Well, it’s official folks. I am completely obsessed with Cobra Kai. I finished watching all ten episodes in a few days, and only because I wanted it to last. It was hard to not fly through all of them. As a huge fan of The Karate Kid movies, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the show, but after finishing all ten episodes I am here with a 110% I loved it rating.
One of the main reasons I loved it was Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). Move over Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio). I’m officially on Johnny’s team now. It’s amazing what ten episodes of a show can do to a movie that presented a character as a major bully. Here are three reasons why I now love Johnny Lawrence…
[**WARNING: SPOILERS FOR COBRA KAI BELOW!]
One: Rich Kid doesn’t always mean successful adult. Seeing the perspective of how Johnny’s life unfolded changed the Karate Kid story. A once “rich kid,” now an alcoholic, failed karate champion and handyman, we see a real look at what happens to some people. While Daniel’s story paints the opposite outlook, rags to riches, for many reasons Johnny’s story is more relatable. He had a dream, that dream got taken away, and he kept living. Watching the character rebuild his life and bring back Cobra Kai karate was inspiring.
Two: Striking hard could have a deeper message. Sure, he’s a tough Sensei. A lot of the outcast kids that come to him are told some harsh messages, but a lot of them turn that into something positive. As you watch the show, you soon discover that the “strike hard” message comes in handy for a lot of his students. While some of his methods may be risky, they do come through. In a world where many are consumed by the convenience of technology, it was nice to see a group of teenagers participating in something uncommon.
Three: Everyone has a heart…including a former bully. Actually, one could argue that Johnny Lawrence still is a bully, but he definitely opens up his heart a lot over ten episodes. His son provides an interesting perspective to the story, one that ultimately affects how he accepts the big tournament win at the end. You go through a journey with this character, one that you hope will end in victory. However, it doesn’t have that happily ever after ending. You see Johnny question the methods of what he has been teaching and it looks like we’ll be dealing with that story line in the second season.
All in all, we love you Johnny Lawrence.
Red has renewed Cobra Kai for a second season. The first two episodes of Season One are available on Youtube for free now. You can sign up for a free one month trial to view the rest.