Based on the 1984 film “The Karate Kid,” a new Netflix series called Cobra Kai has been released. Cobra Kai is a popular series among Costa Mesa Middle and High School students. The story follows two rival karate dojos, Cobra Kai Karate, led by Johnny Lawrence, and Miyagi Do Karate, led by Daniel Larusso. If you’ve ever seen “The Karate Kid,” you know that Johnny and Daniel are the fiercest enemies, which creates conflict between not only them, but their kids and students.
Daniel Larusso (the actual “Karate Kid''), played by Ralph Macchio, is now a successful car salesman who is living the dream life. He came from poverty and was bullied as a child, but had pulled himself together with the help of his mentor and karate instructor Mr. Miyagi, who unfortunately passed away. Daniel Larusso has a big house and a wonderful family. His daughter Samantha Larusso (known as Sam) is one of the main characters, and she is the first student of Miyagi Do Karate. Miyagi Do is all about self defense and knowing how to fight when you need to.
Cobra Kai Karate is the exact opposite. Their motto is “Strike first, strike hard, no mercy,” and Coach Johnny Lawrence, played by William Zabka, is anything but friendly. Despite his unattractive traits, many people side with Johnny Lawence as a character because he shows great improvement in his personality and life situation throughout the series. Johnny came from wealth, but had a bad influence as a child (his karate instructor Kreese) which left him poor, divorced, and struggling as an adult. He has a kid named Robby who absolutely despises him, and ends up training with Daniel Larusso just to strike back at his dad. However, Johnny meets a shy and awkward boy named Miguel, and takes him in as his first Cobra Kai student, transforming Miguel into a more confident and strong individual.
“I like Cobra Kai because it is very action-packed and has lots of drama in it,” says Christopher Moreno-Hernandez, a senior at CMHS. “My favorite character is Miguel. He shows a lot of character development throughout the series, and he is a person that anyone can easily like watching the show,” he says.
One great part about the Cobra Kai series is that a lot of the adult characters are the same actors from the original “Karate Kid” movie. Along with this, the show includes teenagers our age, and showcases the struggles and drama that teens now-a-days go through. This makes many of the younger characters super relatable and well-liked by the audience.
Although Cobra Kai is great for most, you may need to fast-forward through a few scenes. For example, in episode 10 of season 2, there is a gruesome fighting scene between the Miyagi Do and Cobra Kai students that looks quite real, so if you're not into that sort of thing, you may want to consider skipping that part. Cobra Kai is rated TV-14 so it should be fine for most middle and high school students.
Overall, if you're searching for a new Netflix series to binge watch during the pandemic, Cobra Kai is a great option, especially for those who like exciting action and high school drama!