Cobra Kai

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Cobra Kai
CobraKaiTitleScreen.png
Title screen from the first episode
Genre
Created by
Based on The Karate Kid
by Robert Mark Kamen
Starring
Composers
  • Leo Birenberg
  • Zach Robinson
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes30
Production
Executive producers
Producers
  • Katrin L. Goodson
  • Bob Wilson
CinematographyCameron Duncan
Editors
  • Nicholas Monsour
  • Jeff Seibenick
  • Ivan Victor
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time22–40 minutes
Production companies
DistributorSony Pictures Television
Release
Original network
Picture format 4K (UHDTV)
Audio format
Original releaseMay 2, 2018 (2018-05-02) 
present (present)
External links
Netflix Site

Cobra Kai is an American martial arts comedy-drama streaming television series and a sequel to the original The Karate Kid films by Robert Mark Kamen. [2] The series was created by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, and stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, who reprise their roles as Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence from the 1984 film The Karate Kid . Set 34 years later, Cobra Kai re-examines the "Miyagi-Verse" narrative from Johnny's point of view, his decision to reopen the Cobra Kai karate dojo, and the rekindling of his old rivalry with Daniel. [3] Cobra Kai also stars Courtney Henggeler, Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, Jacob Bertrand, Gianni DeCenzo and Martin Kove, Vanessa Rubio, and Peyton List.

Contents

The series launched on YouTube Red in 2018, with a second season following in 2019. After production of season three was completed, YouTube made the decision to stop producing scripted original programming, leaving the show without a home. However, Netflix acquired the rights to stream the series in June 2020. [4] [5] The third season was released on Netflix on January 1, 2021; [6] by this time, it had already been renewed for a fourth season, which is set to premiere in Q4 2021. [7] [8] The series has had high viewership on both YouTube and Netflix, and has been met with generally positive reviews from critics.

Plot

Thirty-four years after being defeated by Daniel LaRusso in the 1984 All-Valley Karate Tournament, Johnny Lawrence, now in his 50s, works as a part-time handyman and lives in an apartment in Reseda, Los Angeles, having fallen far from the wealthy lifestyle in Encino that had been enabled by his verbally abusive step-father, Sid Weinberg. He has a son named Robby with his former girlfriend Shannon Keene, but he abandoned them both when Robby was born as his mother Laura died shortly before Robby's birth. Johnny, admittedly, has never recovered from his breakup with his high school girlfriend, Ali Mills.

After losing his job, a down-and-out Johnny uses karate to defend his teenage neighbor Miguel Diaz from a gang of bullies. Miguel, an asthmatic kid who lives with his Ecuadorian single mother Carmen and grandmother Rosa, asks Johnny to teach him. Initially reluctant, Johnny finally agrees and decides to reopen the Cobra Kai karate dojo as a chance to recapture his past; however, this act reawakens his rivalry with Daniel LaRusso. Daniel, now the owner of a highly successful car dealership chain, is married to co-owner Amanda and has two children: Samantha and Anthony. Daniel is finally living the wealthy lifestyle he envied as a kid when he lived in Reseda. However, after his friend and mentor Mr. Miyagi died, Daniel's struggle to meaningfully connect with his children has disrupted the balance in his life. Meanwhile, his mother Lucille, his other source of support, has a complicated relationship with Amanda.

Johnny's dojo attracts a group of bullied social outcasts, including Miguel's newfound friends Aisha, Hawk, and initially Demetri, who find camaraderie and self-confidence under his tutelage, a marked contrast to the kind of students Tommy, Bobby, Dutch, Jimmy and Johnny were when training in the original Cobra Kai run by John Kreese. Johnny develops a bond with Miguel in a manner that resembles the relationship between Daniel and Mr. Miyagi. Cobra Kai's philosophy, however, remains mostly unchanged, though Johnny tries to infuse it with more honor than Kreese did. Thus, Miguel develops into a very different kind of student than Daniel, or even Johnny, was; he also begins dating Samantha. Johnny's efforts to reform Cobra Kai are threatened by the unexpected reappearance of Kreese, who aspires to bring the dojo back to its originally ruthless form.

As a means of revenge against his estranged father, Robby convinces Amanda to hire him for a position at the LaRusso Auto dealership and develops a close friendship with Daniel, who is unaware of Robby's parentage. He even studies Mr. Miyagi's form of Karate with Daniel and befriends and eventually starts dating Samantha after her breakup with Miguel. She eventually joins her father's dojo, along with Demetri and a few other Cobra Kai defects. Miguel later begins dating a new Cobra Kai student, Tory, who becomes Sam's rival.

After the violent aftermath of a school brawl that is fueled by the dojos and their rivalry, Miguel is accidentally crippled by Robby while Samantha is also hospitalized due to injuries from her fight with Tory. Johnny finds that Kreese has taken Cobra Kai from him, prompting him to form his own dojo Eagle Fang. Robby is expelled from school for crippling Miguel and eventually sent to juvenile detention, and while Kreese continues to lead his students down darker paths, Daniel returns to Okinawa to help find balance, where he reunites with former love interest Kumiko and reformed former enemy Chozen. Johnny helps Miguel regain the use of his legs with his unconventional training techniques, and there's eventually a reunion between Ali, Johnny, and Daniel, where Ali finally puts their rivalry to rest. However, the rivalry between the three dojos eventually explodes as Cobra Kai fights Miyagi Do and Eagle Fang in a brutal brawl. Afterward, Johnny and Daniel face Kreese, who has successfully turned Robby against both Johnny and Daniel and over to Cobra Kai through manipulation. They all agree to settle the fate of the dojos and valley at the next All-Valley tournament. Throughout the third season, flashbacks are also shown to Kreese's time in the Vietnam War, and how it led him to become the merciless and ruthless man he is in the present day.

The story's development revolves around these primary relationships, which lead to conflicts that are ultimately the product of Daniel and Johnny's inability to move away from the past.

Cast and characters

Main

CharacterActorSeasons
1234
Introduced in films
Daniel LaRusso Ralph Macchio Main
Johnny Lawrence William Zabka Main
John Kreese Martin Kove Special GuestMain
Introduced in Cobra Kai
Amanda LaRusso Courtney Henggeler Main
Miguel Diaz Xolo Maridueña Main
Robby Keene Tanner Buchanan Main
Samantha LaRusso Mary Mouser Main
Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz Jacob Bertrand RecurringMain
Demetri Gianni DeCenzoRecurringMain
Carmen Diaz Vanessa RubioRecurringMain [9]
Tory Nichols Peyton List Does not appearRecurringMain [9]

Recurring

Guest

Archival footage

The following characters only appear via archival footage from the film series:

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally releasedNetwork
1 10May 2, 2018 (2018-05-02) YouTube Red
2 10April 24, 2019 (2019-04-24) YouTube Premium
3 10January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01) Netflix
4 TBALate 2021 [8]

Season 1 (2018)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Ace Degenerate" Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, & Hayden SchlossbergMay 2, 2018 (2018-05-02)
34 years after losing to Daniel LaRusso in the 1984 All Valley Under-18 Karate Championships Tournament, Johnny Lawrence struggles to make a living as a handyman and gets fired from his job after an argument with a customer while Daniel and his wife Amanda run a successful car dealership chain in the San Fernando Valley. Johnny saves his teenage neighbor Miguel Diaz from a group of bullies but is arrested for assaulting them. Miguel implores Johnny to teach him karate but Johnny initially refuses. Johnny is then visited by his wealthy stepfather Sid Weinberg, who gives Johnny a check before officially disowning him. Getting drunk, Johnny drives to the All Valley Sports Arena and relives his last encounter with his former sensei John Kreese (from The Karate Kid Part II ), before his car is wrecked in a hit-and-run. Despite Johnny's protests, his car is towed to one of Daniel's dealerships for repairs. The next day, he goes to the dealership to take the car back, only to run into Daniel, reluctantly accepting a free car repair from Daniel, who considers him an old friend. There, Johnny realizes that Daniel's daughter Samantha "Sam" LaRusso was one of the passengers in the hit-and-run. He eventually agrees to become Miguel's sensei and opens his own Cobra Kai dojo with the money from Sid.
22"Strike First"Jon Hurwitz & Hayden SchlossbergJosh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, & Hayden SchlossbergMay 2, 2018 (2018-05-02)
Miguel begins his karate training with Johnny, who teases him for his asthma and low self-esteem as motivation. The health department informs Johnny that the dojo needs a lot of work before he can officially teach students. Daniel learns Sam is romantically interested in a boy named Kyler and offers to invite him to a family dinner. At school, Miguel befriends social outcasts, Demetri and Eli, and develops an immediate crush on Sam. The boys also discover that Kyler is one of the bullies who attacked Miguel. Johnny is informed that his son, Robby Keene, has been caught with drugs at school. During dinner, Daniel notices Kyler's bruises and learns he received his injuries from Johnny. Daniel goes to the dojo to confront Johnny, who explains that Kyler and his friends attacked Miguel, leaving Daniel suspicious and concerned for Sam.
33"Esqueleto" Jennifer Celotta Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, & Hayden SchlossbergMay 2, 2018 (2018-05-02)
Johnny fails to recruit more students to the dojo, and Daniel decides to chaperone Sam to the school Halloween dance, embarrassing her when he catches her and Kyler alone in a suggestive scene. Miguel's karate training progresses as Johnny encourages him to use the Cobra Kai creed of "Strike first. Strike hard. No mercy" in his everyday life and gives him a skeleton costume (the same one Johnny wore in the first film) for the dance, where Miguel overhears Kyler and his friends sexually objectifying Sam. Remembering his training, he attacks Kyler but is overpowered and severely beaten by the bullies. Johnny, who has been at the school handing out flyers for Cobra Kai, finds Miguel in the bathroom.
44"Cobra Kai Never Dies"Jennifer CelottaStory by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, & Hayden Schlossberg
Teleplay by: Jason Belleville
May 2, 2018 (2018-05-02)
After stealing a laptop from a customer as part of his routine, Robby learns of the new Cobra Kai dojo and is embarrassed by his father's recruitment methods. Johnny gets drunk and vandalizes a LaRusso Auto billboard, while Sam witnesses Kyler bullying Demetri and Eli. Kyler aggressively attempts to sexually harass Sam at a movie theater, but she fends him off and storms out of the movie theater, ending their relationship. Johnny confronts Robby after learning he has been skipping school. Robby responds by angrily pointing out that Johnny left him as a child and that Johnny's own life is wasted. Johnny tracks down a resentful Shannon at a local bar but she angrily rejects him, telling him that there are no do-overs in life. Vowing not to fail Miguel the way he failed his son, Johnny pleads for Miguel's mom Carmen to let him continue Miguel's training. Daniel discovers that Johnny was the one who vandalized the LaRusso Auto billboard.
55"Counterbalance"Josh HealdJosh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, & Hayden SchlossbergMay 2, 2018 (2018-05-02)
Miguel shows improvement in both his karate skills and his health. Daniel tries to make a shady deal that could shut down Cobra Kai but hurts innocent business owners in the process. Sam's classmate and former friend Aisha Robinson joins Cobra Kai, despite Johnny's initial misgivings about training girls. Sam discovers that Kyler has been spreading nasty rumors about her. When Kyler embarrasses Sam, Miguel stands up for her and successfully defeats Kyler and his friends, gaining Sam's respect. Robby decides to reconcile with his father but witnesses Johnny bonding with Miguel, feeling disowned. Amanda notices the changes in Daniel's behavior since the reopening of Cobra Kai, leading Daniel to visit Mr. Miyagi's grave to reflect and ask for wisdom. As Daniel prepares to drive away, he suddenly recalls Miyagi after he gifted Daniel his yellow 1948 Ford Super De Luxe convertible on his 18th birthday, reminding him that the lessons on maintaining balance didn't just apply to karate, but to one's entire life. Robby applies for a job at LaRusso Auto to get back at his father and Daniel returns to practicing karate to regain balance in his life.
Note: This episode is dedicated in memory of Noriyuki "Pat" Morita.
66"Quiver"Josh HealdStory by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Story and teleplay by: Joe Piarulli & Luan Thomas
May 2, 2018 (2018-05-02)
Daniel and Amanda unsuccessfully persuade Sam to take up karate again. The footage of Miguel's fight at school goes viral, bringing many new students to the Cobra Kai dojo, but Johnny cannot suppress his old ways and especially embarrasses Eli in front of the entire class for his cleft lip. Thanks to Miguel, Johnny is forced to remember his childhood as an outcast with an uncaring stepfather before he discovered Cobra Kai. Johnny admits that he has been tough and cruel to his remaining students, but plans to continue his ways, telling them that life is not fair and they must overcome the challenges that life will throw at them. Eli returns to the dojo with a distinctive mohawk haircut, for which Johnny nicknames him "Hawk". Robby gets a job at LaRusso Auto to get back at his father, as Miguel and Sam slowly develop a friendship at school. Robby decides to learn karate under Daniel's tutelage.
77"All Valley" Steve Pink Story by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Story and teleplay by: Stacey Harman
May 2, 2018 (2018-05-02)
Johnny uses painful methods to train his new students. Getting advice from Johnny, Miguel asks Sam out on a successful date. Johnny tries to enter Cobra Kai in the All Valley Karate tournament only to learn the dojo is permanently banned due to the transgressions and poor sportsmanship committed in the 1985 tournament by Kreese, Terry Silver, and Mike Barnes. At a meeting of the athletic committee, Johnny tries to persuade them to reverse the ban but is opposed by Daniel, a committee member. As his closing argument, he tells the committee that his teachings are different from those of Kreese and Silver, claiming that he has learned from his past mistakes and that his dojo is now a place where people are taught self-confidence and how to stand up for themselves. The committee is convinced by Johnny's apparent sincerity and allows Cobra Kai to compete, much to Daniel's dismay. Despite initially agreeing to help his gang sneak inside the dealership at night, Robby stops them using his karate skills.
88"Molting"Steve PinkStory by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, Stacey Harman
Story and teleplay by: Michael Jonathan Smith
May 2, 2018 (2018-05-02)
After being allowed to compete in the tournament, Johnny introduces additional training and unconventional methods. The LaRussos learn that Cobra Kai will compete, with only Sam being convinced Cobra Kai has changed (due to her romance with Miguel). Daniel's cousin Louie decides to take action against Johnny, who warns Miguel about Sam and the LaRusso family, telling him a biased narration of how Daniel involved himself with Johnny's ex-girlfriend Ali Mills Schwarber in 1984. Carmen invites Johnny to dinner, where he learns more about Miguel's family and is inspired to clean up his life, severing ties with Sid after paying off the money he borrowed and attempting to make amends with Robby. Daniel continues bonding with Robby, who hides his parentage from Daniel and joins the LaRussos for dinner. At the LaRusso house, Miguel sees Sam and Robby bonding, leaving him heartbroken. Meanwhile, Louie and his thugs destroy Johnny's car, and Johnny responds by beating them up and forcing Louie to reveal Daniel's address.
99"Different but Same"Jon Hurwitz & Hayden SchlossbergStory by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, & Hayden Schlossberg
Teleplay by: Jason Belleville
May 2, 2018 (2018-05-02)
Johnny arrives at the LaRusso house and has a brief confrontation with Daniel before Amanda defuses the situation by inviting Johnny over for breakfast. Daniel decides to fire Louie and compensate Johnny with a car in the dealership's trade-in lot. Unexpectedly, Daniel and Johnny bond during the test drive, enjoying rock music together, visiting Daniel's old apartment, and sharing about their lives before they met. Sam is grounded after Amanda learns she was involved in Johnny's hit-and-run, causing her to miss many calls from Miguel. At the party, Aisha attacks Yasmine, one of the rich girls and her bully as Robby breaks Sam out of her home for the party, but a drunk Miguel tries to pick a fight with Robby and accidentally hits Sam instead, convincing her that her father was right about Cobra Kai and causing her to break up with Miguel. Johnny drives Daniel home where he finds Robby. Furious that his son has been secretly learning karate from Daniel, Johnny attacks Daniel by shoving him against the wall and breaking one of his All-Valley trophies while Daniel is simultaneously shocked and horrified to learn that Robby is Johnny's son. Feeling betrayed by Robby's dishonesty, Daniel furiously fires Robby and kicks him out of his home.
1010"Mercy"Jon Hurwitz & Hayden SchlossbergJosh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, & Hayden SchlossbergMay 2, 2018 (2018-05-02)
Cobra Kai returns to the 50th Anniversary All Valley Under-18 Karate Championship led by Miguel. Robby also participates, unaffiliated with any dojo. Miguel and Hawk advance to the semifinals, while Aisha is eliminated in the quarterfinals, but she and Sam reconcile. Hawk is disqualified for dislocating Robby's left shoulder with a kick from behind. After arguing with Miguel, Sam leaves the tournament and returns to the family dojo where she seemingly gets back to practicing karate. Daniel assists Robby back into the ring, now as his sensei, but Miguel exploits Robby's injured shoulder to win the match, as Johnny realizes that his methods have corrupted Miguel. After the match, Daniel takes Robby to Mr. Miyagi's old home and reveals that he plans to use it as a dojo to continue Robby's training and teach others Miyagi-Do karate. At the Cobra Kai dojo, a drunk and miserable Johnny is confronted by Kreese, who praises him for resurrecting Cobra Kai.

Season 2 (2019)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
111"Mercy Part II" Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, & Hayden SchlossbergApril 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)
Following a brief fight, Kreese tries to convince Johnny to allow him to rejoin Cobra Kai but Johnny refuses due to their past history in the originals. Carmen notices Miguel's darker nature during the fight but still approves of Johnny training him. Robby learns about the history of Miyagi-Do, and Daniel plans to open up a dojo, to his wife's reluctance, as Johnny scolds Miguel and Hawk on their dishonorable techniques at the tournament, although he was the one who taught them such techniques in the first place. Daniel brings Sam into his Karate dojo, while Johnny tries to patch things up with Robby. But Robby, who believes Johnny had his students fight dirty against him, humiliatingly rejects him by claiming that Daniel is a better father to him than Johnny ever was. Kreese finally apologizes and convinces Johnny to let him join Cobra Kai as an assistant sensei.
122"Back in Black"Jon Hurwitz & Hayden SchlossbergJosh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, & Hayden SchlossbergApril 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)
Miguel tries reaching out to Sam to no avail, while Daniel begins training Robby and Sam, but Amanda calls him out for caring more about teaching Karate than doing his job. Two of Kyler's friends join Cobra Kai, who initially cause some trouble at the dojo. Johnny continues to use harsh methods to train his students, including forcing them to move a full cement truck to train their leg strength, impressing Kreese. Daniel invites Robby to move in with him after seeing the state of his home, although Amanda reminds him Johnny is still around. Daniel goes to confront Johnny in the Cobra Kai dojo, where Kreese mockingly offers his condolences on Mr. Miyagi's death and warns Daniel that their fight is "inevitable."
133"Fire and Ice" Michael Grossman Story by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Story and teleplay by: Stacey Harman
April 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)
Johnny uses a computer for the first time and sees a Miyagi-Do ad on YouTube where Daniel is promoting Miyagi-Do Karate for free, inspiring Johnny to do the same for Cobra Kai. Two teenagers want to join Miyagi-do, but when Daniel tells them to wax on and off the fence, they decide to join Cobra Kai instead. Meanwhile, Miguel learns that Robby is Johnny's son and confronts Johnny about it, who confides in him that on the day Robby was born, he wasn't there for him because his mother (at the time the only person Johnny cared about) had passed away. Afraid of being a father, he failed Robby on his first day and vows to never fail Miguel. When Daniel, Sam, and Robby perform their Miyagi-Do demonstration, Cobra Kai intervenes with their own demonstration, which outshines Miyagi-Do's, making them more popular.
144"The Moment of Truth"Michael GrossmanStory by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Story and teleplay by: Kevin McManus & Matthew McManus
April 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)
Demetri, seeing that all his friends have taken up karate, goes to Cobra Kai, where he gets beaten by Kreese, and ultimately joins Miyagi-do instead. Later, in the Cobra Kai dojo, new student Tory proves to be Miguel's equal, eventually bonding with both Miguel and Aisha. Miguel tries to tell Johnny his worries about Kreese's influence, but Johnny reassures him that everyone deserves a second chance. Daniel tries to convince other people to join Miyagi-do but fails, while Sam develops a feud with Tory, who embarrassed her at a party. Robby tries to stage a fight with his former friends to convince people to join Miyagi-Do but is hit in the back of the head, though Daniel arrives to save him. Robby recorded the fight, but Daniel asks him not to upload it, explaining that students should join Miyagi-do out of necessity.
155"All In"Josh HealdJosh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, & Hayden SchlossbergApril 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)
Demetri reveals that he wants to learn karate to stand up to Eli, who has been starting to bully him. Hawk sees a Yelp review of Demetri giving Cobra Kai a negative rating and goes to confront him at the mall, but Sam and Robby arrive to defeat Hawk and the other Cobra Kais. Demetri eventually improves his karate skills, while Moon, Hawk's girlfriend, breaks up with Hawk for his violent behavior. Later, Kreese convinces a vengeful Hawk to vandalize Daniel's dojo. Meanwhile, Miguel starts a romantic relationship with Tory. Miguel's mother Carmen convinces Johnny, still heartbroken over Robby and Daniel's fatherly relationship, to let go of his rivalry. The next day, a horrified Daniel discovers the destruction of Miyagi-Do, Mr. Miyagi's Medal of Honor stolen, and the vandalization of his '48 Ford Super De Luxe and goes to Cobra Kai to confront Johnny, assuming he was involved. As a result, some students leave Cobra Kai to join Miyagi-Do.
166"Take a Right"Josh HealdJosh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, & Hayden SchlossbergApril 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)
Johnny makes everyone do burpees until someone confesses before he gets a call from one of his old high school friends. Meanwhile, both Demetri and Robby hold grudges against Chris, a new student of Miyagi-do and former Cobra Kai who attacked Demetri at the Mall. However, Daniel reveals that he once was part of Cobra Kai, and recounts his history with Terry Silver right before the 1985 tournament, stating that while Cobra Kai is bad, it doesn't mean all students are, convincing them to end their conflicts. Johnny travels to San Bernardino where he meets up with his old Cobra Kai dojo mates Bobby, Tommy, and Jimmy, to support Tommy who has a terminal illness, revealing to them that he reopened Cobra Kai with Kreese, with Bobby imploring him to move on from Cobra Kai. In Johnny's absence, Kreese takes over and trains Cobra Kai to be more ruthless. Miguel calls Kreese out for it, but Kreese claims that although mercy may be beneficial during a tournament, in real life they must finish the fight in order to win. Later, Tory opens up to Miguel that her mother had to work as a waitress to support Tory and her brother, and her mom would take leftovers to feed them. Her mom's boss found out and fired Tory's mom, which led to Tory's aggressive, merciless behavior.
177"Lull" Jennifer Celotta Story by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Story and teleplay by: Kevin McManus & Matthew McManus
April 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)
Daniel goes to his karate dojo, where Kreese informs him that he will be training his own Cobra Kai for the upcoming war against Miyagi-Do, despite Daniel's protest that they're just kids. Upon returning from his trip, Johnny takes his Cobra Kai students in the woods to participate in "Capture the Headband." As the game progresses, Johnny becomes distraught over Tory's aggressiveness, while Miguel spots Hawk wearing Miyagi's Medal of Honor, realizing that he was the one who vandalized the Miyagi dojo. Hawk taunts Miguel on his feelings for Sam, leading to a scuffle with Miguel emerging victorious. Miguel takes the Medal of Honor, but he is ambushed and has his headband taken off by a new adult Cobra Kai student, Stingray. Johnny personally warns Miguel not to take the dark path under Kreese's influence. Later, Miguel goes to return the Medal of Honor at the LaRusso house, where Robby and Sam have started a romance. He asks Robby to return Medal to Daniel and tell Sam that he's sorry before leaving. However, fearing that this will sabotage his newfound relationship with Sam, Robby keeps it a secret. Meanwhile, after realizing that Kreese hasn't changed and is trying to corrupt students as he did in the past, Johnny expels him from Cobra Kai.
188"Glory of Love"Jennifer CelottaStory by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Story and teleplay by: Joe Piarulli & Luan Thomas
April 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)
Johnny starts to fantasize about Carmen but is dismayed to meet Carmen's boyfriend. After expelling Kreese, he teaches his students to show mercy and honor. Meanwhile, Demetri finds the Medal of Honor, which Robby planted in the dojo backyard to prevent Sam from going back to Miguel, who Johnny set up a dating app. After failing miserably in his dates, Johnny sends a message to his ex Ali. At the skate mall, Miguel and Robby go on separate dates with Tory and Sam, where the tension between the two girls heats up. Daniel apologizes to his wife, while Johnny beats up Carmen's boyfriend, who was planning to dump Carmen soon, and soon asks Carmen out on a date.
199"Pulpo"Jon Hurwitz & Hayden SchlossbergStory by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Story and teleplay by: Michael Jonathan Smith
April 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)
Robby's mom Shanon returns, apologizing to Robby about the way she has been treating him, and reveals that her boyfriend left her and that she's going into rehab. Both Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do kids go to a party hosted by Moon just before school begins and heavy drinking ensues during the party. The rivalry between Tory and Sam intensifies after Tory witnesses Sam drunkenly kiss Miguel after Sam finds out that Miguel returned the Medal of Honor to Robby. Hawk, outraged at Moon's new relationship with a girl named Piper, also intensifies his feud with Demetri, but the cops arrive just as the two dojos are about to fight and everyone flees the party. Elsewhere, Johnny and Carmen go on a date at a restaurant before unexpectedly seeing Daniel and Amanda arrive. While Amanda and Carmen are away, Daniel and Johnny discuss getting rid of Kreese, and Johnny finds out that Daniel has enrolled Robby in high school, much to his appreciation. The two couples bond overnight, with Daniel and Johnny seemingly putting their rivalry aside in the process. Afterward, Johnny gets a visit from Robby and a drunk Sam.
2010"No Mercy"Jon Hurwitz & Hayden SchlossbergStory by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Story and teleplay by: Joe Piarulli & Luan Thomas
April 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)
Johnny allows Robby and Sam to crash at his place for the night after the party to hide from the LaRussos. When Daniel finds out, he goes to Johnny's apartment to get her as he and Johnny get into a fight, cutting ties from Robby and Johnny. On the first day of school, Tory hijacks the PA system and calls out Sam for kissing Miguel at the party, shocking everyone including Robby. She then starts a fight with Sam, and the chain of events escalates into a brutal school brawl between Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do. During the fight, Tory gives Sam a scar before Sam defeats her, and Miguel gains the upper hand on Robby, but ultimately shows mercy upon remembering Johnny's teaching. However, Robby uses the opportunity and inadvertently kicks Miguel off of the balcony, paralyzing him. Miguel is put on life support while Robby flees. As a result, Carmen immediately breaks up with Johnny and the remaining Cobra Kai students, who blame Johnny for teaching Miguel mercy and honor, join Kreese, revealing that the landlord allowed him to take over and have full ownership of the dojo during Johnny's trip. Amanda also demands Daniel to stop Miyagi-Do and karate, forcing him to dismantle the Miyagi-Do dojo while a guilt-ridden Johnny throws his phone away, unbeknownst that Ali, his and Daniel's ex-girlfriend, has friended him on Facebook.

Season 3 (2021)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
211"Aftermath" Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg Josh Heald & Jon Hurwitz & Hayden SchlossbergJanuary 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
Johnny is still trying to cope with the trauma of Miguel's accident, which ends up with him getting heavily intoxicated and later arrested and jailed after getting into a brawl fight at a bar. Meanwhile, two weeks after the school fight, the All-Valley Community is still shaken up coming to grips with the consequences, and the school has since put an anti-physical contact rule in action. Sam suffers from panic attacks following her fight with Tory while Johnny purposely hurts himself so he can sneak into the ICU and visit Miguel. When Daniel finds out Robby, who is expelled from school for crippling Miguel and on the run, stole a van from the dealership, Daniel and Johnny team up to find him while Miguel finally wakes up from his coma.
Note: This episode is dedicated in memory of Rob Garrison.
222"Nature Vs. Nurture"Jon Hurwitz & Hayden SchlossbergStory by: Josh Heald & Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg & Joe Piarulli & Luan Thomas
Teleplay by: Joe Piarulli & Luan Thomas
January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
Daniel and Johnny visit Shannon at her rehab center in order to look for Robby and are directed to visit Robby's former gang acquaintances in jail. The search eventually leads the pair to a group of thieves who have stolen the van from Robby, leading the pair to dispatch them in self-defense. However, their brief partnership ends due to Johnny continuously assaulting one of the thieves. Johnny attempts to visit the now-conscious Miguel, but Miguel, feeling betrayed, rebuffs him. Daniel finds Robby at the rehab center and has the police take him into custody in order to lessen his sentence, but Robby feels betrayed and cuts ties with Daniel. Meanwhile, Kreese attacks Tory's landlord in order to remove the pressure she has on taking care of her ill mother and ensure her loyalty to Cobra Kai and expels some students from Cobra Kai for objecting to feeding a hamster to a snake.
233"Now You're Gonna Pay" Lin Oeding Story by: Josh Heald & Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg & Stacey Harman
Teleplay by: Stacey Harman
January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
Johnny solicits Bobby for advice on how to help pay for Miguel's surgery and visits Robby in juvenile hall. The Miyagi-Do students, led by Sam, carry out a car wash fundraising event to help fund Miguel's surgery, only for Hawk and some Cobra Kai students to show up after the event and steal the money. Johnny reluctantly approaches Sid to ask for the money to pay for the surgery, but is rebuffed, so he resorts to stealing one of Sid's valuable statues. Meanwhile, due to the school brawl incident, Daniel learns that his business rival Tom Cole has convinced Japanese car importer, Doyona International, to cut their business ties with Daniel, prompting him to visit the company headquarters in Tokyo for negotiations. Sam makes preparations for the Miyagi-Do students to fight back against Cobra Kai, while Johnny reluctantly misses his appointment to visit Robby in juvenile hall to stay with Miguel.
244"The Right Path"Lin OedingStory by: Josh Heald & Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg & Michael Jonathan Smith
Teleplay by: Michael Jonathan Smith
January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
Daniel is rejected by Doyona, so he decides to travel to Okinawa, Mr. Miyagi's hometown, while Johnny tries to reconcile with Robby, who is on community service, but their conversation quickly escalates. At school, Hawk instigates fights with the Miyagi-Do students before being threatened with Saturday detention. Daniel visits Tomi Village, which has been turned into a mall after the village's crops died out, where he is reunited with his former love interest Kumiko and unexpectedly encounters his rival Chozen. Johnny then personally oversees Miguel's physical rehabilitation.
255"Miyagi-Do" Steven Tsuchida Story by: Josh Heald & Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg & Bob Dearden
Teleplay by: Bob Dearden
January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
When Miyagi-Do student Chris is attacked at his job in Golf N' Stuff by Cobra Kai, Sam and the rest of the Miyagi-Do students attack Hawk's gang at the amusement park, only to be ambushed by Tory, as Hawk breaks Demetri's arm in the process, traumatizing Sam, who still fears Tory. Meanwhile, Daniel and Chozen reconcile after undergoing some sparring sessions, with Chozen teaching Daniel the pressure point technique and giving him a martial arts scroll as a parting gift. Daniel later meets an adult Yuna, the little girl he saved from the typhoon (in The Karate Kid Part II ), learning that Yuna has become the Vice President of Sales for Doyona, as she gladly offers to let him keep the dealership's relationship with Doyona. Robby gets involved in a fight with fellow juvenile inmate Shawn and his thugs but both ultimately earn each other's respect for not snitching on each other. Johnny helps Miguel with his rehabilitation and takes him to a Dee Snider concert, allowing Miguel to regain feeling in his legs. Johnny later accepts Ali's friend request, while Amanda confronts Kreese, threatening to call the cops if he doesn't stop sending Cobra Kai students after Miyagi-Do.
266"King Cobra"Steven TsuchidaStory by: Josh Heald & Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg & Joe Piarulli & Luan Thomas
Teleplay by: Joe Piarulli & Luan Thomas
January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
Kreese approaches various athletes to bolster the Cobra Kai ranks, including Kyler. Daniel and Amanda attempt to file a restraining order against Kreese, but learn that Kreese has already filed one against Amanda after the confrontation. Left with no other option, they approach Armand Zarkarian with bribes in an attempt to evict Kreese, only for Armand to reluctantly void his deal with the LaRussos after a failed eviction attempt. Meanwhile, Miguel helps Johnny build up his Facebook profile to impress Ali, inadvertently meeting with Tory, who breaks up with Miguel after he disagrees with her desire for revenge against Miyagi-do. Enraged by the whole incident, Miguel calls Johnny out on his hypocrisy about abandoning people after helping them but manages to stand up in the process. Seeing the truth in Miguel's words, Johnny uploads photos of his positive accomplishments with his students and Miguel's recovery before sending Ali a heartfelt message on Facebook.
277"Obstáculos" Jennifer Celotta Story by: Josh Heald & Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg & Alyssa Forleiter
Teleplay by: Alyssa Forleiter
January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
Sam has a nightmare in which she and Tory duel in the Miyagi-Do dojo, which ends with Tory drowning Sam in the Miyagi-Do pond. After days of training, Miguel can finally walk freely again. Daniel spends the day with Sam in order to help her overcome her fear of Tory after she confesses the panic attacks to him. When Miguel returns to school, he finds out about the Golf N' Stuff fight and cuts his ties with the Cobra Kai students and the dojo itself. Johnny then decides to take his most loyal students and makes a new dojo called "Eagle Fang Karate". The Cobra Kai students then confront Johnny, where Kreese decides to leave Johnny permanently.
288"The Good, The Bad, and the Badass"Jennifer CelottaStory by: Josh Heald & Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg & Mattea Greene
Teleplay by: Mattea Greene
January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
The local city council removes the permit for the All-Valley Karate Tournament championship in order to politically distance itself from the fallout of the school fight, prompting Daniel, Kreese, and Johnny to make their cases respectively. However, all three of them are dismissed from making their case when personal attacks on Kreese are brought in by Amanda. Miguel and Sam make their case about the need for Karate, prompting the city council to change their minds and reinstate the tournament. During the aftermath, Miguel and Sam catch up, leading to a friendly sparring session. However, Robby, having completed his sentence, mistakenly sees the sparring session as Samantha cheating on him. Robby turns to Kreese for help, while Johnny and Carmen make-up and respark their relationship.
299"Feel The Night"Josh HealdStory by: Josh Heald & Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg & Michael Jonathan Smith
Teleplay by: Michael Jonathan Smith
January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
Ali returns to Los Angeles for the holiday and reunites with Johnny. The Cobra Kai students initially feel wary about Robby's presence following the school brawl incident but warm up to him after he steals a snake at the local zoo as a present for Kreese. Miguel and Daniel start to find some common ground between Johnny and Daniel's childhood. Later, Sam and Miguel, who have rekindled their own romance, create an alliance between Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do in order to fight against Cobra Kai, while Daniel, Johnny, Ali, and Amanda all end up going to the same country club for a Christmas party.
3010"December 19"Josh HealdStory by: Josh Heald & Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg & Bob Dearden
Teleplay by: Bob Dearden
January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
While Ali and Johnny mingle with Daniel and Amanda at a Christmas party to finally lay their past issues to rest, Cobra Kai students led by Tory bust into the LaRusso house. During the brawl, Miguel defeats Kyler, while Hawk, having had a change of heart, reconciles with Demetri and turns on his fellow Cobra Kai mates, and Sam finally conquers her fear to gain an upper hand on Tory before Cobra Kai retreats. Johnny and Daniel separately learn of the ensuing conflict after the party, with Johnny instigating a fight with Kreese, who has been training Robby. Johnny briefly gains the upper hand, but Robby chooses to defend Kreese, forcing Johnny to accidentally knock his son out. Kreese uses the opportunity to choke Johnny, but Daniel intervenes and gains the upper hand using the Miyagi pressure point technique he learned from Chozen, barely sparing Kreese after being stopped by Sam and Miguel. Kreese, with Robby on his side, agrees to leave if Cobra Kai loses the upcoming tournament, and later gives a call to an "old army friend" during the Vietnam War. The next day, Daniel and Johnny train their students together at the Miyagi dojo in preparation for the tournament.

Season 4

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
311"Let's Begin" [11] TBAJosh Heald & Jon Hurwitz & Hayden SchlossbergTBA

Production

The thematic genesis for Cobra Kai began with two works of pop culture. First, the 2007 music video for the song "Sweep the Leg" by No More Kings stars William Zabka (who also directed the video) as a caricature of himself as Johnny, and features references to The Karate Kid, including cameo appearances by Zabka's former Karate Kid co-stars. [12] [13] In a 2010 interview, Zabka jokingly discussed this video in the context of his vision that Johnny was the true hero of the film. [14] Then, in 2013, Macchio and Zabka made guest appearances as themselves in the television sitcom How I Met Your Mother ("The Bro Mitzvah"). In the episode, Macchio is invited to Barney Stinson's bachelor party, leading to Barney shouting that he hates Macchio and that Johnny was the real hero of The Karate Kid. Towards the end of the episode, a clown in the party wipes off his makeup and reveals himself as Zabka. [15]

Development

Cobra Kai was greenlit on August 4, 2017, with ten half-hour episodes, written and executive produced by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg. Although the series received offers from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and AMC, it ultimately ended up on the subscription service YouTube Red. [16] [17] The trio was joined by executive producers James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett of Overbrook Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television. [18] YouTube Premium released the first season on May 2, 2018 and the second season on April 24, 2019. It renewed the third season, initially for a 2020 release. [19] [20]

On May 28, 2020, Deadline Hollywood announced that the series would be leaving YouTube and moving to another streaming platform, ahead of its third-season premiere. As YouTube was not interested in renewing the series for a fourth season, the producers wanted to find a streaming venue that would leave that option open. [21] On June 22, 2020, it was announced that the show would be moving to Netflix. [4] Netflix released the first two seasons on August 28, 2020, and the third season released on January 1, 2021. [6] On October 2, 2020, Netflix announced an early renewal for a fourth season, prior to season 3 being released. [7]

The creators of the series explored moving to another platform ahead of the season two premiere, but the deal did not go through. [22]

As part of a video and letter to its shareholders in April 2021, Netflix's co-chief executive officer and chief content officer, Ted Sarandos confirmed that the fourth season of Cobra Kai is expected to premiere sometime in Q4 2021. [8] [23]

Miyagi-Verse

Characters from the original four films The Karate Kid (1984), The Karate Kid Part II (1986), The Karate Kid Part III (1989), The Next Karate Kid (1994) comprise the Miyagi-verse that shapes Cobra Kai. Thus, after the launch of Season 1, Elisabeth Shue (Ali Mills) from The Karate Kid, [24] [25] Tamlyn Tomita (Kumiko) and Yuji Okumoto (Chozen Toguchi) from The Karate Kid II, [25] and Robyn Lively (Jessica Andrews) [26] and Thomas Ian Griffith (Terry Silver) from The Karate Kid III, all discussed their interest in the series. [27] Sean Kanan (Mike Barnes) [28] (also from Karate Kid III) stated in a 2021 interview (when asked if Barnes will appear in the series) that "you probably haven't seen the last of him." [29] Finally, although Hilary Swank (who as Julie Pierce replaced Daniel as Mr. Miyagi's student in The Next Karate Kid), has neither confirmed nor denied her interest, she did acknowledge that it would be a chance to have a "showdown" with Ralph Macchio. [30] In December 2020, the series' co-creators stated that: "In our writers' room we speak about literally every character that has appeared in the Miyagi-verse, so it's obvious that we've spoken about Julie Pierce. As to whether or not she'll return to the series, that's something you'll just have to wait to find out." [31]

In 2020, Jon Hurwitz clarified that the "Karate Kid cartoon is not canon. But there is an Easter Egg from it in Season 3," in response to the question as to whether "the Karate Kid animated series [is] official within the Karate Kid universe?" [32] The Easter Egg was "the Miyagi-Do shrine, briefly seen at Chozen Toguchi's dojo in Okinawa halfway through the season. The artifacts were recovered by Daniel LaRusso and Mister Miyagi in the short-lived Karate Kid animated series, which ran for thirteen episodes in 1989." [33]

In a 2021 interview with Slashfilm , the writers noted that they will not be using characters from the 2010 film The Karate Kid , as they are not a part of the "Miyagi-verse": "We've ruled that out completely. Jackie Chan is mentioned in season 1 of the show as an actor, so I think in our world, Jackie Chan is an actor and a performer. If the characters on our show have seen a movie called The Karate Kid, they've seen that one." [34]

Casting

In Season 1, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka revived their Karate Kid characters, Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence. Additional Karate Kid actors included Randee Heller, who reprised her role as Lucille LaRusso (Daniel's mother), [35] and Martin Kove, who revived his role as John Kreese. [36] The cast list for Season One was announced on October 24, 2017, and included Xolo Maridueña, Mary Mouser, Tanner Buchanan, and Courtney Henggeler. Ed Asner was cast in a guest role as Johnny's verbally abusive step-father, Sid Weinberg. [37] [38] On December 19, 2017, Vanessa Rubio joined the cast as Miguel's mother. [39]

In Season 2, Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Xolo Mariduena, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, and Courtney Henggeler all returned, [36] with Jacob Bertrand, Gianni DeCenzo, and Martin Kove being promoted to series regulars and newcomers Paul Walter Hauser and Peyton List joining the cast. [40] [41] Actors from The Karate Kid, Rob Garrison (Tommy), Ron Thomas (Bobby), Tony O'Dell (Jimmy), and Randee Heller (Lucille LaRusso) made guest appearances during this season.

In Season 3, Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Xolo Mariduena, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, and Courtney Henggeler all returned. Actors from The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid II, Elisabeth Shue (Ali Mills), Ron Thomas (Bobby), Tamlyn Tomita (Kumiko), Traci Toguchi (Yuna), and Yuji Okumoto (Chozen Toguchi) all made guest appearances during this season.

In Season 4, Vanessa Rubio and Peyton List were promoted to series regulars, [9] while Dallas Dupree Young and Oona O'Brien were cast in recurring roles. [9] In addition, Thomas Ian Griffith will reprise his role as Terry Silver from The Karate Kid III. [10]

Filming

Principal photography for the first season began in October 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. Filming took place at various locations throughout that month at places including Union City, Marietta, and the Briarcliff Campus of Emory University. [42] In November 2017, shooting moved to locales such as the North Atlanta Soccer Association Tophat fields in East Cobb. [43] In December 2017, the production was working out of Marietta and Conyers. [44] Various exterior shots were also filmed in parts of Los Angeles such as Tarzana and Encino. [45] Exterior locations included Golf N' Stuff in Norwalk and the South Seas Apartments in Reseda, both of which were originally featured in The Karate Kid. [46]

Principal photography for the second season began in September 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. In October 2018, production continued around Atlanta with shooting also occurring in Marietta. [47] In November 2018, the series was filming in Union City. [48] In December 2018, shooting transpired at the closed Rio Bravo Cantina restaurant in Atlanta. [49]

Principal photography for the fourth season began in February 2021 and ended in April 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. [50] [51]

Release

Marketing

In January 2018, the series was promoted at the annual Television Critics Association's winter press tour where YouTube's global head of original content Susanne Daniels described the show saying, "It is a half an hour format but I would call it a dramedy. I think it leans into the tone of the movies in that there are dramatic moments throughout. I think it's very faithful really in some ways to what the movie set about doing, the lessons imparted in the movie if you will. It's next generation Karate Kid." [52]

The first trailer was released on February 15, 2018, [53] the second on March 1, 2018, [54] and the third a week later. [55] The final official trailer was released on March 21, 2018, and included the announcement that the show would premiere on May 2, 2018. [56]

On April 17, 2019, YouTube Premium released a six-minute commercial parodying ESPN's 30 for 30 , featuring the main cast members and select ESPN personalities analyzing the 1984 match between Daniel and Johnny. [57] [58] It was nominated for a Clio Award. [59]

Premiere

The series held its world premiere on April 24, 2018, at the SVA Theatre in New York City, New York, during the annual Tribeca Film Festival. Following the screening, a discussion was held with writers, directors, and executive producers Hayden Schlossberg, Jon Hurwitz, and Josh Heald, in addition to series stars and co-executive producers William Zabka and Ralph Macchio. [60]

On April 25, 2018, YouTube partnered with Fathom Events for special screenings of the first two episodes of the series at around 700 movie theaters across the United States. The event also included a screening of the original film. [61] [62]

Reception

Critical response

Critical response of Cobra Kai
Season Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1100% (48 reviews)72 (32 reviews)
290% (30 reviews)66 (7 reviews)
390% (49 reviews)71 (14 reviews)

At the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the entire series (Seasons 1–3) received a 93% approval rating. [63]

The first season had a positive response from critics. At the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 100% approval rating, with an average score of 7.54 out of 10 based on 48 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads: "Cobra Kai continues the Karate Kid franchise with a blend of pleasantly corny nostalgia and teen angst, elevated by a cast of well-written characters." [64] Cobra Kai was 2018's best-reviewed TV drama on Rotten Tomatoes. [65] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 72 out of 100 based on 18 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [66]

The second season had a positive response from critics. At the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, it holds an 90% approval rating with an average score of 7.34 out of 10, based on 29 reviews. Its critical consensus reads: "While Cobra Kai's subversive kick no longer carries the same gleeful impact of its inaugural season, its second round is still among the best around – no amount of mid-life crisis and teenage ennui's ever gonna keep it down." [67] Metacritic's weighted average assigned the second season a score of 66 out of 100, based on 7 critics, indicating generally favorable reviews. [68]

The third season of the series had a positive response from critics. At the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, it holds an 90% approval rating, with an average score of 7.98 out of 10 based on 49 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads: "By pairing its emotional punches with stronger humor, Cobra Kai's third season finds itself in fine fighting form." [69] On Metacritic with his weighted average, assigned a score of 71 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating generally favorable reviews. [70]

Viewership

YouTube

The first episode, which was posted on YouTube for free along with episode two, had been viewed 5.4 million times within the first 24 hours. [71] While it was noted that the response had been, in part, a result of YouTube releasing the episode for free, it was noted by Cinema Blend's Britt Lawrence that, "YouTube Red's new series debuted to numbers that should make rival streaming services take notice." [72] By October 30, 2018, ahead of the second-season premiere, YouTube was promoting the report that the first episode had then been viewed over 50 million times. [73] The first episode was No. 8 on YouTube's list of ten top-trending videos of 2018. [74]

According to market research company Parrot Analytics, the first season of Cobra Kai was the world's most in-demand streaming television show during May 2018. [75] Parrot Analytics later reported that the second season of Cobra Kai was the world's most in-demand digital television show during April 2019 [76] through May 2019. [77] As of September 2020, the season 1 premiere has over 90 million views, [78] and the season 2 premiere has over 86 million views. [79]

Netflix

After the series moved to Netflix in August 2020, Season 1 and Season 2 of Cobra Kai became the most-watched series on the platform. [80] It was the most-watched show on streaming media in the United States between August 29 and September 6, according to Nielsen ratings. During the week, the show's 20 episodes drew nearly 2.2 billion streaming minutes in the United States. [81] The first season was watched on Netflix by 50 million member households in its first four weeks, [82] making Cobra Kai the most-streamed show on Netflix during the month of September 2020. [83] [84]

In February 2021, after the release of Season 3, Forbes announced that it "kicked off 2021 as one of most viewed original series on a streaming platform". During the period of December 28, 2020 January 3, 2021, it came in "second only to Netflix's Bridgerton", with over 2.6 billion viewing minutes. [85] Cobra Kai then moved to first place during the period of January 4–10, 2021. [86]

Cultural commentary

Shortly after the debut of the third season, Jen Yamato of Los Angeles Times noted that, "there are now three white men at the center of Cobra Kai, a franchise rooted in and deeply indebted to Eastern tradition." [87] While she notes that in this season Yuji Okumoto and Tamlyn Tomita reprised their roles from The Karate Kid II, Cobra Kai "has yet to cast an Asian lead". [87] She also quoted Ana-Christina Ramon who argues that "except for the Latino character of Miguel, all the other people of color are outside of that main cast, so it actually doesn't show as a diverse show in a sense." [87] Yamato further states that Ralph Macchio "pushed" for Tomita and Okumoto's return, and she quotes one of the show's writers, Schlossberg, as stating: "Having made Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle we've been particularly sensitive to Asian American representation in movies and television." [87] The writers also note that while there are currently no writers of Asian descent on staff, they have turned to Tomita, Okumoto, the stunt coordinator Hiro Koda, and the original Karate Kid screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen for guidance. [87]

On January 18, 2021 Gustavo Arnellano of Los Angeles Times suggested that Cobra Kai offers a "a way forward for all of us during these tumultuous times", as he "saw this uplifting season [3] finale the weekend before the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol invasion. My rage and desire for fire and brimstone in its aftermath were tempered by the lessons that Cobra Kai had just depicted." [88] He bases his argument on the fact that "Cobra Kai teaches that the bad guys and girls of the world shouldn't be vanquished but rather brought into the light of good — deprogrammed instead of defeated. There are profound insights about repentance, redemption, forgiveness for past sins and unity in the face of existential evil." [88]

In a February 2021 column for The Hollywood Reporter , former NBA champion and student of martial arts Kareem Abdul-Jabbar suggests that his friend and teacher, the late Bruce Lee, was linked to the influence of the original Karate Kid films. [89] He also argues that Lee "would have loved [Cobra Kai] because he saw martial arts not just as a way to defend against enemies, but as a way to defend against one's own self-destructive impulses." [89] Although he states that Lee might have been "mildly disappointed" in the "portrayal of the actual martial arts moves", which may reflect the fact that Cobra Kai is a family show (as well as the lack of involvement of teachers in the school fights), he states that these are minor areas, outweighed by its reflection of Lee's belief that "martial arts heals because it helps one identify their problems and adapt to solving them". [89]

In June 2021, Albert Wu and Michelle Kuo of the Los Angeles Review of Books argued that while the original Karate Kid "film functioned as a post-Vietnam critique of American empire, staking its position explicitly: pacifism over violence, peace over war, an admittedly romanticized version of Eastern wisdom over the macho bravado of jock culture," Cobra Kai "models" the "unending appeal" of the "American Empire ...[as it] dares to display what Susan Sontag called fascism’s “solemn eroticism." They further suggest that had "it mapped more piously to historical reality, we might have seen Kreese openly espousing white supremacy, deploying religious rhetoric, fomenting anti-communist or anti-Semitic views. But Cobra Kai also captures the complexity of racial divides, declining to portray the white students as bullies and the kids of color the victim-heroes." [90]

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominee(s)ResultRef.
2018 Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV ShowCobra KaiNominated [91] [92]
Choice Summer TV StarXolo MaridueñaNominated
Imagen Awards Best Young Actor – TelevisionXolo MaridueñaNominated [93] [94]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Comedy Series or Variety Program Hiro KodaNominated [95]
Rotten Tomatoes Golden Tomato (Best TV Drama)Cobra KaiWon [65]
2019 Shorty Awards Best Web SeriesCobra KaiNominated [96]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Comedy Series or Variety Program Hiro KodaNominated [95]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV ShowCobra KaiNominated [97]
Clio Awards Television/Streaming: Social Media-30 for 30 Cobra KaiNominated [59] [58] [57]
2021 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Family TV ShowCobra KaiNominated [98]
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Show Cobra KaiNominated [99]
Best Fight "Finale House Fight"Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series Cobra KaiNominated [100]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Cobra KaiPending [101]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation Patrick Hogan, Jesse Pomeroy, Daniel Salas, Ryne Gierke, AJ Shapiro, Andres Locsey, Shane Bruce and Mitchell Kohen (for "December 19")Pending
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation Joe DeAngelis, Chris Carpenter, Mike Filosa and Phil McGowan (for "December 19")Pending
Outstanding Stunt Performance Jahnel Curfman, Julia Maggio, John Cihangir and Marc Canonizado (for "December 19")Pending

Home media

During the show's time on YouTube Red, it was announced that Cobra Kai would not be released on DVD. [102] However, once the show made its move to Netflix, Sony Pictures released the first and second seasons in a "Collector's Edition" DVD set in the United States.

The series has also been released on Blu Ray in the United Kingdom. [103]

Soundtracks

Season 1

Cobra Kai
(Score from the Original Series)
Cobra Kai season 1 soundtrack cover.jpg
Soundtrack album by
Leo Birenberg
& Zach Robinson
ReleasedMay 4, 2018 (2018-05-04)
January 8, 2018 (2018-01-08)(Australia)
Genre Soundtrack
Length43:53
Label Madison Gate Records
Leo Birenberg
& Zach Robinson chronology
Cobra Kai
(Score from the Original Series)

(2018)
Cobra Kai: Season 2 (Score from the Original Series)
(2019)

Madison Gate Records released the official soundtrack on May 4, 2018. [104] La-La Land Records released the physical version of the soundtrack with additional tracks in June 2018. [105] The soundtrack CD was released in Australia on January 8, 2018. [106]

Track listing

All music is composed by Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson.

No.TitleLength
1."Awake the Snake"2:06
2."Ace Degenerate"1:25
3."Miyagi Memories"1:34
4."Strike First"1:06
5."Father and Son"0:38
6."50th Anniversary"1:00
7."The All-Valley Tournament"3:34
8."A Badass Name for a Dojo"0:37
9."Miyagi-Do"1:52
10."Slither"1:53
11."Cobra Guy"0:49
12."Balance"1:03
13."Speak Up, Lip"0:57
14."Stone vs. Diaz"1:40
15."Johnny's Story"2:28
16."You Earned It"0:51
17."Quiver"1:08
18."Venomous"1:15
19."Bonsai Lessons"1:50
20."Ophidiophobia"2:16
21."The Wrong Path"1:58
22."Final Match"1:48
23."The Cobra and the Mongoose"1:19
24."Time Out"1:35
25."No Mercy"1:14
26."Miyagi's Tomb"2:42
27."The New Champion"1:37
28."King Cobra"1:37
Total length:43:53

Season 2

Cobra Kai: Season 2
(Music from the Original Series)
Cobra Kai season 2 soundtrack cover.jpg
Album cover.
Soundtrack album by
Leo Birenberg
& Zach Robinson
ReleasedApril 24, 2019 (2019-04-24)
Genre Soundtrack
Length66:11
Label Madison Gate Records
Leo Birenberg
& Zach Robinson chronology
Cobra Kai (Score from the Original Series)
(2018)
Cobra Kai: Season 2
(Music from the Original Series)

(2019)
Cobra Kai: Season 3 (Soundtrack from the Netflix Original Series)
(2021)

Madison Gate Records also released a second official soundtrack digitally on April 24, 2019, to accompany the second season. [107] A Deluxe Edition CD soundtrack, featuring additional bonus tracks, was released by La-La Land Records on January 19, 2021. [108]

Track listing

All music is composed by Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson except "Cruel Summer" by Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey, Keren Woodward, Steve Jolley and Tony Swain.

No.TitleLength
1."Miyagi-Do Fix-Up"2:33
2."Snake Fight"2:19
3."The Wheel Technique"1:54
4."Like a Dance"3:12
5."The Internet"1:25
6."I Got Old"2:53
7."An Old Friend"1:25
8."Shochu-Geiko"1:24
9."Tory with a Y"1:58
10."Furious Hawk"1:11
11."Medal of Honor"1:24
12."Into the Snake Pit"2:26
13."Military Exercise – Who's Gonna Break"2:13
14."New Students"0:59
15."Fatherly Advice"1:48
16."Mall Fight"1:39
17."You're the Champ"1:34
18."We Are All Miyagi-Do"2:48
19."Busted"0:49
20."Worthy Opponent"2:12
21."Kan-Geiko"1:04
22."Sam and Robby"1:24
23."Mercy and Honor"2:23
24."Apartment Skirmish"1:06
25."Black Paint on a White Wall"1:40
26."I'm Coming for You, Bitch"1:38
27."Hallway Hellscape"3:37
28."Scale the School"0:51
29."Hawk's Prey"1:29
30."Rematch"2:08
31."Fallen Soldier"2:39
32."Voicemail"1:00
33."In It No Matter What"1:39
34."It Belongs to Me"3:20
35."Cruel Summer" (Kari Kimmel)2:25
36."Hawk's Tattoo" (CD exclusive bonus track)1:51
37."Comic Store" (CD exclusive bonus track)1:15
38."Make a Move" (CD exclusive bonus track)0:30
39."Cement Truck" (CD exclusive bonus track)0:43
40."Awkward" (CD exclusive bonus track)0:39
41."Lifting the Rock" (CD exclusive bonus track)0:47
42."The Lull Between Battles" (CD exclusive bonus track)1:32
43."Coyote Creek" (CD exclusive bonus track)0:48
44."Rehab" (CD exclusive bonus track)1:59
45."Miyagi-Do Commercial" (CD exclusive bonus track)0:50
Total length:78:08

Season 3

Cobra Kai: Season 3
(Soundtrack from the Netflix Original Series)
Cobra Kai season 3 soundtrack cover.jpg
Album cover.
Soundtrack album by
Leo Birenberg
& Zach Robinson
ReleasedJanuary 8, 2021 (2021-01-08)
Genre Soundtrack
Length87:00
Label Madison Gate Records
Leo Birenberg
& Zach Robinson chronology
Cobra Kai: Season 2 (Score from the Original Series)
(2019)
Cobra Kai: Season 3
(Soundtrack from the Netflix Original Series)

(2021)

Madison Gate Records released a third official soundtrack digitally on January 8, 2021, to accompany the third season. [109] A 2-CD Deluxe Edition soundtrack, featuring additional bonus tracks, was released by La-La Land Records on January 19, 2021. [108]

  1. Miyagi Metal – 2:15
  2. Come Back to Us – 1:39
  3. Work Together – 1:48
  4. Addition by Subtraction – 2:32
  5. Chop Shop – 2:02
  6. Return to Okinawa – 3:19
  7. Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dojos – 1:34
  8. Look at Me – 1:29
  9. Live or Die, Man – 1:41
  10. Crane Technique – 3:02
  11. Web MD – 1:09
  12. Secrets of Miyagi-Do – 2:56
  13. Be a Better Person – 1:28
  14. Snake in the Grass – 2:05
  15. The Cobra Effect – 2:33
  16. Snap – 1:46
  17. Can't Run Away From Your Problems – 1:46
  18. Forming a Team – 1:37
  19. Two-Time Champion – 1:31
  20. Dark Hawk – 1:40
  21. I'm a Sensei – 1:57
  22. Nightmare – 1:54
  23. We Deserve the Chance – 2:44
  24. Dream Come True – 0:38
  25. The Good, the Bad, and the Badass – 1:57
  26. Start Over – 1:29
  27. The Right Path – 3:00
  28. Dojo From Hell – 1:50
  29. Carol of the Cobras – 2:17
  30. Must Not Not Lose to Fear – 1:45
  31. The Call of the Cobra – 2:12
  32. Snake Bitten – 2:19
  33. Duel of the Snakes – 2:55
  34. Ouroboros – 4:49
  35. Challenger – 3:09
  36. Duel of the Snakes (Mega-Edit) – 9:58
  37. Miyagi Metal ('Shred'-along) – 2:16

Video games

Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues, a video game based on the series, was released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on October 27, 2020, and for Microsoft Windows on January 5, 2021. [110]

A mobile game entitled Cobra Kai: Card Fighter was released on March 19, 2021 on iOS and Android devices. [111]

Related Research Articles

<i>The Karate Kid</i> 1984 American martial arts drama film

The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts drama film written by Robert Mark Kamen and directed by John G. Avildsen. It is the first installment in the Karate Kid franchise, and stars Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue and William Zabka. The Karate Kid follows Daniel LaRusso (Macchio), a teenager taught karate by Mr. Miyagi (Morita) to help defend himself and compete in a tournament against his bullies, one of which is the ex-boyfriend (Zabka) of his love interest Ali Mills (Shue).

Ralph Macchio American actor (born 1961)

Ralph George Macchio Jr. is an American actor. He played Daniel LaRusso in three Karate Kid films and Cobra Kai, a sequel television series. He also played Johnny Cade in The Outsiders, Jeremy Andretti in Eight Is Enough, Bill Gambini in My Cousin Vinny, Eugene Martone in Crossroads, Archie Rodriguez in Ugly Betty, and had a recurring role as Officer Haddix in The Deuce.

<i>The Next Karate Kid</i> 1994 American martial arts drama film by Christopher Cain

The Next Karate Kid is a 1994 American martial arts drama starring Hilary Swank as Julie Pierce and Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi.

William Zabka American actor

William Zabka is an American actor. He is best known for his role as Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid (1984), The Karate Kid Part II (1986) and the TV series Cobra Kai (2018–present). In 2004, he was nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing and producing the short film Most.

<i>The Karate Kid Part II</i> 1986 American martial arts romantic drama film

The Karate Kid Part II is a 1986 American martial arts drama film written by Robert Mark Kamen and directed by John G. Avildsen. It is the second installment in the Karate Kid franchise, and is a sequel to The Karate Kid in 1984. It stars Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. The Karate Kid Part II follows Daniel LaRusso (Macchio), who accompanies his karate teacher Mr. Miyagi (Morita) to Okinawa in aid of his dying father, only to encounter a group of bullies with long-harbored grudges against Miyagi.

Martin Kove American actor

Martin Kove, is an American actor best known for The Karate Kid (1984), in which he played John Kreese, the head teacher of the Cobra Kai karate dojo. He has reprised the role in two sequels, The Karate Kid Part II (1986) and The Karate Kid Part III (1989) as well as the 2018 television sequel series Cobra Kai. He also appeared as Nero the Hero in Death Race 2000 (1975), and afterward as Clem in White Line Fever (1975). He was a regular on the TV series Cagney and Lacey (1982–1988), portraying Police Detective Victor Isbecki. He appeared in Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985).

<i>The Karate Kid Part III</i> 1989 American martial arts drama film

The Karate Kid Part III is a 1989 American martial arts drama film and a sequel to The Karate Kid Part II (1986). The film stars Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Robyn Lively, and Thomas Ian Griffith in his film debut. As was the case with the first two films in the series, it was directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Robert Mark Kamen, with stunts choreographed by Pat E. Johnson and music composed by Bill Conti. In the film, the returning John Kreese, with the help of his best friend Terry Silver, attempts to gain revenge on Daniel and Mr. Miyagi which involves hiring a ruthless martial artist and harming their relationship. The film received negative reviews, criticizing its rehashing of elements found in its two predecessors.

<i>The Karate Kid</i> (TV series) Television series

The Karate Kid is a 1989 American children's television series animated series which debuted on NBC's Saturday morning lineup. It starred Joey Dedio, Robert Ito, and Janice Kawaye. It is based on the Karate Kid series of films, and was produced by DIC Enterprises, Saban Entertainment and Columbia Pictures Television.

Yuji Okumoto American actor born in 1959

Yuji Don Okumoto is an American actor, filmmaker, and Eagle Scout best known for his intimidating movie roles, primarily as a villain, such as Chozen Toguchi in The Karate Kid Part II and Cobra Kai. His other films include Aloha Summer, Nemesis, Pearl Harbor, Contact and The Truman Show, as well as guest roles on television series such as T.J. Hooker, Knots Landing, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Bones.

Tony O’Dell is an American actor. He is best known for his role as Cobra Kai member Jimmy in the 1984 film The Karate Kid, and the second season of its spinoff Cobra Kai, and as preppy Alan Pinkard on the ABC sitcom Head of the Class (1986–91).

Daniel LaRusso Fictional character from the Karate Kid franchise

Daniel LaRusso is a fictional character and the main protagonist of The Karate Kid film trilogy, as well as one of the main protagonists of Cobra Kai. He is portrayed by Ralph Macchio.

The Karate Kid is an American martial arts drama multi-media franchise, created by screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen and produced by Columbia Pictures. The series follows the journey of various coming-of-age teenagers who are forced to stand up for themselves after being pushed around by bullies, usually their own age. They are aided by a mentor who teaches them martial arts so they can take on their rivals, or prove their worth in a tournament.

Jacob Bertrand American actor

Jacob Bertrand is an American actor. Bertrand began his career as a child actor in the 2009 film Duress and in guest roles on television series such as The Cape and The Middle. He is known for playing the titular character in the 2014 Disney XD series Kirby Buckets, for playing the character Jack Malloy in the Disney Channel Original Movie The Swap which premiered in 2016, as well as for playing series regular Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz in the YouTube Premium and Netflix series Cobra Kai.

Johnny Lawrence (character) Fictional character from the Karate Kid franchise

Johnny Lawrence is a fictional character who appears in The Karate Kid series of films created by Robert Mark Kamen. Played by William Zabka, he serves as an antagonist in The Karate Kid and as Daniel LaRusso's rival. He appeared briefly in The Karate Kid Part II, and is one of the main protagonists of the Netflix series Cobra Kai.

John Kreese Fictional character from The Karate Kid franchise

John Kreese is a fictional character who appears in The Karate Kid franchise created by Robert Mark Kamen. He serves as the main antagonist in The Karate Kid and Cobra Kai, and as the secondary antagonist in The Karate Kid Part III. He also appears in the opening scenes of The Karate Kid Part II. He is played by Martin Kove in most appearances.

Ali Mills (character) Fictional character from the Karate Kid franchise

Ali Mills is a fictional character who appears in the motion picture The Karate Kid (1984) and in season 3 of the streaming television series Cobra Kai (2021), portrayed by Elisabeth Shue.

Rob Garrison American actor (1960–2019)

Robert Scott Garrison was an American actor, known for his role as Tommy in the 1984 film The Karate Kid, and the second season of its spinoff Cobra Kai.

Susanne Daniels

Susanne Lieberstein Daniels is an American entertainment executive, producer, and author. She developed TV shows such as Dawson's Creek, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls, "Wayne","Liza On Demand" "Are You The One" Cobra Kai and YouTube livestream events with artists including Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and Paul McCartney.

<i>Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues</i> 2020 video game based on TV series Cobra Kai

Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues is a side-scrolling beat 'em-up video game based on the American streaming television series Cobra Kai. Developed by Flux Games and published by GameMill Entertainment in North America and Maximum Games in Europe, it was released for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 27, 2020, and for Microsoft Windows on January 5, 2021. The Nintendo Switch version was released in Europe on November 24, 2020. Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Jacob Bertrand, and Gianni Decenzo reprise their roles as Daniel LaRusso, Johnny Lawrence, Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz, and Demetri respectively, while the rest of the other characters are voiced by different actors.

Chozen Toguchi is a fictional character who appears as the main antagonist in the motion picture The Karate Kid Part II (1986) and an anti-hero in Season 3 of the streaming television series Cobra Kai (2021). He is portrayed by Yuji Okumoto.

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