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Old 05-17-2018, 12:51 AM   #1
JazGalaxy
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Cobra Kai



How are we not talking about this series?

Cobra Kai is phenomenal. I saw the trailers they released before the series dropped and I wasn't sure what to make of it. Was it supposed to be funny? Was it serious? I couldn't tell and that was off-putting. It turns out that it's not just funny, it's hilarious. It's laugh-out-loud-in-a-room-by-yourself funny. But it's also serious when it needs to be. It also winds up being the film that I think kids SAW the film as being as opposed to what it really was. Cobra Kai is a little more fantastical and cartoonish than The Karate Kid was. But at the same time, it manages to handle some of the most grounded and realistic emotions that I've seen in a film in a long time. It asks mature, interesting questions like, "If what we like about Daniel is that he's a cute all-American kid and an underdog, how will we feel about him if he's gained everything he ever wanted?" and "Everyone wants to see the high school bully fail and live a life of failure as an adult as penance for those he picked on... but how long is enough? At what point do they now become the underdog?" as well as, "It's easy to categorize people as bullies and "good guys", but isn't everyone a bully at times?"

The single most triumphant thing about Cobra Kai is the way it answers my first question upon seeing the trailer. "I thought Johnny had a change of heart and receptive arc at the end of Karate Kid?". The answer to the question is the basis for the entire series, really. True to the the original film, Johnny never WAS fully committed to Cobra Kai. But Cobra Kai made him something when he had nothing else. So if he has nothing else, it makes perfect sense that he would return to Cobra Kai.

All told, Cobra Kai is the best series I've seen in a long, long time. I can't get enough. I'm a bout to watch the whole thing again from the beginning.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:53 AM   #2
brandonjclark
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WTH, never even heard of this!


I've been watching Trailer Park Boys, lol!


I'll definitely give it a look now, though. THANKS!
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:38 AM   #3
Chief Smash
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I signed up for the free trial of Youtube Red to watch this series and I watched it over the coarse of about 3 days. I'm a big fan of the original Karate Kid and Jaz is right. The tone is different but it's different in just the right way. It's tongue in cheek when it has to be and serious when the moment calls for it. It's a little ham fisted at times but I like that in a show that is hearkening back to that 80s vibe. I see that some people are calling Danny a villain and I don't agree with that. He was always a kid I struggled to really like (I always rooted for him but often didn't really like him) and he's still that way as an adult. I hated Johnny when I was a kid but he's so likable now, even when he's being a buffoon or just a jerk.
Overall it's just a well executed show for what it is. It's not Shakespeare but it's not trying to be either. It's definitely worth signing up for the free month of Youtube Red to give season 1 a chance.
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:54 AM   #4
PacerDawn
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Honestly, I found the first episode to be extremely cringy. The acting was terrible, like fan-film quality. I like William Zabka, but how he delivered his lines at 3:42 in made me want to shut it off. It's like he was mailing it in or something, just reciting from a cue-card.

That said, the second episode was way better and did start to draw me in.

William Zabka was a great bad-guy in the 80's (Karate Kid, Just One Of The Guys, etc). Great bad guys are ones you actually hate, not ones you root for. In wrestling terms, they put the good guys over: they make the good guys look better then they actually are. I hated his characters in those movies and found myself rooting for the good guys way more than I should have. Absolutely top notch.

Now I'm rooting for him. Quite the turn...
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:53 AM   #5
brandonjclark
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Just watched the first episode. It's a wet dream for 80's kids!
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Old 05-17-2018, 12:21 PM   #6
JazGalaxy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacerDawn View Post
Honestly, I found the first episode to be extremely cringy. The acting was terrible, like fan-film quality. I like William Zabka, but how he delivered his lines at 3:42 in made me want to shut it off. It's like he was mailing it in or something, just reciting from a cue-card.

That said, the second episode was way better and did start to draw me in.

William Zabka was a great bad-guy in the 80's (Karate Kid, Just One Of The Guys, etc). Great bad guys are ones you actually hate, not ones you root for. In wrestling terms, they put the good guys over: they make the good guys look better then they actually are. I hated his characters in those movies and found myself rooting for the good guys way more than I should have. Absolutely top notch.

Now I'm rooting for him. Quite the turn...
If you don't immediately buy the tone, I can understand it taking a little while to grow on a person. The tone is INCREDIBLY weird. But I think that it definitely sucked me in. I think the goofiness is required for where the story ultimately goes.

For me, what the series accomplishes is making The Karate Kid feel relevant in a broader context than just Daniel's life. Following the original movies, it felt like a climactic battle between good and evil. But in reality, it was just one kid's personal life. It didn't affect anyone else. Daniel felt like a hero, but he didn't really ACCOMPLISH anything aside from getting bullies off his back. Cobra Kai broadens the stakes a bit so that you feel like Daniel and Johnny's actions actually affect a larger world.

I also appreciate how it broadens the moniker of The Karate Kid to a larger group of people. As a kid, every child wanted to be The Karate Kid. But The Karate Kid was just Daniel. It wasn't like being a Jedi or something. Cobra Kai brings the feeling that any kid who learns Karate can have super powers. (And in this ridiculous world, knowing Karate is like having super powers.)

I don't know why the series grabbed me as hard as it did, but I really think it's a new classic.

If there is a scene where Daniel and Johnny team up to take on a gang of toughs Double Dragon style, I will absolutely cry.

I think this is possibly my favorite scene:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tirZ7pXaCQ

"There are no girls in Cobra Kai"

"Why not?"

"For the same reason there are no girls in the Army. It doesn't make sense."
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:18 PM   #7
vallor
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I watched the first few episodes and was digging it! But I'm not going to subscribe to YouTube just for this series as much as I might want to.
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:27 PM   #8
JazGalaxy
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Originally Posted by vallor View Post
I watched the first few episodes and was digging it! But I'm not going to subscribe to YouTube just for this series as much as I might want to.
I subscribed to the Youtube Red free trial just to watch it. But I checked the torrent networks just to see if it was up and it is. So that's always an option if you are so inclined...
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:16 PM   #9
ldi222
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Cobra Kai was well written, didn't take itself too seriously, struck all the right nostalgic tones, and was the best return to Karate Kid anyone could ask for. It spoke to the generational differences in a thoughtful way (that scene in the final tournament where the former champion spoke out and Johnny's response) and incorporated new likeable characters alongside the returning favorites. Looking forward to Season 2.

I particularly liked the part where Johnny gave his rendition of his conflict with Daniel in their HS days and made the case that Daniel was the true bully, in the context of the new show, that depiction was persuasive and made the viewer reevaluate the circumstances. That sort of characterization speaks to the overall quality of the series and displays a deceptive depth.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:48 AM   #10
JazGalaxy
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)It spoke to the generational differences in a thoughtful way (that scene in the final tournament where the former champion spoke out and Johnny's response) and incorporated new likeable characters alongside the returning favorites.
That guy was hilarious! I like how it underscored just how petty the Laruso/Lawrence feaud was. That guy is the ACTUAL hero of some movie we’ll never see. We just want to see what happens next in the petty grudge match.
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