Hollywood has done its best to destroy my childhood. Everything has either been remade, reimagined, or re-suck-i-fied in some way, shape, or form. Every now and then they get something right enough for me (Transformers) but that is overshadowed by the horrors of what they get wrong (G.I. Joe, Miami Vice, etc.).
Ordinarily, finding out that there’s going to be a TV show based on one of my favorite movies, “The Karate Kid,” would send me ready to torch Tinseltown. However, after reading a bit about it, I’m a bit intrigued.
Three decades after The Karate Kid, original stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka are heading back to the dojo. The duo are set to reprise their roles as underdog Daniel LaRusso (Macchio) and bully Johnny Lawrence (Zabka) in a 10-episode straight-to-series follow-up called Cobra Kai for subscription service YouTube Red.
The series, set to bow in 2018, is set 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament and revolves around a down-and-out Johnny who, seeking redemption, reopens the infamous Cobra Kai dojo. It reignites his rivalry with a now-successful Daniel, who has been struggling to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his mentor, Mr. Miyagi (the late Pat Morita). The half-hour comedy follows the duo addressing demons from their past and present frustrations — through (what else?) karate.
Josh Heald (Hot Tub Time Machine) as well as duo Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (Harold and Kumar) will pen the script and exec produce. Macchio and Zabka will co-exec produce. Hurwitz and Schlossberg will direct much of the series. Will Smith’s Sony Pictures Television Studios-based Overbrook Entertainment will exec produce with James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett overseeing for the company.
I’ll admit it: this may well suck big ones, but I’ll probably watch it nonetheless.
Zabka is a talented comedic actor who got to show that by playing himself in “How I Met Your Mother.” He also got to poke a bit of fun as his Johnny Lawrence character in a music video for the No More Kings song “Sweep the Leg,” which he directed.
Unfortunately, Zabka’s career seemed to stall after his initial ’80s success, and a show capitalizing on the popularity of “The Karate Kid” might be just what’s called for.
However, will it be any good?
Honestly, that remains to be seen. There’s nothing out there for us to judge by just yet, but it’s clear that the show’s take on the characters will be just different enough to potentially intrigue audiences, especially as it sounds like it’s more from Johnny’s perspective. Plus, the idea of Johnny and Daniel still having a beef after all these years and finally putting it behind them just sounds amusing.
As it stands, I’ll consider myself cautiously optimistic.