If you liked The Karate Kid movie series, you're bound to love Netflix's spinoff show, Cobra Kai, which takes place 34 years after the original film about Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso creating rival karate dojos.
The first season was amazing, and the second season ended with an enormous cliffhanger, leaving fans starving for more. The third season, which finally released New Year’s Day, after a year and a half of anticipation, absolutely lived up to the hype.
In this season, everyone is trying to recover from the giant school fight that the second season ended on. All the characters are trying to learn from their mistakes while also struggling to find their spots now that karate is being frowned upon.
I’m just going to say it right away: This latest season officially made Cobra Kai my favorite show of all time. Everything I wanted to happen after the last season's finale happened. Not only did the writers give fans what they wanted, but they made it feel natural. Every payoff was earned, and all the uncertainties are taking the show in the direction I want it to go.
All the characters had room for growth and development, without the series feeling overwhelming or crammed. Johnny and Daniel both mature a lot this season, Miguel holds onto the values he learned last season despite the negative results, and even Kreese, whom we all hate with a passion, gets some much needed character context.
I will say, part of me thinks the Kreese background was a bit forced. I can’t tell if the writers wanted us to feel some sympathy for him or just wanted to give us the backstory, but either way, no sympathy came from me or anyone else I’ve discussed the show with. Spoiler: He's just not a likable guy.
The one thing I love most about every season of Cobra Kai is the heart of it. You can see the love put into this show; every episode pulls at at least one emotion. I’ve never cheered louder or screamed with anger or fear toward a TV show like I have with this series. The script somehow makes you feel the emotions the characters are feeling, with a passion. That's true of the entire series, but this particular season took it to another level for me. Perhaps it’s because I’ve grown attached to these characters over the years.
This show inspires me to always try to do the right thing and to forgive myself when I make mistakes. It teaches that you shouldn't do the right thing for personal gain — you should do it simply because it’s the right thing to do. It’s really nice to see a show with flawed characters who examine their actions, learn from their mess-ups and work to better themselves. Seeing that on a screen helps people in real life to push through their struggles, no matter how hard things get.
I really can’t think of many negatives from this season, but it’s hard for me to discuss all the positives without getting into huge spoiler territory. All I have to say is: Watch it. Please, watch this fantastic show.
This latest season Cobra Kai was the perfect way to start my year, and I believe it can motivate just about anyone to pick themselves up when they're feeling down and strive to be better.