Welcome to Stop>Drop>Watch, an LRM feature where we recommend recent or current TV shows (and movies) you may have missed, stopped watching, or simply want to try out. With DVRs, streaming services, and on-demand it’s easier than ever to discover new stuff, but the amount of content makes it hard to choose what to watch. We’re here to help!
YouTube Premium’s Cobra Kai
Cobra Kai is the continuation of the original Karate Kid trilogy starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka made thirty-four years after the first film. The timeline for Cobra Kai takes place thirty-four years after the 1984 San Fernando Valley Karate Tournament focusing on the repercussion of that single event and focuses on the effects the tournament has on Johnny Lawrence and how much one moment can change your life forever.
Where you should start watching:
Let’s start with availability.
Every episode of Cobra Kai is available for subscribers on YouTube Premium which was previously known as YouTube Red. Youtube Premium is available through any internet provider, iOS, Android, Kindle, Apple TV, and Roku. But, no matter what device you have, there is no avoiding utilizing YouTube to watch.
Now let’s talk about if you need to “start” at a specific point. While this show does currently only have one season, it doesn’t completely standalone, as it’s a follow-up to The Karate Kid. Do you need to watch it first? Well, if you just want to understand it, no, because the show does a great job of catching you up with flashbacks. However, if you truly want to appreciate it, you should at least watch the first film — and if you want to go nuts, check out the entire trilogy of films before watching, but it’s not necessary.
The season is ten episodes ranging from 25-35 minutes in length. For fans on the fence about watching this show, the first two episodes are on YouTube for free. Also, if you have some free time on your hands you can subscribe to YouTube Premium with the first month free and binge watch the show.
Why you should watch:
The main reason you should watch Cobra Kai is it’s one of the most well-written shows that I have seen on any television or streaming platform. This show is not a cash grab like most remakes or sequels are made out to be. Cobra Kai takes the original conflict between Daniel and Johnny and brings it to a modern-day story of good versus evil. Like other films during the 1980’s The Karate Kid portrays a story of good versus evil that is very simplistic where it was the bullied versus the bully. This show takes a modern approach of where both the protagonist and antagonist represent ideals of being good and evil. Throughout the season each episode will make you sympathize with both characters. By the end of the season, you won’t be able to decide who to root for at the All Valley Karate Tournament.
Another great example why you should watch this show is the acting by the entire cast but especially William Zabka’s performance of Johnny Lawrence. William steals the show away from Ralph by modernizing a character whose life is shattered by the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament. The character of Johnny lets the events of his past Instead of taking responsibilities for his actions that lead to a broken family and no future. It’s a very modern twist for a lot of people that continue to live in the past or blame certain actions in their life for everything that has gone wrong. Along with the modernization of the characters, there is a lot of nostalgia throughout the show that ties back to 1984. Whether it is the car that Johnny is driving, the classic 80’s music, to Johnny’s lack of knowledge of modern social media like Facebook. Johnny’s character will resonate with a lot of people from Generation X and older who have not caught up with the times.
While the original Karate Kid spawned multiple sequel movies and even different adaptations with The Next Karate Kid and a modern day remake with Jayden Smith, none of those captured the essences of what made the original so special. Cobra Kai does a great job of capturing that spark and putting it with a modern twist to it. Fans of the original movies will not be disappointed one bit with this series and I bet will start counting down the days for Season 2 to come out. For viewers that are too young that were not around for the original movies, this is a show they can still fall in love with. The story from this season does a great job of balancing the original story with the new story so new viewers will be caught up with the whole storyline.