I am eagerly awaiting season 4 of 'Cobra Kai'

Originally published at: I am eagerly awaiting season 4 of 'Cobra Kai' | Boing Boing




I’m with you. Karate Kid movies were things I sometimes caught on TV but never loved. Cobra Kai, though, seemed immediately appealing and had become something I consume as soon as possible.

There are some reservations I have about moving forward, though. When it was just two guys who were caught up on the fact that their best days were behind them, with one somehow never getting his life beyond that decade, it was incredibly amusing. But pulling in Kreese as a multi-season villain has made the story feel like it’s dragging. I don’t care about that guy. I just want to see Johnny and Daniel grow because they see the damage their arrested development has on the next generation. And I want to see the kids better centered in storylines not focused on who they’re dating.

Regardless, I’m having fun. There have been some great moments. Season 2’s school rumble? Excellent. The rendition of “In the Air Tonight” while the combined school comes together? Nothing happened and I watched it again anyway. It’s not perfect, but they’re doing a number of things right.


Yeah, when Robby kicked Miguel down the stairwell and broke his back I was genuinely shocked. I found S3 to be a little too slapstick for my taste and Johnny’s physical therapy regimen definitely went a little too far for suspension of disbelief. I’m hoping they reel it back in a bit for S4.


I don’t know if they can reel things in at this point. Aside from that storyline, they also created a situation in which all of the sympathetic villains of the previous season are reformed and all that are left are cartoonishly evil high school kids. Tory should technically be sympathetic given her backstory, but most of the time she is shrieking and violent without regret. And Robby? They dropped the ball on him a while ago. Hopefully there will be a redemption story for him this season.


As a Californian, even a northern Californian, I have a really hard time with all the obviously-shot-in-Georgia scenes that look nothing like the San Fernando Valley, but the show is a delight.


I enjoyed the moral reversal of the adult characters, wherein Daniel grew up into sort of an ass, shilling cars on his one big moment. Meanwhile Johnny never got his life together, but the same moment actually made him a good person because he felt so bad about it.

Aside from that, I really struggled to suspend disbelief enough for a world where high school kids go around settling every dispute with a big karate fight, and where a regional suburban karate competition is somehow the highest stakes thing anyone can imagine. Maybe it’s the timing- with the last 5 years going the way they did, I struggle to enjoy “small problems” worlds like this.

It has undeniable charm (especially Hawk and his friend) but it’s on the “watch when everything else is already caught up” list for me.

It’s not as woke as I’d like to see in 2021 either, honestly. Daniel treats his wife like garbage and her Bechdel score deserves to be higher. The cultural appropriation of all the white people doing a martial art that none of them really understand the cultural roots of is a lingering effect of the 1980s original that should be addressed. The original movie was part of the mildly embarrassing “white people suddenly discover Hong Kong cinema” craze of the 1980s and any rebooting of that needs to acknowledge how problematic it is, IMHO.


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