Cobra Kai! Cobra Kai! Cobra Kai! The most popular dojo in the valley. Netflix show, Cobra Kai, has swept across the globe, raging with popularity since the first season’s release in May of 2018.
Cobra Kai is a spin-off of the The Karate Kid franchise, a classic favorite of many. The Karate Kid, a 1984 film, revolves around the rivalry of blonde karate jock, Johnny Lawrence, and new kid Daniel LaRusso in a high school setting in Reseda, California. When Lawrence’s torment of Daniel escalates, LaRusso turns to his neighbor and new mentor, Mr. Miyagi, for karate lessons. The rivalry all comes down to a tournament between LaRusso’s dojo, Miyagi-Do, and Lawrence’s dojo, Cobra Kai (sound familiar?). I give no spoilers. However, this movie, along with the following three in the series, is an absolute legend and definitely worth watching.
Cobra Kai takes place 34 years later, when LaRusso is a successful car salesman, and Lawrence is an unemployed wreck searching for job opportunities. Luckily, he finds one in a teenage neighbor who is desperate to learn karate skills to defend himself from the bullies at his high school. For Lawrence, it’s a reckoning of sorts, and with it, the long-defunct Cobra Kai dojo is back in business.
As an action, comedy, and romance production, this TV show follows the grown-up, but far from mature, relationship between Lawrence and LaRusso. As the seasons progress, more key characters return from The Karate Kid series, allowing the viewer to both reminisce and anticipate as the storyline unfolds.
Along the way, an important lesson is taught: there’s more than one side to every story. Winners may or may not be heroes, depending on one’s perspective. However, clear in each perspective is the excitement of a new generation of Cobra Kai students, and those that want to take them down. Add to that the allure of the never-ending 1980s soundtrack, vintage attire, and pop culture references and you’ve got one for the ages.
I know I’m not the only one who’s fallen in love with the brilliance of the plot and the never ending laughs that come with it. According to Netflix Top Ten – Global, each Cobra Kai season has reached Top Ten TV in up to 84 countries. The most recent reveal, season 5, had 106,700,000 hours of viewership in the first week of its release. Cobra Kai’s popularity has grown with each season, since its original debut on YouTube Red, and will surely continue to do so. Men’sHealth states, “Cobra Kai hasn’t been officially renewed for Season 6 yet, but it’s been such a wild success since coming over from YouTube that it would be stunning if it didn’t return for another go-around.” I hope to see a renewal occur in the near future, as do many generations of Karate Kid fans!