You’re the Best Around: Why Cobra Kai Works

All right, all right. I’ll be the first to admit it, Mr. Darcy and I look forward to having our time after the kids shuffle to bed. We love hanging out with our girls, but it’s fun to occasionally throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave after they head to Bedfordshireland, chill out on the couch, and watch something we both enjoy. We both grew up in the eighties, and we love revisiting some of our favorite movies like the Indiana Jones movies, Goonies, Inner SpaceBack to the Future, Ghostbusters, Willow, and (when I’m feeling brave) Aliens.

It goes without saying that Karate Kid was one of my all-time favorite movies from the eighties. I dug the first and second movies, the third… erm, not so much. I felt the script could have been better.

But lemme tell you about Cobra Kai. OMG.

I can’t believe I’m about to say this, b-b-but… I think I like it better than the original Karate Kid!

Remember this guy? Johnny Lawrence, a.k.a the bane of Daniel’s existence? I absolutely LOVE Ralph Macchio as Daniel and always have. They both look fantastic for their ages, but for me, after binge-watching the series with Mr. Darcy, this guy steals the show. William Zabka has some serious acting chops, y’all, and he BROUGHT it in this amazing series with nuances to no end. I was always curious what happened to Johnny after his slight redeeming moment at the end of the original Karate Kid, and what became of him. We learn a lot about him in this series, and I loved every second of it. He’s completely clueless about technology and still permanently stuck in the 80s, but oddly it endears him even more because of what a backwards anti-hero he becomes.

As a writer, world building can be hard. I know when I wrote Astraeus that I had to take a lot of extra care and time to create something substantial, map everything out, and concretely see everyone’s trajectory in my mind. Dialogue is important, and it can make or break a scene. The writing and dialogue on this show is just outstanding, completely top level, and it had a point to it. Cobra Kai not only has a great message about redemption, forgiveness and anti-bullying, it really revives the feel of the first movie, and it’s got a lot of heart, humor, and surprising depth to it. I missed Mr. Miyagi (RIP Pat Morita), but a ghost of him was still present during this, and it worked.

A lot of reboots these days are hit and miss, but there was something special about Cobra Kai. It had a soul. I don’t believe in posting spoilers, so I’ll just leave it as you should watch it if you know what’s good for you. It freakin rocked, you guys! Cobra Kai never dies. Two thumbs way up!

 

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