Yes, we know what you are thinking ‘heard it all before, everything is big on Netflix just because more people have access to it, blah, blah, blah…This is true…. but hear us out please, believe the hype Cobra Kai is deserving of all the praises and love it’s been getting! A show action-packed with lovable dysfunctional characters, drama, funny as hell, with lots of martial arts thrown in to weave it all together!
Based on the classic ‘The Karate Kid’ film series from the ’90s by Robert Mark Kamen. A set of three films that became iconic telling the story of a young bullied teenager called Daniel LaRusso who eventually gets revenge, thanks to his incredible mentor ‘Mr Miyagi’ who teaches him Karate while helping him overcome his insecurities and yes beat the baddie, get the girl and eventually drive off in a beautiful convertible with the sun beaming on his cute little face! The films have become cult classics, leaving people inspired and taking up Karate just so they could say ‘Wax on and Wax off’.
Superfans Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg grew up watching the films and once they graduated film school years later decided they wanted to honour the films by creating a new story based around Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) 34 years later, parents themselves who decide to open rival Karate Dojos, as a way to help their kids and other kids fight bullies and gain confidence. Yes, the dads are now the Senseis, minus Mr Miyagi and the kids are more troubled than ever, with the girls giving the boys a run for their money!
Calling it ‘Cobra Kai’ was a great move, for those that remember the old films you will know that was the camp led by supervillain John Creese, so by switching it up and making it now a place to help bullied kids to feel strong and confident, gives it a whole new lease of life. Sensei Johnny is also on a personal journey of self-reflection wanting to be a better man and dad to his son, although he is constantly battling his demons and not the most PC parent on the block! His nemesis ‘the perfect’ Daniel LaRusso now married, a successful rich business owner with what looks like the ideal life, is going through his own shit, yet again more twists and turns. Daniel is missing Karate and wanting to help his daughter by teaching her the same skills that Mr Miyagi taught him all those years ago when he was a teenager!
Why Cobra Kai works is because it’s about real people with flaws. Nobody is perfect or so far gone that they have no redeeming qualities, perhaps maybe Sensai Creese, he is one scary MF! Although having said that, like most of the main characters the writers have created flashbacks of their younger selves to give backstory and context to why they are who they are now.
The story splits between the 2 dads rivalry and then the one between the kids. Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) is the Daniel LaRusso character in this modern day twist, but is being mentored by Johnny! While Johnny’s actual troubled son, Robbie (Tanner Buchanan) hates him for being a shitty dad and has built a bond with Daniel who is mentoring him while teaching him Karate.
You ready for more?? Sam (Mary Mouser) who is Daniel’s daughter, I hope we haven’t lost you is dating Miguel, then Robbie, Miguel then dates her enemy Tory (Peyton List). Sam gets back with Miguel, while breaking Robbie’s heart who ends up besties with Tory in a rival Dojo! So basically lots of entanglements as Jada and Will would say, with tons of over the top high school fight scenes and great supporting characters including Hawk and Demetri, you need Cobra Kai in your life! Catch up on 3 seasons over on Netflix now!