The Youtube Red series Cobra Kai, which catches up with the character Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) 30-years after his iconic loss to Daniel Larusso in 1984’s The Karate Kid looks to be a big hit. With the first couple of episodes racking up more than a few million views each in just under two days, the show seems to be resonating with both children of the 1980s and children of the 2010s. Want proof? Over 100,000 people searched for the series on the day of its release.
The show follows Johnny, who has become a something listless 40-something, and his efforts to open a Cobra Kai dojo in order to, among other things, get his groove back. Naturally, Daniel is around. He’s selling cars and living the good life. As Variety puts it, Cobra Kai has “the perfect amount of references and music from the original and the acid-washed 1980s where the movie reigned supreme,” as well as some “impressive casting and acting.”
USA Today writer Brian Truitt actually lauded the show as a notch above other 1980s reboots, including. Rosanne, saying it actually improves on the original material.
Peeps. #CobraKai is here and it's spectacular. (https://t.co/Owk2IkcnHP) Watch the first couple episodes and bask in the awesome. The best of the recent TV redo/revamp/reboots because it makes the original thing better but is also its own fresh hotness. https://t.co/Sn6DlYXPFA
— Brian Truitt (@briantruitt) May 2, 2018
While The Guardian calls the show “anachronistic,” they did recognize Cobra Kai‘s self-awareness and modern humor A lot of fans seem to agree that the show might appeal to a new audience because it isn’t hokey or simplistic like the original Karate Kid script (and arguably the Jaden Smith movie reboot).
On Twitter, the hypemachine worked overtime as people celebrated the new show and waxed nostalgic — while throwing a bit of shade in the direction of YouTube Red, a venture that has not been uniformly successful for Alphabet, the Google parent company.
Thank you #CobraKai THIS is how you present beloved characters some decades later, show progression while still keeping them true to how they were originally written. All while introducing and developing a new generation of characters
Disney #starwars THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT!
— JagTaggart (@JagTaggart93) May 2, 2018
.. #CobraKai is better than Star Wars: The Last Jedi. There I said it. Cobra Kai was way better than it should have been, cleverly moves the story on a generation in ways that make the original better and makes you care about the characters old & new with similar themes to TLJ.
— Rips Ali (@rips500) May 3, 2018
#CobraKai is just fun and nostalgic as hell!! Watched the whole season. Old guys like me saw "The Karate Kid" when it first hit the theaters. So this appeals to us. But for the younger generation, certainly A LOT they can get out of it. What a blast!
— Duke Patterson (@DukeInTX) May 3, 2018
Cobra Kai the YouTube series is a follow-up to the events from the original Karate Kid in the 80s. I can say without a doubt that this one of the most incredible shows I have seen. So much nostalgia, I just couldn't stop smiling while watching it!
— Ian Elliott (@IanElliott16) May 3, 2018
#CobraKaiSeries is an awesome show. I was really impressed by how well it was done without ruining our favorite childhood movie The Karate Kid. Very well made and amazing acting by the cast.
Cobra Kai Never Die!!
— Sriram Anand (@sriramanand2) May 3, 2018
I’m very against the whole millennial nostalgia thing but not gonna lie. As someone who has watched the original Karate Kid films hundreds of times throughout my life, I’m bingeing the new Cobra Kai episodes and having moments. I hate myself for this
— P Squared (@PSquareMedia) May 3, 2018
Things you didn’t expect to say in 2018: The Cobra Kai show on YouTube is actually pretty great!
— Justin R. Crowe (@oats23) May 3, 2018
While the show is a big success, Cobra Kai is also a much-needed win for the fledgling Youtube Red, Youtube’s paid content streaming service. By the end of 2016, Youtube Red only had about 1.5 million paying customers. That’s a pittance compared to the 118 million people using Netflix, or the 17 million on Hulu.
If you think I’m bouta get YouTube Red just to watch Cobra Kai then you are absolutely right
— Patricio (@paulypaull) May 3, 2018