Cobra Kai based on The Karate Kid film series created by Robert Mark Kamen is set 34 years after the original story. The series re-examines the narrative from Johnny Lawrence’s point of view, and his decision to reopen the Cobra Kai karate dojo leading to the rekindling of his old rivalry with Daniel LaRusso. Created by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg, Cobra Kai stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka (both of whom are reprising their roles from The Karate Kid, and who also serve as co-executive producers of the series) along with Xolo Maridueña, Jacob Bertrand, Courtney Henggeler, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser and Peyton List.
The series launched on YouTube Red with the first two seasons being released in 2018 to 2019 and was later acquired by Netflix in June 2020. It has been renewed for a fourth season ahead of the third season premiere.
Like the first two seasons, Cobra Kai Season 3 achieves complete fun balance. Since the recent show focuses on “80s Movie 2.0” approach surely captures the right feel of the franchise.
It begins where the last season ended, which is obvious. Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) is in a coma at the hospital having been beaten up by Robby (Tanner Buchanan) at school, Johnny’s former sensei Kreese (Martin Kove) has taken back the Cobra Kai dojo as his own, and Johnny (William Zabka) — though mostly still down on his luck — has a message from his high school sweetheart, Ali (Elisabeth Shue), waiting for him on Facebook.
The teens play a strong role in forming the storyline like the original film and previous seasons. But each character develops at a different pace unlike earlier. Even then they keep the competitive spirit of Cobra Kai alive and break out in random, over-the-top brawls at places like the soccer field and the arcade. It is their fights that create the whole excitement.
Yet Johnny and Daniel have always been at the center of Cobra Kai. The third season makes them more prominent. In order to stay relevant the characters often go back in time and make references.
How Season 3 is different from the previous seasons can be summed up by saying that Season 1 and 2 were more family based and this one delves into self, with most of the characters facing personal obstacles instead of ones they must overcome face collectively.
Of course there is humor yet it adheres to the classic format: ridiculous things happening to amuse the audience. Then there are banging tracks, thrilling endings, jam packed action, all with a tinge of emotion. Even the climax remains lively.
Tried to keep it spoiler free.
Cobra Kai is streaming now on Netflix.