As mentioned in a post a few days ago, I've been watching the television series called Cobra Kai.
It sure has been a fun watch.
The series is a spin-off from the three Karate Kid movies that were released in the 1980's. However, the main character in this programme is not Daniel LaRusso - the original Karate Kid.
LaRusso is in it. He's in a lot of it. However, the main character of this tale is LaRusso's adversary from the original movie - Johnny Lawrence.
The audience revisits Lawrence in the first episode to see him barely getting by in life. I wouldn't blame anyone who has seen the Karate Kid to feel a sense of schadenfreude to see Lawrence scraping by with a dead-end job and living in a shoddy apartment. However, by the end of the first episode - or more likely somewhere into the second - it should begin to dawn on the viewer that Lawrence is now the person we should be rooting for this time around.
Lawrence isn't the only underdog in this story, though.
The character rebuilds the Cobra Kai dojo and - by doing so - he attracts a motley crew of people who are keen to learn karate.
A friend showed me a review of the series the other day. It closes with the sentence 'the Karate Kid is for kids, and this is for those kids now'.
That sentence sums it up.
There are so many nods to the movies that will keep Karate Kid fans happy. Some are blatant, like having Johnny give his main student - Miguel - a skeleton costume to wear his high school dance (Johnny and his gang wore similar costumes at their dance in the first movie) and some not so obvious (when Daniel's mother shows up in one of the episodes she mentions Daniel's 'baby browns' - in the movie, she asks to see Daniel's 'baby browns' when he is covering a black eye with sunglasses'.
Mr. Miyagi was an important character in all four of the Karate Kid movies. Unfortunately, Pat Morita - who played him - passed away many years ago, so is obviously not in Cobra Kai, but there are countless references to Miyagi in the series and there was even one episode that was dedicated to Morita.
Season one ended with LaRusso bringing his student back to Miyagi's home to train and John Kreese rocked up at the Cobra Kai dojo, so there is obviously more stories coming up in season two and beyond.
I read that the third season is in production and it will air on its new home of Netflix. In the meantime, I'm going to binge on season two.
Cobra Kai gets two thumbs up from me.