Some sequels should not exist. All they can do is ruin the legacy of the original. However, every once in a while, one of those impossible sequels comes along and doesn’t just live up to expectations, it makes the original better.
YouTube’s Cobra Kai is one of those sequels. It’s the modern-day story of where Daniel Larusso and Johnny Lawrence, the stars of the original 1984 film The Karate Kid, are now. And now, they still live in the San Fernando Valley. Daniel, once again played by Ralph Macchio, owns a successful car dealership.
Johnny, once again played by Billy Zabka, doesn’t have it as good. That’s where the story picks up and it’s absolutely magnificent. A perfect balance of modern tropes and nostalgic beats all wrapped around a story worth telling starring characters, new and old, that you care about.
I’ve written about this show a lot (see links above and below) because I love it so much. I think it’s one of the best sequels ever. Plus, it’s still going, with season three in the works as we speak. However, up until now, you had to pay to watch it. Starting today, though, it’s free. For a limited time only.
Yes, for a limited time, the entire first season of Cobra Kai is available on YouTube for free. You can find the playlist here or just check out the episodes below. Trust me. If you love The Karate Kid and haven’t seen this yet, you will instantly get hooked. It’s fantastic.
I have to say, my favourite moment in season one, maybe my favourite moment of a TV show or movie I’ve seen in the last 5 years, is the needle drop just after 14 minutes into episode 7. For me, that was the moment Cobra Kai went from really, really good, to absolutely perfect.
Then, if you make it through those, the second season is out now too, though that’s still behind the paywall for the moment. Keep an eye on the Cobra Kai Twitter to see if or when that comes down.