In 1984 Columbia Pictures introduced “The Karate Kid” to the world. The movie cost $8 million to make and grossed nearly $100 million at the box office, and this was back in 1984. Clearly, the film was a hit and has gone down in history as a beloved cult classic to millions. Enter Cobra Kai.
Nearly 35 years later, three very talented men named Josh Herald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg put their genius minds together to create what could very well be in the top 10 best shows we’ve received in the last 10 years and the best part, they brought back the two stars from the original film to make that happen with William Zabka (Johnny Lawrence) and Ralph Macchio (Daniel LaRusso).
Cobra Kai is a phenomenon. This show really kicks off (no pun intended) from the get-go. The story follows a now grown-up Daniel LaRusso, who owns a very successful car dealership with his wife and arch-rival Johnny Lawrence, who looks like he’s been down on his luck for quite some time. He definitely has a drinking problem, and you soon find out that Johnny has a son named Robby Keene, played by Tanner Buchanan, who isn’t exactly on great terms with him.
A teen neighbor named Miguel Diaz, played by Xolo Maridueña, and his mother, Carmen, played by Vanessa Rubio, moves next door to Johnny’s apartment. You see soon that the popular kids at school don’t well like Miguel.
In the right place at the right time, Johnny stops a fight between Miguel and some bullies outside a convenient store by showing them why he was once Cobra Kai’s best student, and soon after the fight, Johnny’s love for Karate resurges.
Johnny decides to reopen the “Cobra Kai” dojo, but he wants to do things the right way instead of how he was taught by his former sensei John Kreese. He takes Miguel Diaz under his wing and feels he has another shot at fatherhood by not only teaching Miguel Karate but being there for him and looking out for his best interests. It’s clear early on that Miguel is the new Karate Kid.
More students start to fill Cobra Kai, and it begins to grow into a prominent dojo. This sparks buried trauma from Daniel LaRusso when he sees the dojo is back. Daniel begins to reflect on his past demons and the bullying he received from Johnny and his friends when he was younger and starts to fight Johnny back.
Johnny’s son Robby finds work at LaRusso auto and takes an interest in Karate when he sees Daniel practicing once again. Daniel takes his childhood rival’s son under his wing and begins to train him.
This is only a quick rundown of the first two episodes of season one. The show gets so much deeper and more complex than this, but I refuse to give anyone who hasn’t watched this yet more insight. You could read spoilers online, but you would be doing yourself a disservice.
What I loved the most about Cobra Kai is that every episode is not only built towards the overall story; almost every episode makes you question whose side you’re on between Daniel and Johnny. You’ll see each character develop better than most shows on tv. I understand that developing characters and story is the whole point of a series, but what this does in 30-minute episodes is better than what many shows do with an hour.
Cobra Kai is full of action, humor, drama, and I will say you will feel for every one of these characters, even those you think you hate. This show went from pure obscurity to being the number one show on Netflix for nearly two weeks straight. The only reason it was ever in obscurity, to begin with, was that not many were watching when it was exclusive to YouTube. The true loyal fans were watching, but much like myself and millions of others, we didn’t start watching until Netflix picked it up, and that was the best decision for both the show and Netflix.
The now hit Netflix series has been renewed for two more seasons. Season 3 premieres January 8th, 2021, and season 4 is in training, but you’re not going to want to miss this. If you aren’t watching Cobra Kai, I encourage you to start now. I’ve said this a dozen times, You either love Cobra Kai or you haven’t seen it yet.