Cobra Kai, the decades-later Netflix spinoff of one of the most famous movies in history, The Karate Kid, recently released its third season. The filming of season four has since been announced. Cobra Kai stars fallen Karate prodigy Johnny Lawrence as well as his nemesis Daniel LaRusso. The opening scene of season one is a flashback from the infamous Karate Kid movie, the All Valley tournament where severely injured LaRusso caused a major upset, knocking out Lawrence with a swift kick to the face and securing the title of karate champion. The show portrays Lawrence decades later as his life is in shambles. Cobra Kai sheds light on Lawrence’s side of things, making LaRusso seem like less of the protagonist. The show challenges the idea that Johnny was ever really the “bad guy.” To that end, and like a knight in shining armor from a long time ago, “Cobra Kai” was the hero we were dreaming of. It provided all the feels for fans of John G. Avildsen’s 1984 film and its Okinawan-set 1986 sequel, while also presenting a fresh take on the characters.
Ralph Macchio, the actor who portrays LaRusso in the recent Netflix special, states, “At the onset … the angle opening the show was how to get into ‘The Karate Kid’ universe from a different perspective, and so through the eyes of Johnny Lawrence, and William’s character, whatever happened to this guy that we had a little backstory of? So, we knew there was going to be a redemption story going in. How gray the areas were, and how LaRusso and Lawrence, at certain times, would become the antagonist to the other, is part of the fun of it all. And that’s the cool thing and the thing that’s the most different from ‘The Karate Kid’ films, which was so clearly black and white, good over evil – you know, Daniel, good; Johnny, bad. This show, ‘Cobra Kai,’ all those lines have blurred; and I think it creates a deeper dive and a more multidimensional way to look at these characters. Your allegiance changes some – who you’re rooting for – and that’s kind of fun.”
I personally have watched the series and have since recommended it to everyone I know. Just like the three tenets painted across the dojo wall suggest, “Cobra Kai” struck first, struck hard and showed no mercy when it debuted on Netflix in 2020. The series, Cobra Kai, is currently in the Netflix top 10, which is an indication that the show will be around for quite a while. Time will tell if it’s true that “Cobra Kai Never Dies.”