Like Spider-Man and the Green Goblin, or Batman and the Joker, or even the Red Sox and Yankees, old adversaries cross paths over and over… Returning to the dojo in “Cobra Kai,” an all-new series that reunites the adversaries from the iconic film franchise “The Karate Kid,” Johnny and Daniel are back at it again! Three decades after the All-Valley Karate Tournament of 1984, a washed up Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) seeks redemption. His approach? By reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo. This reignites his rivalry with a now-successful Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), who has struggled to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his mentor, Mr. Miyagi (played by Pat Morita in the films). Circumstances allows both men to address their past demons and present frustrations the only way they know how: through karate.
Whether or not this franchise needed to be rehashed can be argued till we’re blue in the face. However, YouTube Red thought so, and now here we are dusting off some old memories. Having only screened its first two episodes for the press, YouTube Red’s “Cobra Kai” is more about Johnny’s redemption (so far) and heavily pushes highlights from the film. Charming and quite nostalgic, it does help this new version of The Karate Kid storyline to shine in some way. Although the show does make use of its new approach by introducing new characters, the highlight of it all boils down to our two main stars. It looks as if it may and/or will go there, but I guess one needs to watch the show to find out. Premiering May 2nd, “Cobra Kai” has some big shoes to fill if it plans to stand side-by-side with one of the classics, especially as a glorified web-series. (Let’s call it what it is.) From what I saw… I don’t know… Can’t say I was sold, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be. So, for any hard-core Karate Kid fans out there, hook yourself up with YouTube Red and brace yourselves. HEE YAH!
Starring: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Mary Mouser, Xolo Mariduena, Tanner Buchanan, Courtney Henggeler
Directed by: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, Josh Heald, Steve Pink, Jennifer Celotta