Creators: John Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, Josh Heald
Administrators: John Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, Josh Heald, Lin Oeding, Steven Okay. Tsuchida, Jennifer Celotta,
Forged: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Xolo Maridueña, Mary Mouser, Tanner Buchanan, Martin Kove, Courtney Henggeler
Streaming on: Netflix
The primary two seasons of Cobra Kai had their fair proportion of madness. The present was indulgent and amusingly madcap, taking components from The Karate Child to a different realm of loopy. Season three, although, is flat-out bonkers — if the preliminary seasons had been violent and aggressive, this one is straight-up apocalyptic. Unhinged content material corresponding to this may be gratifying but additionally comes with its personal curse — there’s solely a lot gratuitousness one can tolerate. The third season, whereas not precisely falling prey to this, does tiptoe round it.
Persevering with from the place it left off, Johnny Lawrence and the LaRussos are compelled to handle the general public clamour towards karate after the varsity breaks right into a self-described “riot.” Miguel is in a coma, partially paralysed; Robby is on the run; Samantha is confronting the trauma brought on by the battle; and Kreese is coaching his personal clique of Cobra Kai goons. There has by no means been a greater time for the YA-Sopranos style. One can snicker at this season’s schlocky flip — it’s unreasonably stagy, over-the-top, and borders on a teenage mob drama. However Cobra Kai was by no means the present to look at should you had been anticipating ‘gourmand cinema’, a label utilized by a pal describing classically mental movies. As an alternative, the collection takes delight in its set construction of binge-able content material.
It additionally delivers some slightly overt Karate Child franchise callbacks on high of an already dense story. Chozen and Kumiko from Half II return. So does Ali from the primary movie. Whereas there’s nothing improper with pandering to an viewers from again within the 80s, the fanservice does find yourself getting tedious and ho-hum — it’s blatant to the purpose of attacking your senses. The present might’ve maybe averted this had it not devoted complete episodes to those characters. The primary two seasons ensured that viewers might marvel at Cobra Kai with out having seen the unique movies. However because the fanservice regularly begins towering over the central plot on this season, you can’t assist however scoff at its unimaginative and pointless tangents.
The earlier season was comparatively self-conscious. It realised that it might make its battle sequences, just like the school-wide rampage, extra brutal and ruthless. It was frivolous, but thrilling, and that labored. Its tacky tv antics — the cliffhangers, slo-mos, plot armour, by-product humour, cracking tempo, conventional scores — all delivered. As an alternative of turning tv right into a jukebox machine, it was one of many few reveals to emerge as successful story regardless of these overused conventions.
The third season takes issues just a little additional. The karate and hand-slinging are extra frequent, it thrives on cliffhangers, and the stunts accompanied by background scores are groovier than earlier than. That is enjoyable and wild content material. It’s formulaic however addictive, melodramatic however genuine, and inane however intelligent. It’s acutely conscious that these components will seize our consideration. Nonetheless, it’s additionally not unfair to say that the writers go a tad too far. The youngsters vandalise public spots, steal cash and beat one another to a pulp after breaking into their houses. I take no pleasure in being pedantic however there are some moments whenever you completely can’t assist considering: Why didn’t anybody simply name the cops?
Whereas these logical leaps and bounds, together with the obviously apparent stunt doubles, do trigger minor irritation, you recover from it pretty quickly. The present’s oozing craziness begins feeling regular. And regardless of the clear absence of well-written character arcs this season, this newest addition to the Karate Child canon continues to stay immensely entertaining.
Cobra Kai is at the moment streaming on Netflix.