Alright, I was a little bit late to the Cobra Kai party. I first heard of it via the No Dunks Podcast, I remember Leigh Ellis talking about it when the first season came out way back when. Ellis loved it, which should have let me know how awesome the show was. Ellis hardly ever watches TV. But, for some reason, I had it in my head that it was some kind of Karate documentary. Even though I like Karate and am a former student (green belt), I wasn’t particularly interested in watching a Karate documentary.
After both season 3 dropped (and after season 2 as well, to Leigh’s credit), the chatter picked up on No Dunks again and I was intrigued. I found out that the series was a continuation of the Karate Kid film series, which of course I had seen. I asked my partner if she had seen the Karate Kid and she replied with “the one with Jaden Smith, yeah?”. Our divorce is imminent, but nonetheless she was eager to check out Cobra Kai with me. First, we watched the Karate Kid trilogy. Great movies. Don’t talk to me about Karate Kid 4. Now for 3 seasons of Cobra Kai.
Holy heck. I can’t remember a time I loved a show as much as I loved Cobra Kai. I thought it was recency bias, but I finished watching it well over a month ago and I’m still in love with it. There is something for everyone in this show and it can easily be binged in a weekend. So, I highly recommend you go and check it out if you haven’t already. I’ll try and keep this as spoiler free as possible, but they may lie ahead. You have been warned!
Cobra Kai takes place in the present, about 30 years after the events of The Karate Kid Part 3. We follow the same characters that the original trilogy centred around, Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence. Johnny is now a deadbeat handyman who is stuck in the 80’s. LaRusso is a successful business man and the head of LaRusso Motors. After losing his job, Lawrence decides to reopen the Cobra Kai Karate Dojo. When LaRusso learns of this, he opens up Miyagi-Do Karate. Let the rivalry continue!
The characters are we bring real depth to the show and are what always left me wanting more. I love it when characters have depth and that was the case in Cobra Kai. Johnny Lawrence wasn’t the “good guy”, nor was he the “bad guy”. Neither was Daniel. Or any of the other characters. Good or bad is (usually) just a matter of perspective and that was certainly the case in Cobra Kai.
I loved slowly learning the back story of all the characters and finding out which ones I could connect with. I loved seeing characters like Eli go from the bullied kid, to changing his name to Hawk and becoming a psychotic bully and then back into a nice guy. I loved Tory and her troubled past and life. I loved Miguel and his dedication to growing his skills. Aisha, Demetri, Sam, Robby, even Kreese! I loved seeing them all and finding more and more about them. Nothing was one dimensional and everybody was the hero of their own story.
A lot of credit has to go to the writing department, but it also has to go to the actors and their amazing portrayals of their characters. I can’t think of a single bad performance. I love how Ralph Macchio and William Zabka immediately picked up where they left off, 35 years later. It was like they had been in character the whole time. Even Martin Kove reprised his role as John Kreese and I have to say he looks incredible for someone in his mid 70’s! I could honestly list everybody, they all did an exceptional job.
Speaking of the writing department, I can’t think of a single thing I would change! It was the perfect combination of action and drama. It was something new and fresh, but still stayed true to the original films. Most miraculously of all, it somehow managed to get better from episode to episode and season to season.
I really can’t wait for season 4, which has been confirmed by Netflix! Woohoo! Usually, when I have to wait a year or more in between seasons, I forget what has happened in the previous seasons. Almost every single time. I need to look up an in depth recap or YouTube video, or have to watch the entire show again to get myself up to speed.
That won’t be necessary in the case of Cobra Kai. I remember absolutely everything and there is no way I’ll forget it. With that being said, I will still likely rewatch it all anyway. It is that good. I loved it. I loved the setting, the story, the acting, the characters, the soundtrack, the action, the drama, all of it! If you haven’t seen it, I can highly recommend it. Definitely watch the Karate Kid movies first though. Some people say you don’t have to, but they are wrong. Go and check it all out, there are worse ways to spend a weekend.