Story- After their 1984 Valley Karate Tournament bout, a middle-aged Daniel LaRusso, and Johnny Lawrence find themselves martial-arts rivals again.
REVIEW- The answer has finally come to the age-old question of “How can you introduce nuance into a cut-and-dry good-vs-evil 80’s classic,” and it comes in the form of COBRA KAI. While there are many a homage to the film(s) that spawned it, Cobra Kai makes its name for itself by (gasp) being very well written. Also introducing depth to the degree that neither Johnny nor Daniel-San is really “the good guy” or “the bad guy.”
They both make poor decisions and both are dealing with the traumas of their youth (which, in Danny’s case, comes down to Johnny himself in many ways). And they both pass on the positive and negative experiences to their children and students in various ways. Danny is often motivated by petty revenge and unable to see any good in Johnny. His Cobras (and not entirely for no reason), and Johnny may be saving himself from himself and his past. He’s giving his students confidence, but also seems to be making them somewhat into monsters.
The show can balance all this thematically and do so with poignancy and humor. Unlike, say, an hour-and-a-half-long movie, the display can burn much more slowly and spend time with its characters and their pasts to provide a tremendous amount of depth. This might even be the thing that makes Youtube Red worth paying for. I’m legitimately hyped for season 2. What the hell. (While I won’t spoil the last-minute sting in the final episode, needless to say, it’s a biggie).