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Cobra Kai


Dolfan in NYC
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I am halfway into Season 2 since it popped up on Netflix. This show rules. I love the tone in that it is basically a cheeseY teen drama but it is also actually really good in a lot of ways? They do a really good job of the motivations for the kids — there are so many misunderstandings and stupid grudges, just like actual high school. 

Daniel might be the most pathetic human being alive. I know Johnny never got over high school. But Daniel-san has such a weird fixation on Mr. Miyagi and his grip on his life. I hope his wife leaves him for Sensei Kreese at the  next All-Valley Tournament.

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Daniel gets more insufferable, but that's the point. He was always kinda insufferable or pathetic. There's so many times that Daniel could just let the past go and he doesn't. Daniel is also constantly misreading or misunderstanding situations. If he were remotely reasonable, he would have said, "you know what, I'm fine with you bringing Cobra Kai back and you'll definitely be better than Krease was." Instead he got triggered by the Cobra Kai name alone and thinks it's silly that Johnny sees himself as a sensei because Daniel looks at Miyagi as a god. Go seek therapy, my dude.

I'm on probably my third re-watch of Cobra Kai and I love it as much as I did the first time I saw it. It's also changed how I look at the first two movies. Yeah, Johnny is a dirt bag and most of his friends are dirt bags, except Bobby, but Daniel is also a little shit and was constantly asking to get his ass kicked. He's barely a protagonist and I find I wind up watching it all more to see what Mr. Miyagi can do than what Daniel does.

 

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5 hours ago, Craig H said:

Daniel gets more insufferable, but that's the point. He was always kinda insufferable or pathetic. There's so many times that Daniel could just let the past go and he doesn't. Daniel is also constantly misreading or misunderstanding situations. If he were remotely reasonable, he would have said, "you know what, I'm fine with you bringing Cobra Kai back and you'll definitely be better than Krease was." Instead he got triggered by the Cobra Kai name alone and thinks it's silly that Johnny sees himself as a sensei because Daniel looks at Miyagi as a god. Go seek therapy, my dude.

I'm on probably my third re-watch of Cobra Kai and I love it as much as I did the first time I saw it. It's also changed how I look at the first two movies. Yeah, Johnny is a dirt bag and most of his friends are dirt bags, except Bobby, but Daniel is also a little shit and was constantly asking to get his ass kicked. He's barely a protagonist and I find I wind up watching it all more to see what Mr. Miyagi can do than what Daniel does.

 

Yeah Daniel totally needs therapy, Miyagi was his father figure and even though he passed years ago Daniel still can't deal with it. 

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I just finished Season 2. That final episode is a perfect episode of television. They built up to everything so perfectly. 
 

I wish we lived in a world where everyone watched the same eight channels so everyone would have watched this. Tory’s quote when she hijacked the PA: “I’m coming for you... BITCH!!!” is on par with Jesse Spano’s “I’m so scared!”  This episode should be as revered as the Drunk Uncle episode of Family Ties or the Gordon Jump episode of Different Strokes or Drake getting shot on Degrassi or The Prom from 90210.

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1 minute ago, Greggulator said:

I just finished Season 2. That final episode is a perfect episode of television. They built up to everything so perfectly. 

Not only was it a perfect episode of television, that is one of the better choreographed fight scenes that I've seen in ages.  Every person has a distinct fighting style, and you can see everything that everyone is doing.  It was superb. 

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12 minutes ago, supremebve said:

Not only was it a perfect episode of television, that is one of the better choreographed fight scenes that I've seen in ages.  Every person has a distinct fighting style, and you can see everything that everyone is doing.  It was superb. 

I rate this on par with the Daredevil hallway fight scene. 

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1 minute ago, MADCAP said:

I rate this on par with the Daredevil hallway fight scene. 

I'd rate this one higher, because there were so many distinctly different parts.  It was the technical karate of Miguel and Robbie, the brawl between the girls, Hawk just brutalizing kids with elbows, the hoss fight, the nerd fight, and everything else going on at the same damn time.  The Daredevil fight was awesome, but it was just a hall full of dudes with similar fighting styles fighting one man.  

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5 hours ago, supremebve said:

I'd rate this one higher, because there were so many distinctly different parts.  It was the technical karate of Miguel and Robbie, the brawl between the girls, Hawk just brutalizing kids with elbows, the hoss fight, the nerd fight, and everything else going on at the same damn time.  The Daredevil fight was awesome, but it was just a hall full of dudes with similar fighting styles fighting one man.  

Tory beating Sam’s ass and dragging her by her hair was exactly how one sided fights between girls in my high school unfolded. Sam’s fighting style was straight survival against this maniac. 

Tory is such a great character. We only got a glimpse of her backstory — her mom getting fired for taking home scraps of food — to get why she is so angry and why she would hate Sam. The roller rink scene was so great in showing that, and a fun callback to when Daniel was working at the country club. Her PA hijacking was a great “oh, it’s on” scene.

Aisha whooping some dude’s ass real quick but staying out of the rest of the battle was a great touch. I wish we had more of her this season because I loved her Season 1 arc so much — from a bullied girl and cast aside by her old best friend into having self-esteem via Cobra Kai but nothing going too far into the dark side. 

The nerds fighting reminded me of this awesome scene in Freaks and Geeks where the geeks all fight with each other and there is so much anger and aggression but they are so physically weak that there is in no way anyone can get hurt.
 

There was also a really good little moment with Hawk. He got caught in the mouth by someone right when it unfolded and he touched his lip, which is a reminder of how he got to where he is now. I wish he did beat on Dmitry at some point in the season just so his comeuppance would be a lot more dramatic, unless I am forgetting something. 
 

I hope this is not a spoiler so be warned.
 

 

 

 

 Cobra Kai really does a great job in the grey areas as a show (but not as a dojo.) Manny learning the lesson from Johnny, which was the lesson Daniel learned in the movies. But Robbie ends up taking the cheap shot, and earlier in the episode we saw Daniel needlessly attacking Johnny who was trying to reason with him, the sign that Daniel was not really the teacher he thinks he is, which leads to his charge going overboard. 
 

Like... how does a show about a decades long karate rivalry (which is next level ridiculous) also manage to really have these great moments and threads? 

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29 minutes ago, Greggulator said:

Tory is such a great character. We only got a glimpse of her backstory — her mom getting fired for taking home scraps of food — to get why she is so angry and why she would hate Sam. The roller rink scene was so great in showing that, and a fun callback to when Daniel was working at the country club. Her PA hijacking was a great “oh, it’s on” scene.

 

This is the absolute best part of the show.  Pretty much everything feels earned.  Not only do we understand why Tory hates Sam, we understand why all of these characters hate each other.  Daniel and Johnny are two people who are both too different and too stubborn to ever get along.  The fact that they have so much history isn't going to make it any better.  The last time I watched The Karate Kid, I found Daniel almost completely unlikable.  Sure, Johnny was damn near a sociopath, but Daniel was far from innocent in their conflicts.  So, when you actually hear Johnny remember their feud from his perspective, you understand exactly why he feels that way.  The best part of the show is that you are actually rooting for everybody, because they all have valid reasons to hate each other's guts.

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If I were to devote a bunch of my free time to something outside the WWE Network, would you say that Cobra Kai ( at least the first season) would give me more or less bang for my buck than, say AEW Dark or NWA Powerrr? Also, does the level of enjoyment alter drastically if one is sober when watching, or not?

For the sake of reference, on Netflix I've gone through Dark, GLOW, Norsemen, Disenchantment and BoJack Horseman with warying level of intoxication ( from sober to "I guess I need to watch that episode again").

Very much into the '80's and 90's in general.

Um, yeaah... Nevermind, guys! I watched the first episode, and I'm SO all in on this one, it's not even funny! Fuck to the Yeah!

Edited by Shartnado
Gave it a look-see!
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I started this on Sunday sometime in the morning and finished it last night before bed.

  • I really hate Robby. I liked Sam until Tory came along, now she's my favorite. Hawk is a piece of shit, but I also don't really like Demetri either. Stingray is a huge loser but he's lovable in an odd way. 
  • I have no feelings on Daniel or Johnny, besides my hatred for one or both of them changing to varying degrees depending on what they're doing in an episode. Sometimes Daniel is justified, sometimes Johnny is. But everyone gets caught in the crossfire of their actions and their stupid high school feud.
  • Are they bringing back Elisabeth Shue for S3? I hope so. She's wishy-washy on it in interviews, and S3 is already filmed and in the can, and no news on if she appeared, so I'm not too hopeful. But maybe it's a surprise, who knows.
  • I've never seen the movies, so I have no clue about many of the side characters that return, like his friends in S2 towards the end. You know the scene, where it looks like Netflix suddenly decided to play Wild Hogs instead.
  • But, that ending to S2. Holy shit, I was not expecting that. I was watching in bed, about to go to sleep after the episode ended, and legit shot up in my bed and screamed holy shit. I wasn't expecting that.
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Regarding the S2 finale

Basically, a lot of it was one shot with the actors having to duck behind trash cans and other shit while their stunt double would hop in for the shot and then the actor would then switch places again. And other times it was just the actors doing stunts.

It's weird to see Peyton List in this when I was used to seeing her in Jesse when my daughter used to watch that shit.

Regarding season 3, the cast, writers, and producers have all been very tight lipped on who would be in S3, which is how they were before S2. I remember when the first trailer for S2 dropped that you had people saying that Tori/Peyton List would be Ali's daughter. So far there's rumors that Ali, Chozen, Terry Silver, Kumiko, and even Mike Barnes could all appear in some form in S3. I think it's all just wishful thinking from nerds on YouTube.

I also hate Robby. He just kind of looks like a cocky piece of shit, you know? It's something about his hair or his looks or something. Even on this re-watch he's just a piece of shit that gets taken in by Daniel, which is one of the few nice things Daniel does. And I also don't think Johnny does all that much wrong on my re-watch. He doesn't really cross the line while Daniel is always a short tempered hot head.

Daniel's son also fucking sucks. I don't get that casting at all. They should have just made Sam an only child.

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I've watched the final episode of Season 2 three times. It's just absolutely perfect. As stated before, it's one of the best choreographed fight scenes of all-time. I read an interview with the producer-type people and they were pretty inspired by West Side Story and The Outsiders. It really shows as there's so much interwoven fighting and it is so theatrical. There's that one Steadicam shot where you just see fight after fight without any cuts for about a minute or so. My favorite one is when Tory and Sam just sort of slide down some side hallways out of view, which is a great way to set up the next part of the brawl while we also get to see everyone else involved. That must have been so fun to put together.

They also apparently only had one weekend to actually film those scenes. They spent the weekend before rehearsing and mapping it out, and then crammed the whole thing in the next weekend. 

The Dmitri/Hawk feud might have been the one I related to the most. I was very much a Dmitri when I was young -- the smart nerd who was also a really whiny and annoying crybaby. I had a best friend growing up who was also a misfit. But then he had a growth spurt and became a jock and an a-hole. We spent the next few years antagonizing each other -- him physically, me passive-aggressively. We even had an "after school" fight where I predictably got my ass kicked. Although in a previous fight (and what ended our friendship) I socked him and cut his lip. 

I became a bit of a Hawk in high school. I wasn't tough by any means or intimidating. But I got into punk music and my friends (while total nerds) looked pretty rough. It felt great to have some level of self-esteem by running with numbers. I get the whole defense mechanism and wearing a costume to try and make people forget about how you really feel about yourself. 

Dmitri was no innocent in his part of the show. He was an annoying tag-a-long who was jealous that his dork friends evolved and gained the self-confidence he still lacked. But Kreese's actions to him were so fucked up, and Hawk made no attempt to find out what the bad review was about. (Even if he did, I don't think he would care.) Hawk was a total prick to him at the party. But Dmitri went really overboard to humiliate his former friend and fellow Dr. Who fan.  

I sort of wish that the results of the fight were split between dojos. I get why they had the results they did, since that's the build. But it would have been pretty good if Dmitri held his own before Hawk did something lowdown and dirty being the biggest heel in the teen set, which leads to him becoming the new face of Cobra Kai while Miguel is on the mend. 

Man, what a great fucking episode of television. Who would have thought that Cobra Kai would have been this great? I thought it would be a fun, ridiculous nostalgia thing (and it still is -- seriously, WTF, teenage karate gangs?) but it's also legitimately great storytelling. And it actually has a lot of really great themes: Redemption, what does redemption even mean, forgiveness, learning to define yourself on your own terms, when confidence in yourself goes too far, class conflict, etc. 

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I think the whole point of Daniel's son being a shit is to show just how much Daniel turned into the the upper class shithead with lazy entitled kids that he was annoyed with/bullied by in the movies.  It drives home that he's the guy that overcompensates/overcorrects for stuff he doesn't have to, and it ends up causing a fuckton of collateral.  

It's the contrast of Johnny being the kid that was handed everything, peaked in High School, then never overcame getting adversity tossed at him, to the point that he's just now, in his 50's, is finally starting to correct himself, and fell into nothing, and has to pick himself back up finally.  

Both of them are pretty much getting bit by doing what they thought was right, but having outside influences cause it to blow up in their face.  The season finale fight being the logical end point of everything that's been happening, and how they're going to deal with the fallout.

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Does the trademark to Cobra Kai expire when Kreese faked his death/disbanded the dojo? I don't know how shit like that works, but I assume that's what happened and why Johnny was able to use a previously known name with a lot of (negative) clout. I was waiting for that to be mentioned, but instead we got the "I'm taking over the dojo because you're a dumb fuck who had a handshake agreement in the year _____". Which is fine, and made sense, and the events of the finale explain why Johnny would just willingly "hand over" the Cobra Kai name. But still, it's a lingering thought.

I suspect Daniel & Johnny will form a partnership to fight Cobra Kai in S3, or at the very least Daniel will help out or something. I'm also predicting that, shunned by Daniel and Johnny, Robby will finally rise to be the villain he's always been, and join Kreese as his star pupil, while Miguel goes through rehab and shit or something and eventually returns. Sam vs Tory is a thing between the two dojos, with (HOPEFULLY) Tory doing a face turn because she's awesome. Maybe that's all too predictable, but the only thing I haven't seen coming so far in two seasons was that ending to S2.

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11 minutes ago, Craig H said:

I also hate Robby. He just kind of looks like a cocky piece of shit, you know? It's something about his hair or his looks or something. Even on this re-watch he's just a piece of shit that gets taken in by Daniel, which is one of the few nice things Daniel does. And I also don't think Johnny does all that much wrong on my re-watch. He doesn't really cross the line while Daniel is always a short tempered hot head.

 

Robby is a kid who is a bit of a shithead, but as soon as someone gave him a chance to be something else, he tried to be better.  The real issue is that the adults around him constantly let him down.  For instance, did anyone look for him, check on him, or even discuss him after the fight?  Seriously, that kid did something awful, but that was not his intention.  Maybe he wouldn't be such an asshole if every adult in his life didn't abandon him at the first sign of trouble.

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That trademark on Cobra Kai would have lapsed long ago and I highly doubt shitheads like Kreese and Silver even trademarked the name anyway. To them, they probably thought that if someone else opened up a Cobra Kai dojo that they could just go and kick the owner's ass and force the owner to change the name.

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I was going to at least re-watch the last half of season two soon before 3 starts up.  But with all this discussion I think I'll have to do that a lot soon.  I absolutely love this show.  I was hoping that after co-existing at the Mexican restaurant it was lead to them at least trusting each other.  But boy did that dissolve quickly.  I'm certain that Elizabeth Shue will be in season 3 but as much as I'd wish for other characters to come in I'll just let myself be pleasantly surprised by whoever shows up.

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Apparently Aisha won’t be in Season 3. That stinks because she is one of the best characters in the series. She is a parallel to Hawk in a lot of ways. Both were picked on outcasts. But whereas Hawk became awful, Aisha (as made clear by Kim Fields!) walked away with self-confidence and a belief and ability to stand up for herself. She would have been a good way to add even more humanity to Tory going forward, and being a fulcrum with Sam. She did not need Sam’s friendship after all, even if Sam walked away from the awful mean girls.

If they do give an explanation for her departure, I think sensible parenting and a realization that this has all gone too far and Miguel might die because of this idiocy is pretty valid. 
 

Robbie is the weakest link as an actor on the show. He is truly bad. He is also too good looking for the role. He should have looked a little bit like a dirtbag street kid as opposed to a modern day JTT. I did like the final episode where he had some level of tense bonding with Johnny. His actions at the end of the fight come from a place of jealousy toward Miguel and blaming him for being cast aside by Johnny and his surrogate family as Sam apparently still carries a flame for him.
We also saw an Okinawa book in that episode — I am going to guess that was Johnny’s and that might be the plot device to get them over there for an episode. Ali is also a pediatric doctor now so they have a way to write her in to be Miguel’s medical savior. 
 

All of that is so very soap opera and 90210. I am here for it.

The show’s angsty melodrama really does work. I think a huge part of why Cobra Kai has emerged as this absolutely beloved show (as my Facebook feed shows) is because it does not take itself as seriously as the prestige TV of the past 20 years. It doesn’t play it for irony either. We are allowed to love the ridiculousness of warring karate dojo’s in 2020 suburban Los Angeles. Daniel’s wife is low-key the moral center for the show since she is exasperated by this decades long rivalry and how it has impacted her family’s livelihood and now involves her daughter getting nearly murdered by a raving lunatic while her first love may be dead.

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I plowed through the first season in basically two days and loving it so far! The finale had Johnny in a win-win situation, which would have ended up feeling like lose-lose, no matter what the outcome!

Now, anybody would have seen it coming, but goddammit, Kreese!  No-one wants you here! Crawl back to whatever sewer you came from!

Johnny doesn't not need his bad influence poisoning him at this point!

Yeah, season 2 will probably be viewed by next week.

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Season 2 off to an amazing start! That slime-ball Kreese had me going with the apology, but he was still just trying to find Johnny's weakness, as always! And with that the fun times at Cobra Kai dojo are over, just like that. There's so much daddy issues going on in this show, I don't even know where to begin.

Difference in training methods between the dojo's is rather striking, as well! I mean, it always was, but still!

But judging by the montage, both methods seem to be working, so that's great! Need to check if any of this soundtrack is on Spotify, I could totally use most of this on one of my Gym -playlist!

...OMG, Johnny discovering the internet! All the wins, ever!!!

Edited by Shartnado
That was awesome!
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The main problem I have with the show is that it's 35 years since the events of the original movie. Both Johnny and Daniel should be over it by now. And it seems unrealistic that both of of them became first time fathers at about 40. It seems like the 90s didn't happen for either of them. They lived the 80s lifestyle in the 80s then got married and had kids in the early 2000s. I think the show is playing fast and loose with the timeline and both characters are supposed to be in their mid 40s (which to be fair, they can both pass for).

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