Ralph Maccio is back as Daniel LaRusso, the Karate Kid, who infamously defeated Johnny Lawrence in the finals, and the win from thirty years ago appears to have gone to his head somewhat as he still references the success in commercials for his used car shop. Johnny Lawrence however, has been on a downward spiral ever since his loss, and it’s his modern day story that YouTube Red’s COBRA KAI follows. When competing for Cobra Kai as a teenager, Lawrence and his comrades were taught to fight dirty, but now Lawrence is teaching those moves to a new generation who have no ability to fight for themselves.
The rivalry between LaRusso and Lawrence is still strong but appears to lean into some campiness in the trailer while also showing an earnest story, in the vein of Bad News Bears, between Lawrence and his students. Few new media series have become breakout hits in the traditional sense with lots of mainstream attention, but if Cobra Kai is able to balance humor and an honest coming-of-age story in the show as well as they did in this trailer, then they may be able to achieve the win YouTube Red needs.
Emily J | Managing Editor