TV Series Review: Cobra Kai
Director: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, Jennifer Celotta, Josh Heald, Steve Pinkk
Starring: William Zabka, Ralph Maccio, Xolo Mariduena, Tanner Buchanan, Courtney Henggeler, Mary Mouser and Joe Seo
Writers: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Robert Mark Kamen, Hayden Schlossberg, Michael Jonathan Smith
Producers: Hurwitz & Schlossberg Productions, Overbrook Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television
Overall Rating: *****/5
If you haven’t used your free 30-day trial of YouTube Red, now is the time. May 2 saw the release of the first 10 episodes of the new YouTube Red Original, “Cobra Kai”. The show follows Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), 30 years after his defeat at the 1984 All-Valley Karate Championship. After some self-realization, Johnny re-opens the Cobra Kai dojo, which reignites the feud between himself and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio).
The trailer gave the impression that this show seemingly made fun of “The Karate Kid” franchise, a series loved by many that grew up in the 1980’s. After watching the initial release, it is easy to see that it is much more than recycled drivel riding the coattails of previous fame.
While the show does indeed have its funny moments, it does take itself seriously when needed. This is a show about overcoming the odds, and self-reflection that leads to the discovery of one’s self.
“Cobra Kai” is honestly much better than other reviewers thought it would be, and arguably, even better than the original films according to said reviewers on IMDB. Many didn’t expect such a high-quality show to come from a YouTube Original, myself included, but if this is the quality of programming that they plan on releasing, it just may be worth the $9.99 monthly membership price.
Whether you are an original fan of the series or somebody just looking for an entertaining show with a lot of heart and some majorly dry humor, with over a 9 out of 10 rating on IMDB, “Cobra Kai” will fill those needs. The cinematography rivals most nationally syndicated shows on the major networks today, and the acting is certainly nothing to scoff at. Zabka plays the down on his luck Lawrence as if he is method acting from the experience of a hard-lived life. His performance is much more than passable; it comes across as real.
Macchio’s performance as Daniel LaRusso is equally well executed. He makes you believe that Daniel-san grew up and actually made something of himself.
If they continue more seasons, it will definitely be interesting to see where this show can go. With the superb performances, great writing and directing, and top notch cinematography, Cobra Kai has the punch to entertain for many more episodes.