Cobra Kai was one of the most pleasant surprises to grace my television screen last year. It really blew me away. In these nostalgia-driven times when revivals of iconic properties from yesteryear come along and mostly fail to recapture the magic of their predecessors, Cobra Kai actually managed to feel like a modern, organic continuation of the Karate Kid franchise. When the show was initially announced, many thought it would be nothing more than a trip down memory lane. If anything, though, it made The Karate Kid feel hip and cool in the 21st century.
The approach was simple as well. Catching up with archrivals Johnny (William Zabka) and Daniel (Ralph Macchio) in the present day as they both searched for meaning and purpose in their middle-age felt natural and authentic to the characters. Furthermore, the introduction of a new generation of karate students added a new dimension to the franchise that could ensure its continued success even without the original stars.
Of course, the main appeal of the Karate Kid story is the feud between Daniel and Johnny, which reared its ugly head again at the end of Season 1 and was inherited by their young proteges. Expect the new season to be rife with conflict across the board.
We previously discussed what we’d like to see in Season 2, and if the trailer is anything to go by, the upcoming series will answer some of those questions and more. Check out the teaser below:
As you can see, the old rivals haven’t quite made amends yet. And while it’s entirely possible that they’ll eventually fight each other again, for now, their students are doing the dirty work on their behalf. Despite his best efforts to change the negative perception of his dojo in Season 1, their win-at-all-costs mentality is likely to return full-force for the sake of Johnny finally beating Daniel. At the same time, the trailer also suggests that Daniel’s bitterness could lead him and his students toward the dark side, as well. It’s going to be very exciting and dramatic.
The first season of the Youtube Premium series was a massive success, but a part of me can’t help but feel that the overall world isn’t quite aware of just how good Cobra Kai is. Perhaps that’s because the original content on Youtube Premium isn’t as well-established as that of other streaming platforms. Or maybe it’s because the series is a continuation of a 35-year-old franchise and most likely to appeal to established fans for the most part. All I know is that Cobra Kai deserved to be on more end-of-year lists as one of 2018’s best shows.
If you like your comedy heartfelt and boasting some great characters with baggage, depth, and conflicting worldviews, Cobra Kai is must-see. Having an affinity for the original movies certainly helps enhance one’s enjoyment of the show, but like all good revivals, this one stands on its own and doesn’t rely on providing fan service.
The first season is a great jumping-on point for franchise newbs, and I urge everyone to familiarize themselves with it so they can look forward to the upcoming installment. Otherwise, you’ll be missing out on one hell of a show.