, but it seems that a part of it has been revived for the show.

Comments


avatar

Whoacks

15 days ago
Score 3
I was hoping there would be a Cobra Kai page here
avatar

Larryding

14 days ago
Score 1
I was gonna add this, thank you for creating it.
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The7Guy

2 days ago
Score 1
This show is a bit cheesy... and that's the only bad thing I saw. Everything else is great.

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