KICKING THE COMPETITION

A Newer TV series combines the past and the present to make the future one to remember.

KICKING+THE+COMPETITION

Natalie McLaren, Eyes on Owls Section Editor

A Brand New Fight

Nowadays, there is always competition to be fought, a person to be battled, and a side to be against. Nobody is ever on the same team anymore; or are they? We’ll see about that. Fans of the 1984 movie, Karate Kid, enjoyed the sequels to the first movie where Daniel LaRusso certainly kicked the competition. The classic film told the story of a young teenager that had been through a move and the loss of a parent at too young of an age, so living with his mom in a run-down part of California, Daniel had to find a way to avoid getting picked on. With the help of a wise old man named Mr. Miyagi, the beloved film that is dear to many of our hearts was born. Many fans of Karate Kid thought the story was over after the 3rd movie; however, the story has only just begun; and don’t worry, there will be the return of some old friends.

The Dojo Entrance

The series Cobra Kai made its way into the dojo of movies in May of 2018, releasing its first season on YouTube Premium. In August of 2020, after season two being released, the series moved to Netflix. Since August of 2020, over 50 million household members have streamed the series, making Cobra Kai the most streamed series since September of 2020. The show stars icons William Zabka and Ralph Maachio, the original Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso, respectively. Many have been enjoying the fight and the brawl that these two famous names have brought to the series, and it is clear that the chemistry between the two men has not died down since the 3rd Karate Kid movie was released in 1989. As many can probably infer, the actor portraying Mr. Miyagi, Pat Morita, passed away in the early 21st century, so he will not be returning to join the cast of Cobra Kai; however, you are probably wondering one thing; where does the story begin?

Strike First, Strike Hard

The new series took its debut showing a different side of the original story we know. As most remember well, Johnny Lawrence was the antagonist in the Karate Kid, with fans all over the world fighting and shouting protagonist Daniel LaRusso’s name. However, we start off the first season with Johnny Lawrence as the seemingly changed protagonist of Cobra Kai. As the attentive eyes may have seen, Cobra Kai, the title of the show, comes from the name of the Dojo in the Karate Kid led by Sensei John Kreese (portrayed by Marty Kove). When a new kid and nerd going by the name of Miguel comes around the corner and becomes the new neighbor of the dilapidated living quarters that Johnny Lawrence calls home, he finds that Johnny knows more than people think. Starting off the season strong, Miguel Diaz and Johnny Lawrence take one kick at the competition by opening up the Dojo of Cobra Kai once more. The children of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence are key factors for making this show one to remember, and because of the genius scripting by the pros, there is a large, complex story waiting to be told on the big screen.

No Mercy

Although Cobra Kai is a well thought out, comical, and thrilling series to binge, it is definitely not family friendly. Myself being 16 years old, I have witnessed some violence, and some language that make it appropriate for a High-School audience, but not much younger than that. CONSULT YOUR PARENT IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN STARTING COBRA KAI. The show has intrigue and it will set you on the edge of your seat, even long after the episodes conclude. Don’t get too excited about seeing 30 episodes to watch; it took me around 1 week to watch them all. Once you get started, there’s no stopping or turning back.

A Little Bit of Bonsai

Just like that of a Bonsai tree, every show has to cut a few people along the way; just like with Pat Morita, while there aren’t high death tolls of your favorite characters, be open to a new way of going about Karate when watching this series. If you keep your mind open, you will find that a bit of balance will make your watching experience 10-fold better than before. For all of you OG fans of Karate Kid, don’t worry about wanting some more beef between the two old rivals; there will be plenty of that in this series. The messages, despite reviews on Common Sense Media, are good, however it may take time to develop points. The key to enjoying this series is remembering that it may take a few rough scenes to realize full well the good morals of the story. There are more champions out there than one may think.

The Owl’s Take on Cobra Kai

Many parents and students are probably wondering what types of things you might see in this show, especially when I warn younger audiences that there is stuff that is more mature. Below, I formulated a Q&A session with myself to give you a good idea of what goes on inside this dojo.

 

Q: How much is the violence?

A: To be truthful, it’s not too bad. For kids watching shows like Falcon & the Winter Soldier, Avengers Endgame, and even some others, although this type of violence is different, it’s a series about Karate, and Karate is not a fun, merry-go-round type sport. I will warn that Seasons 2 and 3 get a little rough at times, but the basis of the story is very intriguing for a thriller-seeking audience.

Q: Language. I’m not a fan. Is this for me?

A: Definitely not. Johnny Lawrence had some language in the Karate Kid, but this one can be a little edgy sometimes. For parents concerned about language, I wouldn’t suggest this series for them. If you don’t mind it here and there, I would say you can watch it and still enjoy it.

Q: Is it entertaining?

A: Very much so. It’s got a lot of really funny content, and it’s got a lot of older-kid humor. I also like the dumb, nerdy humor personally, and I found quite a bit of it in this show. Yes, the humor can get a bit edgy and there is a bit of bullying for sure, but it’s a very entertaining series overall, and it is definitely a must-watch for any Karate Kid fanatic.

Cobra Kai NEVER DIES!

This series might not be for everyone, but I figured it’s worth the review so you can see just how good/bad a modern, trendy, Netflix series can be. Netflix is known for pushing out content that can set people on the edge of their seats, and on the very perimeter of their comfort zone. Even if you don’t decide to indulge yourself in a Karate-Kid continuation, remember this: 

COBRA KAI NEVER DIES!