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Cobra Kai is Genius

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posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 03:50 AM
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WARNING: contains spoilers for first season of Cobra Kai.

I've almost finished the first season of Cobra Kai and I just wanted to share some of my thoughts on this show and why I think the writing is pretty great. I can't really remember the original Karate Kid movies because I was very young when I watched them but I might have to re-watch them now. What stood out to me was how Johnny Lawrence is such a politically incorrect character. I'm actually kind of surprised that a show like this is even allowed to exist in current times.

The way he treats his students and calls them insulting names makes his teaching methods very questionable. After finally getting some students he makes several of them quit on the first day just by verbally abusing them. After reflecting on his actions he knows he was a bit of a jackass, but the next day he tells the students that he's not sorry because he's trying to toughen them up. He says something like "a strong body requires a strong mind" and that is true.

If they cannot handle some words how will they handle real hardships in their life? Johnny believes that we are over-protecting children, by giving them safe spaces and encouraging them to avoid any sort of mental distress we have bubble wrapped them and insulated them from the real world. His teaching method isn't about being mean, it's about giving them the capacity to overcome mental and physical obstacles that are holding them back, wisdom which I think is sorely lacking today.

However, Johnny is constantly drunk and even goes drink driving in an early episode which makes you really question his mental stability. At the same time they get you invested in his character, they get you to empathize with his struggles and hopeful that his dojo will become successful. I'm guessing Cobra Kai were the "bad guys" in the original movies, but this series lets us see things from the other perspective, it gives us both sides of the story and is well balanced in that regard.

The writing for Daniel LaRusso is also done in a similar way. At first we get the impression he's a self-absorbed wealthy business man with a perfect life, but as we get to see deeper into his life and his relationships we see that there's a lot more to him. This is especially apparent when Daniel begins to rediscover his passion for martial arts and starts to tutor Johnny's son, resulting in a rapid increase of self-esteem and honesty. Johnny's son ends up defending a business that he would have robbed without a second thought just weeks ago.

That's probably why this show is already rated so highly; it doesn't try to judge the viewer or push a social justice narrative, in a way it's actually doing the opposite. The writers clearly have the ability to understand we all have different personal situations, which comes across in their ability to make us empathize with each character despite their shortcomings. It's actually refreshing to watch a show with some depth and humility, the focus is on good story telling and not trying to be as woke as possible.
edit on 9/9/2020 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 03:59 AM
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Poor acting, sloppy script writing, pre fabricated characters and all a bit to Kung fu but
Think you pretty much nailed the good points well, it’s not a bad generalisation of Cobra Kai and it’s better points
As you said, not to preachy and worth a look.
I think it’s aimed at a younger audience than me but, I like your review



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 04:08 AM
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a reply to: Raggedyman

The acting definitely isn't the best I've seen but I wouldn't say it's poor, and there's a certain charm to the imperfections imo. Also this script clearly isn't sloppy for all the reasons I have discussed, and it seems most people agree with me based on the ratings. Maybe a bit predictable but what isn't these days.
edit on 9/9/2020 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 04:28 AM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Cobra Kai was a breath of fresh air compared to all of Netflix other crap



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 04:30 AM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder
The Drinker Recommends... Cobra Kai




posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 04:43 AM
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Watched all episodes so far. Daniel is too annoying for my taste, further episodes he mellows down a bit but even then his "Ego" seems to push through occasionally. He seems unforgiving charachter regarding Johnny, even there are moments everything could go well between those two men, who messes things up is Daniel and his big ego is a reason.

Johnny is more colorful as a character, in his mind he even forgives his son "working" for Daniel, he only wishes that he and his son could have decent Father&Son relationship.



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 04:48 AM
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a reply to: stosh64

"All of the characters in Cobra Kai feel fleshed out and complex in a way that very few shows manage to do nowadays. Nobody is 100% good or bad, they're all varying shades of gray. Everyone has reasons for being who they are and what they are, and how you perceive them very much comes down to your own personal perspective."

Great review, that's exactly what I think makes it so genius.



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 04:55 AM
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originally posted by: dollukka
He seems unforgiving charachter regarding Johnny, even there are moments everything could go well between those two men, who messes things up is Daniel and his big ego is a reason.

I feel like they could be great friends if they tried, they clearly have some level of trust between each other because even right in the beginning Johnny tells Daniel that his daughter is dating a sketchy guy, and Daniel trusts him over his own daughter. It is understandable that they hate each other so much based on their history and I can see why Daniel would have a grudge against a guy who bullied him. It makes sense character wise and story wise to have them as "enemies".
edit on 9/9/2020 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 05:01 AM
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originally posted by: ZeussusZ
a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Cobra Kai was a breath of fresh air compared to all of Netflix other crap

Just realized it actually started as a YouTube Original before Netflix acquired it. That's even more surprising to me, I would never have expected a show like this to come from YouTube. I actually remember seeing it when I had my free trial for YouTube Red a few years ago but I assumed it would probably be a fairly lame show full of social media "actors". It's not the greatest show ever but I do appreciate the depth they've put into the characters.



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 05:11 AM
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Another interesting point about the plot I just noticed is that Johnny and Daniel have an opposite style and mentality for martial arts but it ends up being exactly what the kids need in both cases. Johnny's son is basically the rebel, he's a tough street kid with a thick skin, and if he were trained with Johnny's harsh and merciless approach it would probably backfire and only push his son further away. However the more mindful non-aggressive approach that Daniel applies turns out to be very effective training which provides much needed self-control and self-respect.
edit on 9/9/2020 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 05:53 AM
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For any fan of the original films, this series is complete and utter genius.

I hope Netflix do it as much justice as the Youtube series did.



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 06:57 AM
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It was a good way you describe some of the verbal abuse as training mental strength. Some of it helps not getting worked up just because some else is having a temper tantrum. Have given and gotten it back during training at times. Can be a fine line occasionally though, the physical bruises seam to heal quicker.



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 07:47 AM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

It's a script flip in a sense.

In the original Johnny was Danny's bully. Danny was the new kid and Johnny was the prize student at the tough MA school with a hard driving teacher of questionable, win at all costs method. Daniel finds out that the maintenance man at his apartment complex knows Okinawan (I think) karate, and he agrees to teach Danny what he knows ("Wax on; wax off.")

The first movie ends in a tournament where the agreement is that if Danny beats Johnny then Johnny and the rest of the Cobra Kais have to leave Danny alone. Danny is doing really well, so well that Johnny's teacher instructs one of the Kais to "take him out" with an illegal shot to the back of the knee causing an injury. It disqualifies the Kai, but the damage is done. Mr. Miyagi (the maintenance man) uses a chi technique to sort patch Danny up enough that he can get into the ring with Johnny, and Danny uses a risky kick technique to take Danny out with a shot to the chin, winning.

This sets up where Cobra Kais takes off.

Johnny was broken by that experience, repudiated by his teacher, and Danny has gone on to become the successful car salesman.

Then you go from there with Johnny discovering that founding Cobra Kais helps him start to put himself back together where Danny starts to get a bit Neitzche (stare too long into the Abyss and all that ...).



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 07:52 AM
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originally posted by: kwakakev
It was a good way you describe some of the verbal abuse as training mental strength. Some of it helps not getting worked up just because some else is having a temper tantrum. Have given and gotten it back during training at times. Can be a fine line occasionally though, the physical bruises seam to heal quicker.


That's an approach some coaches have. It works well with some kids and it breaks others. It just depends on the kid and their mentality. For some it's a challenge they have to meet, but with one like mine, he'd be broken in a heartbeat.



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 08:26 AM
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originally posted by: kwakakev
Some of it helps not getting worked up just because some else is having a temper tantrum.

One of the main skills I've actually learned from ATS is remaining calm while debating highly emotional people. I think it's a very important skill to have, especially in times when everyone seems to crack at the slightest provocation. Johnny definitely does go overboard at times though when insulting his students. Just started the 2nd season and I'm enjoying how they explore the flaws in the merciless approach to fighting, forcing Johnny to learn the importance of honor and sportsmanship, without sacrificing the core ideals of Cobra Kai.



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 08:33 AM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

I think one of the interesting things about the show is how they did center it around such a hard approach during times of such lovey, dovey, touchey-feeley times. People are so soft these days that being tough in the manner of a Johnny and giving it some kind of approval is almost frowned on, but here they are making it the core of the show and not exactly portraying it as an all bad thing.

They show how it can have redeeming value and use. You can be tough.
edit on 9-9-2020 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 09:05 AM
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I honestly didnt think i would enjoy the show at all, so i put it off for a good while... but then watched the first episode and by the end of the weekend i had finished both seasons lol. It was great. Definitely a must see for fans of the original Karate Kid. Takes you down memory lane. I’m definitely looking forward to season 3. I might have to rewatch the movies. I dont think i’ve ever seen 2 and 3 but i believe season 3 is supposed to start pushing quite a few things from the 2nd film.



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 09:11 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko


People are so soft these days that being tough in the manner of a Johnny and giving it some kind of approval is almost frowned on, but here they are making it the core of the show and not exactly portraying it as an all bad thing.

That's true, but I appreciate the fact they acknowledge different training methods are better for different types of people, and also how being too harsh on students can backfire and teach them the wrong lessons. I'm a bit concerned now that Johnny's old sensei has reappeared because he could undermine all that growth and put them back on a bad path.



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 09:27 AM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Yes, but that they acknowledge it at all is something. Look at what has been happening lately in the college coaching ranks. Coaches who do have a tough verbal style have been getting castigated and fired. No. It doesn't work with everyone, but in some cases, they've been very successful coaches.

Thing is that you go through a recruitment process, and part of that process is a discovery process. You should be finding out if you and the coach are a good fit. Part of that is knowing if the personality will work out well enough. If you go in with your eyes open and can't hack it, than that's on you. You should have opted for a different school, even if it wasn't necessarily your first choice.



posted on Sep, 9 2020 @ 09:55 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Well as I said that's partly why I'm surprised a show like this was a YouTube Original, might explain why they've pawned it off to Netflix though.



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