REVIEW: Was Cobra Kai Season 2 as Good as Season 1?
When Cobra Kai, a sequel to Karate Kid, was first announced, I admit my eyes rolled. Karate Kid is one of the few 80's movies that stands the test of time. But the idea of a sequel to the classic made me feel as if someone saw the "Johnny Was Right" meme, reuniting the old cast for old times. Instead, season one of Cobra Kai told a great story with complex characters, that ended with Johnny leading the new Cobra Kai to the championship, and Daniel-san deciding to start his own dojo. While Kreese, the former Cobra Kai sensei, returned from the dead.
So, is season two as good as season one? Watch the trailer and decide how much of a pussy you'll be if you read spoilers. They MAY pop up at the other end of this video.
Season two was as good as season one, with a few issues.
First, the one complaint: at times it felt like the premise of Johnny being old-fashioned and stuck in the past was pushed a little too hard. Johnny doesn't understand how to use a computer. Johnny doesn't understand what gender neutral means. Then Johnny's internet date kept spouting off social justice nonsense. We get the point. The 80's were a long time ago, even if the music was better.
Outside of that, the entire season was excellent. The overall theme of the show was finding balance: Johnny reformed Cobra Kai because society had grown too soft. Which is true. Enter Kreese, who wants to take the dojo too far in the other direction. One extreme being a punk and bully, the other being a beta male feminist.
Season one saw Johnny take a bunch of bullied students, teach them self-defense, and give them confidence. Season two followed the students over the summer break to see what the students did with Johnny's instructions. Most handled it really well, surprising Danny when the parents of some of the Cobras bragged about how much happier and more confident their children were. Miguel, who struggled the most, tries applying some of his martial arts training to other aspects of his life.
Then there are students like Hawk, who went from bullied to bully. Though I understand someone called "Shitlip" would be bullied all his life and learn how to be a badass, the transformation got to his head. Even if the character did make you want to punch him in the face until he lost that stupid mohawk.
Though not as much as Hawk's former best friend Dimitri. A Miyagi-do student, who was such a whiny little bitch, I was expecting Danny to give him a briefcase wedgie and shove him into a locker.
The one new character was Tory, played by Disney Channel star Peyton List, who was barely recognizable. I expected to hear her say, "This ain't Camp Kikiwaka anymore, bitch." Expect to see more of her in season three.
Overall, season two of Cobra Kai is well worth a binge-watching. Anyone who was a fan of the original movie will enjoy it. For people not as familiar with the source material, it's also a great coming of age story. Not just for the students, but for the adults as well. If adults can still have "coming of age" stories. Not to mention, all the fighting. Tons of fighting. Seriously, the last episode was pretty much just one giant brawl.
Check out a few episodes and let me know in the comments what you thought, or tweet me @Brodigan.