Originally I was writing reviews for each episode of my new favorite show, Cobra Kai. That became too daunting and I would not have finished it before the new season came out. I opted to binge a season and write about it instead. So, here’s season one’s review of Cobra Kai!
Cobra Kai Redeeming the Karate Kid Franchise
Karate Kid was a very heralded franchise that was circling the drain after every release. While the original movie was fantastic, it failed to capture that underdog magic the movie did. Cobra Kai brings back that in a completely new way. The first season is ten episodes long and thirty minutes a piece.
Cobra Kai Season 1 brings back our favorite actors to play their roles in the original Karate Kid movie. Ralph Macchio returns to play Daniel LaRusso, William Zabka to play Johnny Lawrence and more. There are tons of cameos and callbacks to have people who grew up with Karate Kid to be nostalgic over.
Cobra Kai flips the script on us, and it’s a lesson of the entire season: not everything is as it seems on the surface. Originally, we’re to pull for Daniel LaRusso as he and Mr. Miyagi work to become karate masters. It is the Cobra Kai dojo that are the bad guys. In the new series, it’s Johnny Lawrence that’s the good guy. You feel bad for him, seeing what his loss in the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament did to him. LaRusso is a successful auto dealer, and somewhat of a jerk at first. It doesn’t take long to find out that the two still have a distaste for each other.
Then, Lawrence meets Miguel, his first student. Miguel helps Lawrence get past his loss to LaRusso almost 40 years ago. Now, Miguel has Lawrence teaching him karate and Lawrence finds out, he’s not all that good at it. It takes time for Johnny Lawrence to learn how to teach kids with their own unique set of downfalls. Soon we meet new versions of students like Hawk, Aisha, and more, who have all conquered their demons and become very talented karateka.
You also learn that Daniel LaRusso isn’t really the bad guy, and most of his “badness” is circumstantial. The show also retcons Lawrence’s story and shows he wasn’t the bad kid like everyone thought. He was just in a bad environment.
We finally get that awesome fight scene where the students of Cobra Kai are in the All Valley Tournament and have great success. It’s not until here, we see some of the downfall of Lawrence’s teaching with his Cobra Kai pupils. While they come away with the trophy, it came at great cost for the dojo.
The Good and the Bad Of Cobra Kai Season 1
Cobra Kai is not for kids, like the original movie was intended. The new series is for the kids who watched the original Karate Kid in 1984. There is tons of humor geared towards adults and dark moments of the series that make you question your own life, as the director and writers intended. The humor is on point and you can’t help but laugh at Lawrence’s ignorance of today’s cultural environment once you get to know the character.
On the bad side, these kids became black belts in karate in the length of one school year. Miguel picked up karate and became incredibly good in a very short time. Karate takes years to get to that level, but that’s honestly semantics. Who wants to watch a white belt in the tournament? It helped the plot and requires a bit of suspension of disbelief.
Overall, I give Cobra Kai Season 1 a 9/10 and am excited to start the second season to see where our heroes left off!
We will be reviewing season 2 of Cobra Kai before the third drops, and, of course, season three. Next in the review line, however, will be Nicolas Cage’s Jiu Jitsu movie that comes out on the 20th.
How to watch Cobra Kai?
Cobra Kai is on Netflix, both season one and season two. If you’re not a Netflix fan or want to support the website, you can buy the season 1 and 2 bundle on Netflix below through our Amazon Associates account. Buying it like this gives The Fight Library a small commission and the actors, directors, and everyone else that worked so hard on it also get paid! Click the button below!