Why dojos around the world are gearing up for a surge in new recruits. As soon as they re-open that is.
Arnie made his comeback as Terminator 23, Stallone as Rocky 47. Now it’s Macchio (Daniel) and Zabka’s (Johnny) turn as arch-rivals (still) in Netflix’s (originally You Tube Red’s) Cobra Kai.
This throwback to the 80s is riddled with nostalgic flashbacks as the story picks up from where it left off 30 years earlier. There’s a new spin on the story however, as we flit from one character’s point of view to the other. It seems the writers are showing us that maybe Johnny wasn’t such a bad kid after all and maybe, just maybe, Daniel had more of a hand in stirring things up than we were led to believe for the last 30 years.
As the story winds its way through the intermingled lives of the LaRussos and the Lawrences, more and more of the original cast are brought back, adding further authenticity to the narrative. The trip down memory lane doesn’t end there though. As if the original characters and melancholy flashbacks weren’t enough, what revival story would be complete without the music? We get further treated, or tortured, by the full soundtrack of the 80s. The time machine is now complete to transport you back to a time when you were bullied out of your lunch money or indeed when you used to bully someone out of theirs.
Whether you loved or loathed the 80s, this spin-off has been a roaring success with all age groups. Consequently, it has produced a potentially immense new audience for the first 3 films of the Karate Kid franchise, three decades after they first appeared on the big screen. And if the series Queen’s Gambit’s affect on chess clubs is anything to go by, Dojos around the world better be ready for the slew of new recruits that will inevitably be flocking down to their nearest sensai.
It won’t be long until school corridors are filled with boys and girls precariously balanced on one leg, arms outstretched like a Harley chopper rider, ready to deliver the hamstring ripping final blow to their imaginary Johnny.