When YouTube announced it was going to launch a paid service called YouTube Red, I yawned. Another streaming service? Really?
To make matters worse, they offered nothing that seemed interesting. At least, not until they announced Cobra Kai. To say I was pumped is an understatement. I particularly liked how Johnny was the protagonist, a guy who lost his way, and Daniel was this huge success … but not really.
But, like most things, the excitement died down a bit.
Yes, this looks hilarious.
It also offers a whole lot of possibilities to see characters that many of us remember from our childhood grow in new ways. Will the rivalry grow into a friendship, even a grudging one?
Honestly, at this point, it’s impossible to tell. We have exactly one full trailer and a couple of teasers. Between now and May, there may be another trailer or two, which may give us a bit more, but I doubt it. You don’t want to kill the tension in episode one by showing something from episode five where Daniel was kicked out of his house and is crashing on Johnny’s couch.
But I could see that happening.
Even if it doesn’t, however, it’s interesting to see Johnny fulfilling the same role Mr. Miyagi did in the film. After all, he agrees to teach karate to someone after saving him from a gang of bullies. There’s no way I’m buying that wasn’t intentional.
However, it also sounds like this show may be partially designed to serve as something of a shot in the arm for this generation. “I’m going to teach you the style of karate that was taught to me. A method of fighting your pansy-a** generation desperately needs,” Johnny says in a voiceover. And he says it in an era when people are cowering in fear from words, for crying out loud.
In the 1980s, Daniel LaRusso may have been the Karate Kid we needed, but now it sounds like Johnny Lawrence is the Mr. Miyagi we need today.