Cobra Kai Season 1, American tv series (2018)

In the 80’s there was a movie that was a boost to every kid that experienced bullying in some form or other (myself included). The name of that film was The Karate Kid. A classic movie and one that redefines the word feelgood, it spawned three sequels (not counting a modern day remake) and is regarded by many people as one of the best films from the roaring 80’s. As much as I loved the original,Β the sequelΒ for me was the one I loved the most (and you can read why by pressing on the link). But one can’t help but smile when the young hero of the film Daniel LaRusso takes revenge on his childhood bully Johny Lawrence by beating him in a karate tournament in part one. It was a moment that was edged in my memory as around that time I experienced the effects of bullying in a very bad way. Seeing someone actually turn the tables on his tormentor, even though it was a film, gave me some much needed hope. Late last year rumors started to spread about a sequel to the original Karate Kid franchise in the form of a television series. I really had severe misgivings about this, thinking that pretty much nothing is sacred anymore.

Hey…they are older now. No martial arts, just trying to stare each other to death.

And then…the first trailer arrived. I could not stop myself and had to satisfy my curiosity. Β If nothing else I could at least have a laugh about how bad it probably would be. But it wasn’t. In fact the trailer managed to actually convince me that there was a small chance this might actually be a fun sequel. But…this was a trailer, and a trailer always shows the best bits right? Let’s be honest: how can a tv series based on a 34 year old movie reignite that same feelgood feeling I had when I watched the original film in the 80’s? Naw, this would probably suck. But boy oh boy was I wrong, and a lot of people with me. Cobra Kai, as the new show is called, has become an overnight succes. It has an unprecedented 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes, something no television series has ever managed to pull off. Yes, you heard that correctly. Not even juggernauts like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead. People are going absolutely crazy over this YouTube Red series and rightfully so. What exactly make this series so much fun? Well…relax: wax on, wax off. I’m going to try and bring across why you absolutely have to watch this, if you haven’t already.

Never trust a car salesman…even if he offers you a bonsai tree.

Cobra Kai takes place exactly 34 years after the events of the first film. Daniel LaRusso has grown up and been doing incredibly well for himself. He has a wife, two kids, and is the owner of a very succesful chain of car dealerships in the San Fernando Valley. Life is not without it’s challenges though and Daniel tries to make the best of it, without the help of his former mentor mister Miyagi who has sadly passed away. Meanwhile the life of his former nemesis Johny Lawrence has been steadily going downhill. He lives in a rundown appartment, has trouble keeping his job, and is drunk most of the time. One night Johny saves a young man called Miguel from a bunch of teenagers that are about to beat the crap out of him. Having seen what Johny can do, Miguel begs him to train him, but the former karate champ declines. In a strange turn of events Johny and Daniel run into each other again after this. Even though Daniel welcomes him with open arms, it’s pretty clear that the old rivalry is still there. After his run in with LaRusso, Johny has a new plan at which he is determined to succeed. He will reopen the Cobra Kai dojo, and bring it back to it’s former glory. But if Daniel has something to say about it, that will never ever happen…..

Dude….your hair? What’s wrong with it???

Cobra Kai is a tv series that will have you grinning from ear to ear right from the start. Even if you haven’t grown up with the Karate Kid films, I guarantee that you will love this show. For fans of the original movies though, it will be an even more special experience. One of this show’s biggest strengths is the way it portrays it’s characters. All of them have a depth to them and are more than just empty airheads made out of cardboard. William Zabka who reprises his role as Johny more than steals the show here. He is without a doubt the best thing this series has to offer and he turns his character into someone who you will grow to love. Huh? Wait wasn’t he the bad guy? Well…without giving too much away here, all I can say is that this series manages to offer quite a few surprises. It really turns the tables on quite a number of things and plays with your emotions in so many ways. Seeing Ralph Maggio returning as Daniel (seriously does this guy ever age), and settling back into his character that he last played almost 30 years ago now, is just incredible. It’s almost as if he has never even quit playing the Karate Kid. Seeing the banter on screen between the two rivals makes for some of the best scenes this show has on offer.

Don’t look now, but this is Daniel’s daughter Samantha. Nope…I would not lie to you.

So how about the new characters? Glad you asked because they are just as must fun as the original cast. From Daniel’s daughter Samantha to the new hero (but is he really a hero) Miguel, they all fit in perfectly. Some of them act as comic relief, some act up as the villains, and just as with Daniel and Johny, you will constantly shifting who you are rooting for. Cobra Kai has managed to do something that very few other shows based on older properties have pulled off. It brings back the feel and spirit of the original franchise into a modern day world, while at the same time giving it a new and fresh spin. It will probably not come as a huge surprise that a second season has already been given a green light, and in the way the series ends, it promises to be every bit as good. Well…at least I hope it will be just as much fun as this season. But that’s the future. For now, just go and check this show out when you have the time. With only 10 half an hour episodes in this season, you will bingewatch this in one day. It’s one of the rare exceptions where the hype really is real. So put on your black belts, and watch this. Or go and catch flies with chopsticks…whatever preference you have.

I give Cobra Kai season 1 a 10 out of 10 score.



39 thoughts on “Cobra Kai Season 1, American tv series (2018)”

  1. It’s a shame that the show is on YouTube Red. All the reviews I have read are positive, but I suspect the series would get a bigger audience on something like Netflix.

    Although I can barely remember the movie, I do recall liking Karate Kid in my youth. Wish that tackling bullies in real life was as easy as the movie made it appear.

    It’s cool that the series is a good followup and adds depth to the antagonist of the movie, by making you think differently about his past actions. For once Hollywood didn’t ruin childhoods with a modern day sequel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is definitely something that I regret as well. This series would get an even bigger following if they would bring it to Netflix. To be honest (but shhh don’t tell anyone) I watched this series on the website Rulu where you can watch it for free. (Just Google Rulu).It’s something I usually never do, but after seeing the first two episoded on Youtube (those are free) I could not continue as Youtube Red isn’t available in Holland.
      But defnitely this series is seriously amazing, a rare instance where something really manages to capture the spirit and feel of the original films. Hope you get a chance to watch it as it’s something quite amazing. And yeah, definitely wish that tackling bullies in real life would be so easy…ughhh..😒

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pleasantly surprised to read that this is good. I was awfy sceptical about it… y’know, another TV series based on a movie… there’s been a real spate of them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can totally understand your sceptism. It’s what I felt myself as well. But this was totally awesome and such a terrific and honest show. And with a 9.0 rating on IMDB and a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes it must be doing something right 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s truly an amazing series. And if you loved the Karate Kid…you will love this.
      Gonna let you in on a little secret though (shhhh…don’t tell anyone). The first two episodes you can see for free on Youtube, totally legit.
      As Youtube Red isn’t available in Holland I could not watch it there even if I wanted it too. So…I watched it on a website called Rulu (just google that word and it’s the first hit you will get). It’s well worth it and with only 10 half hour episodes you will bingewatch through this in no time at all (but don’t tell anyone else…shhhhh 🀐🀐🀐🀐🀐)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so happy to hear that this is good!! I meant to watch it as soon as it was released and completely forgot about it. Then, I had a co-worker tell me it was great… And then completely forgot about it again. Ha ha. I think my memory is fading in my old age! I’M NOT GOING TO FORGET THIS TIME! Thanks for the reminder!…. Again. πŸ˜‰πŸ»

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol…you are as young as you feel (that’s what I keep telling myself in any case πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚). I forget so many things lately that it’s almost crazy.
      But yeah, this show is absolutely amazing: something that I really did not expect at all. I am pretty sure that you are going to love this. Have fun watching, and of course you are welcome 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, the fun thing is: it’s only 10 half hour episodes. So it doesn’t take very long to complete it, and if you enjoyed the old films trust me when I say that you are going to highly enjoy this. It really pulled off a miracle in capturing the spirits of the old films. I hope you will enjoy it πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol…no you are not. Before this I did not know what it was either, so really no worries πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ But to my defense it’s not available for me in my country so there is that 😊 YouTube red is a paid service from Youtube. It contains shows like this one, and apparently you can do other stuff with it you can’t on normal Youtube.
      But…seeing as this service isn’t available for me, I watched the first two episodes on the normal Youtube (they are free) and just as I said to Kim (it’s a secret lol), I watched the rest on a site called Rulu (just google that word and it will be the first hit you will get). It’s so worth watching this as the show is simply amazing 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the Karate Kid movies πŸ™‚ Good to hear this series is as good as the original. It’s not often you find a series based on an oldish movie and brought to the modern day, that is actually great. πŸ™‚
    Also omg that mohawk, I’m not even sure how its able to stand up like that hehehe XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was very (pleasanty) surprised at this myself to be honest. Most reboots/remakes or whatever you wish to call them based on old properties are usually not very good. This is one big exception to that and that’s nice. Especially since I am a huge Karate Kid fan as well. As for the mohawk…really no idea at all lol πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


  5. I absolutely LOVED Cobra Kai! And your review perfectly sums up what makes it so great. Perfect mix of nostalgia coupled with a newness to make it fresh. The old characters were great, the new characters were great. Now I still didn’t much care for Johnny, but the thing is I was able to understand him and sympathize with him and just thoroughly enjoy his story and growth. That’s just how well this show was done.

    Cobra Kai is probably the best series continuation I have seen. It was just phenomenal in every way. I am super excited to see season 2. There is so much that they set up that I feel like they still have plenty of story to tell. Can’t wait! Fantastic review πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks so much, always nice to see a comment from you 😊
      You are so right though! This series was just simply put perfect and in no way could I have asked for a better way to continue these classic films than the way they managed to do so in this series.
      I loved the ending of Cobra Kai as well: exactly as you say, there is so much more to tell, and I am really excited to see where they are going to go with this.
      As for Johny…I liked the fact that he was made more human in this series. While he can certainly still be a bully, he at least has become a relatable bully, which only goes to show that they really managed to create a human being here, with all it’s flaws 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I too sort of laughed off the idea of Cobra Kai, and even more when I saw it was exclusive to Youtube Red. I thought nothing good could possibility come out through Youtube Red or this show, but when I heard a couple of friends saying it was surprisingly good, I was shocked. And now this massive praise coming from you? Makes me curious about it all for sure. I was a huge fan of the original movies, and cringed/laughed off the remake with Will Smith’s son. I hear there might be a sequel in the works for that one too… Anyways, awesome review as always, my friend. I’ll definitely give this a shot at some point. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was the same with me: I was very, very skeptical for this one. But that’s mainly because I have so much love for the original movies and ones that I hold very close to my heart. I have to say that the remake wasn’t all that bad honestly. It of course wasn’t as good as the originals, but I also wasn’t bad.
      This series though was absolutely amazing, and as a fan you are really in for a treat. It manages to achieve something that not a lof of things based on original properties do: capture the heart of the original property and what made it so much fun in the first place.
      Thanks again for your kind words: always appreciate them 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is on my long list of things to watch, and maybe one day I will find the time. But today is not that day! You said Karate Kid had 3 sequels (not including the Jackie Chan one). Are you sure? I remember 2 and 3 (okinawa and then Bonsai Shop), but not a 4th. Also, have you ever watched Sidekicks?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha….I understand, I currently am trying to find time to watch things..and I always fail miserably.
      No worries…but yes there is a fourth Karate Kid. It’s called The Next Karate Kid, and focusses on mr Miyagi taking on a new student, a young Hilary Swank. Daniel is not in it anymore. It’s a film that wasn’t received very well, but I still enjoyed it. It’s been a while since I have last seen it, so don’t know if it is still as enjoyable though.
      As for Sidekicks…yep I have: Chuck Norris. A bit cheesy, but nonetheless a fun film 😊😊


      1. Honestly…it’s been so long since I have last seen KK4 that I want to rewatch it at some point this year. I hardly can remember the film at all. In that way..when I do the review you can still experience it a bit (and maybe it will turn out that it was horrible…and you don’t have to watch it all anymore lol πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚).


  8. I am one of those people who watched the modern remake of karate kid. And let me tell you I loved it. Although I knew about the existence of the original I never thought of watching it. But now I think I should. And this sequel feels like a promising one. Many a time sequels have gone pretty bad making even the original derail from its best but this sounds very promising.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well…I really liked that remake too. I thought it was pretty well done, and came close to really capture the spirit of the original films. The originals though are the best…especially because of that cool 80’s vibe it had…gotta love that. I honestly thought this sequel would be really bad, but I’m very glad that it wasn’t 😊😊


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