Cobra Kai and all things Karate Kid hold a dear place in many a heart. It was a simple story with a great premise. Proof that huge budgets do not a great movie make. Years later it is as beloved today as it was back then. So of course Hollywood would try to capitalize on it.
What is it that makes us keep coming back?
For me, the most stand out feature about the show is that there is never a clear protagonist or antagonist. Every character in the show is on their own journey. Except for the ( LaRusso) mother and son. They are nothing but fillers and have zero personality. Going back to the rest…
With Johnny, his redemption is clearly the focal point. His fall from grace to him finding peace. It’s a beautiful story. But for him, it isn’t just his present and future that is expired but also his past. However, we get to see it from his perspective. Proof that in someone’s story we are the villain. I found that quite intriguing.
Daniel also has developmental arcs, which at first seems surprising but at the same time makes sense. We get to understand that a happy ending does not mean problem-free. He has his fall from grace moments which is pivotal to the series. More so he isn’t always right. This time he also no longer has the underdog trait going for him.
The kids do not possess the charm that the previous generation had. They are not bad. They do a pretty decent job in the first season and slowly grow into the characters. However, the kids do allow the show to be updated to reflect current trends. It also integral to keeping with the show’s theme. Although Daniel terminated the rule of two. He betrays his (not ) Sith Lord and gets more kids.
The kids are essentially the catalyst that propels the two protagonists into their journeys of redemption. The kids also bring along high school drama. The predictably unpredictable love stories sway from charming to annoying. But, beneath all the bubblegum, there is an answer to the ongoing question. Nature versus nurture. I think nurture wins this round. How each of the heroes grooms their students is miles apart. Johnny and his steep learning curb at Cobra Kai is a bit more relatable than his nemesis. Most of us can relate. Ho often are we cast as the bad guy while on our own path to redemption, however small that arc may be.
Dos – Dojo
The Cobra Kai dojo also returns and goes through many a transition right until the season 3 finale. I enjoyed the fact that it essentially failed. Well according to Johnny’s original plan. It added a little realism to the show.
The Miyagi gym is brought back in pure High Definition and is as gorgeous as ever. Sadly the sensei that originally built it is no longer with us. This hurts to the core. Mr. Miyagi was truly the heart and soul of the franchise. But even he would say that there comes a time when we all must move on. He would also say it better.
The dojo rivalry between Cobra Kai and Miyagi is full of twists and turns. Each getting to punch and block and different periods.
The show is pretty cheesy and that’s ok. It tackles bullying in the oddest of ways. And deeply hidden between the cheese is some very clever satire if you pay close attention. There are good life lessons some funny moments. The tv at Johnny’s place is my favorite trope. All in all, Cobra Kai delivers us some pretty kick-ass entertainment.