Honest Review of Season One of Cobra Kai on Netflix
This weekend, I was looking forward to the nostalgia trip that is Bill and Ted Face the Music. But my nostalgia took a detour down the road of The Karate Kid in Cobra Kai as it made it's debut on Netflix after starting on Youtube Red. Me and my girlfriend finished season one, and man, I'm loving every minute of this show.
I'll start with the negative first. It is a little weird that it took 30 years for this rivalry to manifest itself again. This feels more like it would have worked better being a ten year break. Both Ralph Macchio and William Zabka (Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence respectively) are older than Pat Morita was when the original Karate Kid came out in the 80's. So, yeah, the high school rivalry rehashed in their 50's is a little weird. Once you get past that, though, Cobra Kai becomes a great watch.
Cobra Kai is not about Daniel, though, this story is Johnny's. We get a lot of background into who Johnny is and how he grew up and how he became the star student of Cobra Kai sensei John Kreese. You really start to feel bad for Johnny even if he is still a bit of a jerk.
There is the theory that has floated around for years that Daniel was the real bully of The Karate Kid. When you look at the evidence, you can see the case for it. As you see and hear Johnny tell his story, you get an even bigger feeling that maybe Daniel was. And as you see Daniel all grown up and successful, he does come off as a punk. It's not necessarily a bad thing, though.
When you're following three movies that are as beloved by so many as The Karate Kid, feeding the nostalgia beast is something to expect. However, that nostalgia isn't forced. When there is a call back to the originals, it flows with the story being told which makes it so much more satisfying to see. One funny moment involves Daniel and the scene when Mr. Miyagi "fixed" his knee with the hand trick. I was watching and was like, "Please Daniel, don't do it. That would be super corny." Let's just say the moment is a great laugh but also a great throwback.
All in all, I can't wait to watch more of Cobra Kai. This is one revival of nostalgia that is super fun and actually really good.
One More Point
- The episode paying tribute to Pat Morita's Mr. Miyagi had me in tears.
Bill and Ted Face the Music is next on the nostalgia train and from what I've heard and read so far, it's a great trip. It's nice to see these revivals, even with so many years in between them, actually be good.