‘Cobra Kai’ kicks into 2022 as Netflix’s #1 most popular show


Julia Shearer

Everyone has the ability to love ‘The Karate Kid’ story with ‘Cobra Kai’, especially the younger generations.

The rebirth of an iconic karate rivalry; Cobra Kai.

Almost everyone knows and loves the timeless story of The Karate Kid. Fast forward twenty-seven years and the beloved Daniel LaRusso has a brand new life but is still facing the everlasting feud with Cobra Kai.

The Netflix show, Cobra Kai, created by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg, is based on the 1985 hit movie The Karate Kid, and launched its first season in May of 2018. Here we are in 2022, and millions of people are enjoying season 4 of this series, which came out December 31, 2021. It has been sitting in the rankings for the top ten most popular shows on Netflix for over a week, and will surely continue to gain popularity. 

Cobra Kai, starring Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence, and Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz, is an action-packed, thrilling series, yet it still teaches numerous valuable lessons, some of them including forgiveness and coming of age, along the way. It does a poignant job of carrying the iconic feud between the “Miyagi” fashion of karate and the Cobra Kai way, through time.

“It’s all quite ridiculous and always entertaining, and as usual, the season ends with some heavy dramatics,” Chicago Sun-Times’ Richard Roeper wrote.

Throughout the four seasons of this nostalgic series, Daniel and Johnny rekindle their rivalry multiple times, but their differences are always trumped by one ultimate goal: to shut down Cobra Kai for good. In season 4 specifically, students from multiple dojos in the Valley are competing against each other to win the all-valley championship title, but there is a twist for either the Miyagi-Do’s or Cobra Kai; the losers have to give up teaching karate for good.

As the season goes along, new characters are introduced, fights and pranks break out, and major consequences arise. Most importantly, however, the viewers get a new perspective into the lives and emotions of some of the infamous “bad guys.” 

There are good people who behave horribly and horrible people who aren’t always wrong. It’s sentimental, but on purpose, and undercuts its own mythos constantly.

— Hugo Rifkind ('The UK Times')

“There are good people who behave horribly and horrible people who aren’t always wrong. It’s sentimental, but on purpose, and undercuts its own mythos constantly,” Hugo Rifkind from the UK Times stated.

If The Karate Kid movies piqued your interest back in the day, Cobra Kai is definitely worth investing some time into watching. As someone who thoroughly enjoys shows that are action-packed yet still have a meaning behind them, Cobra Kai checked all of those boxes for me and more. The twists and turns of this show will keep you on the edge of your seat, though there are some heart-warming and sentimental aspects that could make you question your entire view of this series. 

The feeling of nostalgia is prevalent throughout this production, as there are flashbacks and memories as well as high emotions and recurring themes portrayed through the acting. If you loved the connection between characters in the Karate Kid movies, the same feelings are carried over into Cobra Kai.

In the last decade, there have been multiple spin-offs of certain films from the past like Fuller House, Spiderman, and of course, Cobra Kai. In my opinion, no one was able to rejuvenate their given show as well as the producers of Cobra Kai. They brought the iconic story of The Karate Kid back to life in a remarkable fashion, and an exceptional way to revive some feelings from the past would be to check out this hit Netflix show.

There is so much cinematic history and nostalgia surrounding this show, and the producers worked magic capturing the right aspects of the tension between different characters along with the background of this karate war so that any generation viewing will recall and later remember the legacy of Daniel LaRusso and Mr. Miyagi.