An 80s soundtrack, Pontiac Firebird, aging regrets, and a revenge tale with grey characters? How did it take me so long to start watching this series?
Picking up a mere 34 years after Daniel LaRusso illegally kicked rival Johnny Lawrence in the face to win a karate tournament, we find Johnny down on his luck, alone, drunk, and jobless. A chance circumstance reunites him with LaRusso who is even a bigger bully than he was in 1984’s intentional Rocky ripoff, The Karate Kid.
Check out this funny recap of LaRusso’s torment of Lawrence throughout The Karate Kid here:
In Cobra Kai, the writers do a terrific job making LaRusso as unlikable as possible in order to get you wavering over to Johnny’s side, even though he’s pretty much the huge self-centered asshole you remember from the original. It’s here, stuck in the middle between the smug haves and the jaded have nots, where the story keeps us. One minute you’re hoping Johnny wipes the smug look off LaRusso’s stupid face and the next you feel terrible for feeling an ounce of empathy for him.
The social commentary of always needing to root for the underdog and pull down those on top makes for both good laughs and good drama set to a nostalgic backdrop of music, cars, and common cultural references.
If you’ve seen it, tell me what you think! If you haven’t, check it out!
Season 3 of Cobra Kai debuts August 28th on Netflix, per the Google machine.