Tonight, I enjoyed a nice dinner with my family and then I had the pleasure of sitting down and watching the first 5 episodes of the new Cobra Kai web TV series on YouTube. Cobra Kai, is a sequel to the Karate Kid movies and it didn’t disappoint.
It was lovely to reacquaint myself with some old friends from my childhood. Both Daniel Larusso and Johnny Lawrence return to re-ignite their rivalry after 35 years in this 10-part mini-series. I used to watch the Karate Kid movies over and over again when I was a kid and I loved them, so the chance to revisit these wonderful characters was too good to pass up.
This review is Spoiler Free.
The first two episodes are free to watch on YouTube.
Then you have to pay to see the rest of the series. And personally, I am more than happy to pay. Not only does it help the developers of this show but it also increases the chance of more Daniel-san and Sensei Lawrence for a season two.
The guys have both aged. Johnny, played by William Zabka, retains his golden locks, though has fallen on hard times and has an estranged son. Daniel (played by Ralph Macchio) since the Karate Kid 3 has done well for himself, has a stunning wife and has two (or at least one) adorable kids and runs a popular automobile business. Daniel, still retaining his sweet and enthusiastic nature, finds himself at odds with Johnny and finds himself somewhat conflicted when Johnny makes the decision to re-open the Cobra Kai Dojo.
The introduction of newcomer Miguel fills the role once occupied by Daniel: the bullied teenager that needs a positive influence, whereas this time, poor Johnny Lawrence finds himself inspiring kids as the “wise” master. Other newcomers in the form of Miguel’s classmates and nemesis adds to the show as well, replicating the formula from the old movies with a more modern outlook.
In fact, this was what I particularly liked, was the play on the old films. For example, when Miguel asked how to wash the windows in the dojo, he inquired of his sensei if there was any specific way to do it, and the oh-so-wise master just responded with a very anti-Miyagi statement of “I don’t give a sh…”. Laughter went up in my house. Of course, those sitting around watching were very familiar with the ‘Wax On, Wax Off’ methods used by Mr Miyagi. I wonder how many of the newer generation would get this, but still.
After 5 episodes, the time had run out and the evening had ended. Me and my family thoroughly enjoyed the experience and we are excited to carry watching the other 5 episodes next week (although I suspect some of us might sneak in the rest of the season before that happens… ahem!)
One more mention, in episode 5, it was lovely to hear old music again and I felt like I was back watching the Karate Kid as a child. Though Pat Morita is longer with us, to hear a certain wise sensei voice again brought a lump to my throat.
To the producers of the show, and Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, I’d like to say a massive ‘thank you’, as a fan who loved the original movies, for giving me a chance to see these characters again. Looking forward to when I make my way through the other 5 episodes, I am hoping to meet some of the other older cast, though if not, I hope there is season 2 for that to happen.
R.I.P. Pat Morita
The Cobra Kai web TV series is now fully available on YouTube. You Can purchase the original Karate Kid movies at the links below:
Are you going to be watching the new Cobra Kai web series on YouTube? Comment below.