Review of Karate Kid Spinoff Show Cobra Kai

On August 28, Netflix released Cobra Kai, another addition to the Karate Kid franchise. Days after its release, it became one of the most popular shows on Netflix. (Photo courtesy of Savannah Sinor)

YouTube sold Cobra Kai after deciding to move away from scripted T.V. shows.


The spinoff show became a Netflix original when the streaming service bought the rights to it in June. The show is now number one on Netflix after being an unknown feature on YouTube Red.

It only took a few days for Cobra Kai to rise to number one after its release on Netflix. As a show with well-developed plot lines and complicated characters, it is logical that it would be popular. Even with all of its good qualities, it became number one surprisingly fast.

As a spinoff show, it has gained some popularity due to its connection to the original movies. The Karate Kid movies ended in the 1980s, but they are still popular today. Cobra Kai adds more depth to the characters of the first movie. Many fans of the movies are interested in the original characters so they watch the show.

At the end of the Karate Kid, Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawerence, high school rivals, face off in the All Valley Under 18 Championship. Daniel barely beats Johnny with a kick to the face and wins the championship. After that, they go their separate ways still holding a grudge against each other.

Cobra Kai picks up 34 years after the conclusion of the first Karate Kid movie. It follows Johnny Lawrence as he tries to create a successful dojo and keep his kids from going down the same path he did. 

When Daniel LaRusso opens up a rival dojo, tensions rise and drama unfolds.

At first, Johnny and Daniel try to put aside their differences, but it doesn’t take long for them to be rivals again. After that encounter, Johnny reopens the Cobra Kai dojo. He takes his teenage neighbor, Miguel Diaz, as his first student.

When Daniel realizes that Johnny reopened Cobra Kai, he decides to teach his own method of karate. The first student he has is Robby Keene, one of the employees at his dealership. What Daniel doesn’t know is that Robby is Johnny’s estranged son. Johnny is livid when he finds out and the hostility between the two senseis increases.

The show delves more into who Johnny Lawerence is through flashbacks while he teaches Miguel. In one of these flashbacks, the viewers see Daniel and Ali’s relationship from Johnny’s point of view.

He explains that he and Ali had been dating seriously for two years but were taking a break. During this break, Daniel moves into town and takes Ali away from Johnny. These new facts make Johnny Lawerence a more likable character. It also helps viewers to empathize with him.

Viewers start to realize that neither Johnny nor Daniel are the bad guy as the show progresses. Both are complex characters who are making what they believe to be good decisions.

Even though both characters are good people, it is easy for fans to pick a side and root for a person. Most fans tend to root for Johnny Lawrence. They do this because of the way Daniel LaRusso acts at the beginning of the series. By the time fans reach the finale of season one, they have a clear picture of who they want to win.

After becoming invested in Cobra Kai, the fans of the show often go back to the original movies. When they do this they start to compare the movies to the show, but they shouldn’t.

The movies are good and as the original part of this franchise, many of the fans prefer them over the show. What the movies failed to do is show everyone’s side of the story. Cobra Kai exceeds in this aspect, by explaining everyone’s point of view. The show does, however, lack some creativity in the second season, which brings many of the fans to dislike it. Karate Kid and Cobra Kai both have their own pros and cons, and there is nothing to gain from comparing them. It is best to enjoy them as they are without judging them because of the other.

Cobra Kai is a great show with an amazing plot and intriguing characters. It expands the Karate Kid universe in a way that develops the old characters but maintains the integrity of the original movies. This show is entertaining and it is an amazing addition to Netflix.

Though it is a good show, there are some problems with it. Johnny’s teaching method is antagonistic and extreme. At one point in the show, he makes all of his students go inside a cement mixer to teach them a lesson. Johnny’s method goes too far and would be inappropriate in the real world, even by karate standards. Another unrealistic aspect of the show is the parties that the teenagers attend. In real life, teens don’t go to giant parties with tons of drinking.

Despite the few unrealistic parts of Cobra Kai, it is a good show, with a good theme. It delves into what happens when people can’t move on. The theme, plot, and characters create a show worth watching. 


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