Fans eager for a The Karate Kid reunion with William Zabka and Ralph Macchio will not be disappointed, but this series delivers where most sequels fall short – it evolves the original characters and adds depth to a story we didn’t know we needed to be continued. The pair’s next chapter thrills with unexpected humor and adrenaline-pumping fight scenes that are sure to delight fans both old and new.
It’s hard to root against beloved bully Johnny Lawrence.
The series opens with alcoholic Johnny getting fired from his job as a handyman before being arrested later that night for beating up high school bullies outside of his neighborhood convenience store. Everyone’s favorite runner-up appears to have settled into life as a deadbeat dad, but even at his lowest points, Johnny offers glimpses of humanity that reveal his earnest desire to be a better man.
In sharp contrast, family man Danny LaRusso has built a successful car dealership empire, drawing on the principles taught to him by his former sensei, Mr. Miyagi. We quickly learn that despite appearances, Danny is not above engaging in a petty rivalry with the quick-tempered Johnny. As the series delves into the pair’s post-high school lives, they break away from the bully/stalwart dynamic and evolve into multi-dimensional characters, each struggling to grapple with present challenges while gripped by the events of their past.
Clashes between 80s obsessed Johnny and Gen Z bring the laughs.
Johnny and Danny’s newly reignited feud offers some comic relief in Johnny’s otherwise bleak world, but the series really comes to life when Johnny decides to reopen the Cobra Kai dojo, and it begins to fill up with “losers” from the local high school. Unfamiliar with modern technology or Gen Z’s woke culture, Johnny hilariously tells a student who claims he may be on the spectrum, “I don’t know what that is, but get off of it”.
He also explains to his first prospective female student that she can’t join his dojo for the same reason women aren’t accepted into the army. Johnny’s students seem amused by most of his gaffes, and they slowly take to his “strike first – strike hard – no mercy” mentality. At the same time, Sensei Lawrence reluctantly adapts to the ways of this generation, and the end of Season Two even sees him creating content and “send[ing] it to the internet!”
The fight scenes in Cobra Kai will have you on the edge of your couch.
If 2020 has you feeling a bit stir crazy and looking for an escape, the fight scenes in Cobra Kai totally deliver. While it is fun to watch Johnny and Danny reprise their old moves in dustups with each other (and find some new foes along the way), the next generation of Cobrai Kai and Miyagi-Do students truly steal the show with their carefully choreographed fights.
The Miyagi-Do students are taught only to fight in self-defense or protection of others, but the Cobra Kais are happy to strike first. Officially facing off at the All Valley Tournament, the competing dojos are also known to throw punches during parties, in the mall food court, at their parents’ country club and most notably during school. In the final episode of Season Two, the tension between the rival dojos comes to a head in a fight scene that will leave you pleading for Season Three to come out before 2021.
While we wait to find out where the next season will take our favorite senseis and students, you can keep up with the cast and enjoy behind-the-scenes footage and interviews on Instagram.
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