Part of the reason I was so excited to talk about this show is the fact that while it is made immensely better by the fact that it is, after all, a sequel to the original Karate Kid films, it is a show that will appeal to anyone that has even a remote interest in combat, and to a certain extent of the drama. Keeping in mind that after the announcement that all seasons of Cobra Kai will now come to Netflix and the fact there will be a number of readers who may see/try it that haven’t watched the original Karate Kid films, I will put my thoughts from the perspective of someone who hasn’t watched the original Karate Kid films. The best place to start from is obviously the cast for me and the casting of the likes Xolo Mariduena, Mary Mouser, Ralph Macchio, Courtney Henggeler and William Zabka go to show that the cast is a mix of very experienced actors as well as fresh talent that has entered the acting world. The performances of all the actors are spot on to the point that I really can’t fault them at all. Moving on to the scores, songs etc that were written for the two seasons of this show that have been released, one must give credit to the composers for giving us some very classic yet fresh music to listen to as the show goes along, and not to forget that the music itself is such a big part of what makes a lot of the show’s segments, from fight scenes to shock reveals, very eye-catching and as a result, the show keeps you enveloped as it goes along. Then we come to the actual plotline, and can I just say that there are no words conceivable that allow me to properly express my immense gratitude and love for the fact that in this era of cliches, Cobra Kai’s plot is so fresh and unique, and more so it is so well written and so brilliantly conceived. The reason for that is that Cobra Kai is not a conventional Bad Guy Vs Good Guy series. The show offers no plot armour to a single character, and that’s not just for the main characters like Danny and Johnny. From the side characters to the main characters, from the Cobra Kai way to the Miyagi-Do way, the viewer is left enthralled in trying to figure out who’s the bad guy, who’s the good guy and as a result, they are constantly being surprised by the twists and turns the show throws at them. If there had been plot armour in some form or the other, then the cliff hangers, plot twists and the narrative of the show would have looked a tad more simplistic than what it actually is, and I would have given it the same criticism that I give to the original films in which certain characters had heavy plot armour. Simply put, this show is as unique or as interesting as anything that you’ll find out there to watch. Last but not the least, hats off to the fight choreography team, the fight scenes in the film are so clean and well shot, and at the same time they are pieced together so well that you can clearly see every single aspect of every single fight, and this is something that I have only seen in the John Wick films, so that tells you enough(even though to be fair, the fight scenes are more simplistic than that of John Wick). The best example of what I’m talking about is that in the show when you get to the all-out brawl in school in the final episode, you see that while what is happening is very clearly a huge brawl, battle royale or whatever you’d like to call it, at the same time you can see every single individual fight sequence that is going on, and the people that are fighting each other end up switching around so you don’t have even the faintest of sense of monotony, which is the cardinal sin of filming a battle royale. The reason for that is that the individual fight sequences are shot individually in such a way that they look smooth and they can be pieced together, which gives us what I will assuredly say is the best battle royale I have ever seen (from a technical perspective of course). To sum it up, this show is an absolute must-watch for anyone who has not seen it, and for the fans of the original films, everything that I have described here will be something you will feel and notice a million times more intensely, that too exponentially speaking. I suppose that is enough of a reason to say that Cobra Kai is one of the best shows to have come around in a long time, and as one of my friends said, it managed to do what the Star Wars franchise couldn’t, which is revitalise an original classic franchise in present cinema and make it even better than the franchise it is a sequel of, at the very least.
Cheers and Happy Viewing!
Karn Kasturi Sharma