Cobra Kai Season 1-2
The Karate Kid was never a part of my formative years. I didn’t grow up on the seemingly right and wrong of martial arts-inspired Ralph Macchio with the now synonymous crane kick. It just never made its way into my viewing scope until try as I might to avoid, but got sucked into thanks to Netflix prompting and promoting Cobra Kai.
Giving Cobra Kai a chance
I didn’t want to like Cobra Kai. I hate bandwagoning. I’m not sure where that part of me came from, but I really do not like getting on board with something while the hype is at its peak. Maybe I didn’t want to be swayed by the crazy good ratings (92% Rotten Tomatoes, 8.6 IMDB, 4/5 Empire and 97% Google Users) into thinking that this show was something that it’s not. Maybe I was worried that I would wholeheartedly disappoint my harsher than thou standards for good programming. So I dug my heels in, and clicked passed it on Netflix… every…single…time.
An exhaustive couple of weeks post holidays at my front lines of the pandemic day job and I didn’t have the energy to fight the ads, the hype and tweets anymore. Cobra Kai might be disappointed, but good ol’ Johnny Lawrence would be proud that I eventually showed some mercy.
Well and truly hooked
Season One of Cobra Kai was binged in about 3 days of post-work viewing. I was hooked. The well-worn trope of the loveable loser to hero story was familiar, but the intricate weaving of past and present of what really made the Johnny Lawrence character is what kept me watching. After 2 seasons, the character has grown leaps and bounds, but still has so much left to run. This slow burn of turning from dead beat dad to hesitant occasional male role model is excellently executed. For actor William (Billy) Zabka, who’s IMDB filmography is heavily filled with him appearing as the now synonymous Johnny Lawrence, he has aged like a fine wine, and the gusto and determination that he throws into this lifelong character is almost hypnotizing.
I want to like him, but he’s so… unlikeable!
My big question to fellow viewers and showrunners alike is, am I supposed to dislike the character Daniel LaRusso? Season two redeemed him in my eyes from time to time, but on the whole, his decisions as a character within Cobra Universe leave me yelling at my television at least once an episode. LaRusso isn’t a bad guy, quite the contrary, but watching a good guy repeatedly make bad decisions and show his selfishness makes that character so unlikeable. Johnny Lawrence is the protagonist…I get that, but I can’t help but want so badly for Danny to be better. He has the ability, and I just want him to live up to his potential.
Diversity and well-timed comedy
The younger generation of karate enthusiasts is a well-diversified and likeable group. Miguel (expertly played by Xolo Mariduena) is front runner for my favourites in the show as a whole. Hawk (Jacob Bertrand) is the kid you love to hate. Newcomer Nichole Brown (plays sometimes friend of the LaRusso family, Aisha) brings a certain intensity and intrigue to the mostly male-dominated cast in a role outside of a love interest or family member. I will give Courtney Henggeler (Amanda LaRusso, Danny’s wife) a big ol’ slow clap for being the voice of reason in a karate grudge-holding universe. Her comedic timing is spot on, and she is saying exactly what I’m yelling at my TV.
Hunker down its Cobra Kai s3 time!
Season Three of Cobra Kai dropped at the beginning of January 2021, so now its time to hunker down, pull a Coors Banquet out of the fridge and binge to find out what my new favourite bad boy Johnny Lawrence is up to next, and if the internet can do what it does best and get me some Cobra Kai + Godzilla vs Kong memes, that would be just aces.
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