Wax nostalgic, Daniel-san: Karate Kid sequel series Cobra Kai headed to YouTube Red


Your nostalgia has just crane kicked you in the face. A 10-episode half-hour sequel series to The Karate Kid is coming to YouTube Red, starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka. There was reportedly a bidding war for the series between various streaming platforms, that also included Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and AMC. (I assume Netflix didn’t have the money for it.)

Titled Cobra Kai, the series picks up 30 years after the tournament at the end of the first film. Described by The Hollywood Reporter as a comedy, Cobra Kai will follow a down-on-his-luck Johnny (Zabka), who re-opens the Cobra Kai dojo. He inevitably runs afoul of Daniel, who is struggling to balance his life without his friend and teacher Mr. Miyagi (the late Pat Morita, who was nominated for an Oscar for this role). Then they fight, I guess.

The show will be written by Josh Heald (Hot Tub Time Machine) and writing duo Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (Harold and Kumar). No word on if Martin Cove or Thomas Ian Griffith will reprise their roles as top tier Cobra Kai baddies John Kreese and Terry Silver. (Terry Silver, incidentally, is the best over-the-top villain.)

Joe Esposito - You're The Best Around (Karate Kid soundtrack)

The original 1984 film is a sentimental favorite of mine. Directed by the late John G. Avildsen (who also directed Rocky), The Karate Kid is one of those great misfit friend movies about lonely outcasts who find each other. In this case, it’s about finding a father figure and finding a son, which is sold by the touching rapport between Macchio and Morita. It also has people getting kicked in the face, and that “You’re the Best” song.

I’m a little worried that this show is being done as a comedy, however. Sure, it’s easy to play up the kitschiness and quotableness of the first movie, but there was a lot of heart in the original Karate Kid, and even in its two immediate (and imperfect) sequels. (Let us not speak of The Next Karate Kid. Ever.) If Cobra Kai is a Johnny-centric comedy, the show might just devolve into an 80s-reference goofball farce. Hopefully the series can go deeper than that, though I have my doubts.

Also, YouTube Red? Who the hell has YouTube Red? Jeez.

Are you excited? Are you baffled? Do you, like the bonsai tree, have a strong root? Let us know in the comments. And, while you’re there, GET HIM A BODY BAAAAAAG!

[via THR]
Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.