The Karate Kid is considered a classic as the 1984 original film was one of the year’s biggest box office hits and a critical darling. It also spawned a franchise that continues to this day.
Why You Need To Watch Cobra Kai
The story followed young Daniel LaRuso (Ralph Macchio) who moves from New Jersey to Southern California and finds himself the target of a group of bullies, led by Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), who study karate at the Cobra Kai dojo. Thankfully, Daniel gets help from Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), an unassuming repairman who just happens to be a martial arts master himself.
The popular film led to three sequels and a remake with Jaden Smith in 2010. When YouTube entered the streaming game in 2018, its breakout show was Cobra Kai, a sequel to the original movies starring Macchio and Lawrence in their original roles. Netflix acquired the show after two seasons and it became one of the streamer’s top shows in 2020.
All 10 episodes of Season 3 were just released today, and you can expect millions of people to be watching. Here are reasons why you should be joining them.
If you were lucky enough to experience the Karate Kid films in the theater, or even if you’re just a fan from cable viewings, Cobra Kai does such a great job of bringing back some of those memories. Whether it’s the music, classic lines, or just a nod to events from the film, there will be something in every episode that makes you think back and smile.
2. Macchio and Lawrence
Daniel and Johnny were enemies in the first film, coming from different worlds. And with LaRuso a successful car salesman and Lawrence a down-on-his luck divorcee, the two characters aren’t exactly living in the same world in 2020 either. The two have great comic chemistry and their scenes together—especially one double date over dinner—are hilarious.
3. The Realization that Johnny is (gasp) Good?
How I Met Your Mother had an episode where Barney argued with the rest of the gang that it was really Daniel who was the villain of the Karate Kid and Johnny was the one who was more the victim. Maybe he wasn’t so off. The premise of Cobra Kai is Johnny reopens the dojo to help some of the same bullied kids that he used to pick on, only to find them soon on the other side of the bullying. Although this isn’t really what he wants from his kids, once his former master John Kreese (Martin Kove) comes into the picture and teaches them his old ways, Johnny must think about what he really wants to do. He’s struggling to be a good guy and it’s fun to watch him try.
4. Relive Karate Kid 2
The first sequel to Karate Kid was even more of a box office success than the first one, though not nearly as beloved. Still, some of the characters will forever have a place in Karate Kid lore and Season 3 of Cobra Kai is going to bring them back. Tamlyn Tomita as Daniel’s once love Kumiko and Yuji Okumoto as his enemy Chozen will both be part of this year’s story.
5. The Kids
Although Macchio and Lawrence are great in revisiting their roles in Cobra Kai, it’s the kids that Daniel and Johnny train who are the true Karate Kids of the 21st century. Miguel (Xolo Maridueña), Robbie (Tanner Buchanan), Sam (Mary Mouser), Hawk (Jacob Bertrand), and Tory (Peyton List) all have compelling stories and make you root for them, regardless of what side of the fight they are on.