Cobra Kai Review

art+from+Netflix%27s+Cobra+Kai

art from Netflix’s Cobra Kai

Shaine Salonga, Arts and Entertainment

Spoiler Free Review

Recently, the television series Cobra Kai dominated Netflix with over 73 million views when it moved there from Youtube Premium in 2021. The action-packed comedy-drama continues the tale of Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), and his high school bully, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) almost three decades after the events of The Karate Kid. Cobra Kai isn’t all about karate; it is a show that has the recurring themes and conflicts of romance, friendship, family, and thrilling rivalries. The series is compellingly entertaining, and it truly deserves the fame and love it receives. 

 

Season 1

The series starts off thirty-four years after Daniel LaRusso won against Johnny Lawrence at the All Valley tournament. LaRusso currently owns a thriving car dealership with his wife, while Lawrence is at rock bottom and barely has any money to manage himself. Even though the original Cobra Kai sensei, John Kreese has been presumed dead for a long time, and the Cobra Kai dojo has been shut down for several years, Lawrence decides to reopen the dojo. An intense and eventful rivalry reignites between LaRusso and Lawrence once Coba Kai is back. 

The story revolves around their rivalry, and the life of teenagers who face many conflicts of their own either at home or at high school, like Daniel’s daughter Samantha (Mary Mouser), Johnny’s son Robby (Tanner Buchanan), his student Miguel (Xolo Maridueña), and other Cobra Kai members. 

The entire season was captivating, especially how one intense occurrence would immediately be followed by another intense conflict. This made the show very entertaining and addicting to watch, and how the audience will want to know what happens next. Teenage issues that transpire in real life were brought up in the show, like conflicts with popularity, cyber bullying, and physical bullying. Several of the characters, with most of them being the teenagers, were changed by drastic character growth and developments. 

At the end of season one, a lot of the characters seem to be totally different from how they were in the beginning of the series;an example of this is the change of personality that Robby experiences throughout the season. Johnny used to be known only as a bully to Daniel LaRusso, but this show gives the audience a different perspective and a deeper understanding of his character. Overall, season one was an amazing way to start the series, but the following seasons become much more interesting and enjoyable. 

Greg Wheeler of The Review Geek says about season 1, “Cobra Kai is a funny, dramatic and action-packed series about karate. When you dive a little deeper into this one, there’s some surprisingly thought provoking concepts here. The way this 10 episode series flips the script and challenges our perceptions of who these characters are is partly the reason the series works as well as it does. “

Season 2

The rivalry between Lawrence and LaRusso became much more conflicted and intense, especially when the teenagers got more involved in their rivalry. When another character from the original Karate Kid series is reintroduced, the rivalry worsens. 

Johnny redeems himself from becoming like his old sensei, and begins to disagree with Cobra Kai’s philosophy. His change causes even more division between himself and his dojo, and adds more conflict to the overall story.

The romance between the young characters, which affects the main plot, becomes extremely problematic especially when a new Cobra Kai student named Tory (Peyton List) is introduced. The countless rivalries between students caused friendships to be broken, and new friendships to be forged with others. The show shines more light on Hawk (Jacob Bertrand) and Demetri’s (Gianni DeCenzo) captivating feud. Johnny faces other situations, like reuniting with a friend, and even giving his love life a chance. The season concluded with an epic battle and a brutal fate to one of the characters.

The final extraordinary fight scene at the end of the season was nearly half the run time of the episode. It was a thrilling fight which was amazingly choreographed. The final battle was definitely one of the main highlights of the entire season.

 Overall, there were more fight scenes in season two which was choreographed wonderfully. The events that occurred were darker and more problematic, and the characters, especially the teenagers were involved in a lot of intense drama. The rivalries between the students were physical and aggressive, especially the hostile feud between Tory and Sam. Even though it was much less light-hearted compared to the first season, it still had many of its hilariously comedic moments. Lawrence and LaRusso’s rivalry, just like season one, delivered many laughs. The action, the drama, and the comedy was multiplied in the amazing second season of Cobra Kai. 

Josh Sorokach of the Decider says, “One thing I know for sure is that the new season is an extraordinary blend of humor, pathos, and storytelling that’ll knock your socks off. Stream it first, stream it hard, and show no mercy.”

Season 3

Even though Daniel and Johnny are still rivals, they now share a common enemy. Multiple characters were heavily affected by the conclusion of the previous season, which influenced the events of this season. Many characters reconcile with one another, while other characters continue to fight. Johnny spends time bonding with Miguel, who looks up to him as a father figure, while other karate students fight against one another. Daniel revisits Okinawa, Japan, which he last visited in The Karate Kid Part II. This season contained plenty of cameos from the original Karate Kid movies. 

This season was much less chaotic, but still had many of its amazingly haywired fight sequences. It wasn’t as dark as the previous season, and a lot of the events that occurred were more heartening. There were many cheerful and wholesome moments in these episodes, like the bonding of Miguel and Lawrence, and Daniel visiting Okinawa, which was a great addition to the story in terms of plot and nostalgia. 

The show is still as entertaining and enjoyable even though it was more relaxing to watch, and there were still multiple intense scenes. There were many epic moments, like the redemption of characters, or the betrayal of one. The conclusion definitely makes the audience excited for the next season, especially how it concludes with a thrilling battle which led to new betrayals and alliances. 

Leftover Brian of Pop Culture Leftover talks about season 3 and says, “Still, ‘Cobra Kai” continues to be a well done — and welcome — nostalgia bomb that keeps deepening the original storylines, while also doing enough interesting things with the new characters. All that said, there’s nothing better than seeing Zabka and Macchio get together again on screen, and they remain the real heart – and highlight – of the show.”

 

Overall, Cobra Kai is a highly entertaining series that deserves the fame it receives. It  appears to be very nostalgic for the adult viewers who watched the original franchise, while the younger watchers of the show are introduced to a whole new compelling story with interesting characters. This series is highly recommended to anybody who enjoys a good laugh, compelling drama, or thrilling action. Season four of Cobra Kai is expected to be released next year, January, as it is currently being filmed.