There aren’t many shows that you could credit a bit in How I Met Your Mother for their creation. Yet, that is hard to ignore when it comes to the case of Cobra Kai. In HIMYM season eight episode ‘The Bro Mitzvah’, Neil Patrick Harris’ Barney is disappointed when meeting original Karate Kid actor Ralph Macchio at his bachelor party, as he has always considerd Johnny Lawrence (the high school bully played by WIlliam Zabka) as the true hero of the story. Cut to five years later to 2018 where the world was first introduced to Cobra Kai, the YouTube Original series that acts as a legacy sequel to the original The Karate Kid trilogy, which treats both Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence as the hero and villain of their respective stories.
Cobra Kai picks up 34 years after the events of the original Karate Kid. Former Cobra Kai student Johnny Lawrence (Zabka) is washed up and broke, living in a crappy apartment on a diet of baloney and beer, doing odd handyman jobs to get by, all the while attempting to repair a relationship with his estranged osn, Robbie (Tanner Buchanan). Daniel LaRusso (Macchio), however, is doing great. He owns one of the most successful car dealerships in the San Fernando Valley, has a beautiful wife (Courtney Henggler), a teenage daughter (Mary Mouser) and young son (Griffin Santopietro). But both have let karate go from their lives.
In an attempt to recapture that swagger and confidence that he had in the 80’s, Johnny decides to put all the money he has in to be bringing back his old dojo, Cobra Kai, to the valley. When Daniel finds out what his old high school bully is up to, their old feud is once again rekindle, as Lawrence and LaRusso begin teaching a new generation of karate kids.
Full review at VultureHound, originally published May 5th 2020.