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Am about half way through S1.

This YouTube! original is maddeningly close to great, especially for those of us who have a sentimental attachment to The Karate Kid. 

But...it feels stuck between an unresolved conflict of which direction it wants to go. At the end of one episode, Daniel says to Johnny something like "this will never be over between us." So it's a mythic, cyclical repetition. That's kinda dull. 

But at other times it seems like it wants to be an inversion. Daniel is the rich guy now and Johnny is a working shlub. Daniel's daughter is entitled (though more hanging around with rich bad girls) and she and her friends hit Johnny's car and run away. Johnny is the one who intervenes when a kid is getting bullied (by the guy who is dating Daniel's daughter). This part is sorta interesting.

But it feels like it pulls back, too afraid of messing with the Daniel is a nice guy narrative. The daughter begins to see the guy is a jerk. When Daniel tries to use money to sabotage Johnny's business, his wife calls him on it and he confesses to Miyagi's grave that he is letting anger win: boom, instant reformation. 

I suspect that this is going to turn into an explanation of *why* kids respond to Cobra Kai initially but stay safely on the side of claiming Daniel's is the better way. We'll see. 

Any other viewers?


 

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I'm in the middle of Season 2.  Loving every 80-s nostalgia-drenched episode.

The show blossoms from the original conflict to peruse the two contrary worldviews inhabited by its two central protagonists.  In this way, it's refreshing, especially since both Daniel and Johnny have moments where they are the correct ones.  Daniel's earnest wins in the original Karate Kid series carry a sense of entitlement and pride that's destructive on its own, while Johnny's clumsy attempts to preserve his 80's-era pre-Daniel glory humorously collide with today's worldviews (i.e. participation trophies).  There's a great moment, which I don't know if you've gotten there yet (I won't spoil it), but it involves Miguel's friend Eli, who faces the brunt of Johnny's "tough love" teaching.  

The show is clearly having the viewer change sides in sentiment over the course of the series, where during the final showdown you can be torn as to who to root for.  For a show that looks rather cheesy upon retrospection, it's something quite rare in terms of narrative.

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30 minutes ago, Nick Alexander said:

  Daniel's earnest wins in the original Karate Kid series carry a sense of entitlement and pride that's destructive on its own, while Johnny's clumsy attempts to preserve his 80's-era pre-Daniel glory humorously collide with today's worldviews (i.e. participation trophies).  There's a great moment, which I don't know if you've gotten there yet (I won't spoil it), but it involves Miguel's friend Eli, who faces the brunt of Johnny's "tough love" teaching.  

Yep, I agree.

I was also smitten by Johnnie's response to Ms. Robinson's cyber bullies, calling them p-----ies, and insiting, "In my day, if we wanted to tease someone, we did it o their face."

Also, when one of the kids (maybe Eli) says he is "on the spectrum," Johnnie replies, "I don't know what that is, but get off it."

Johnnie, in short, gets most of the best lines, at least in S1.

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