You would think by now that COBRA KAI has overstayed its welcome. I’m glad to report that isn’t true. It’s incredible how well this show knows itself and executes consistently on that each season. It’s a fun, violent, nostalgic, ridiculous soap opera. My biggest compliment is that even with a four-and-a-half-month-old at home, I still made the time to binge this series in less than twenty-four hours upon its release.
So, what makes the latest COBRA KAI so good? I think it’s because we’ve had four seasons to watch each character grow uniquely. From Johnny (William Zabka) going from villain to hero to Daniel (Ralph Macchio) going from hero to villain, and back again. Heck, even the teenage drama has the kids flopping between the dojos. The number of times students have switched between Cobra Kai, Eagle Fang, and Miyagi Do can be daunting. But luckily, this show isn’t that complex to help keep track of it. Yet, that character growth, mixed with beautiful KARATE KID nostalgia, keeps me coming back for more.
The latest season wisely focuses a lot more time away from the teens and on Johnny and Daniel as they try to take down their most formidable villain yet, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith). Also, I’m not sure if it’s intentional, but Terry Silver’s way of operating Cobra Kai and the blind allegiance that the kids have toward him is very MAGA-like. But, back to the high stakes drama. This is the first time we’ve seen the show drop F-bombs, along with the violence that officially moves it away from being targeted to young teens to being made for sixteen and older. And, the show is much better for doing so.
Yet, the MVP this season has to be Chozen (Yuji Okumoto). Bringing him in from Japan to go against Silver and partner with Daniel is a perfect fish out of water story that also plays out like a buddy action comedy. I also must mention that the “Eye of the Tiger” sing-along is easily one of the funniest moments in any COBRA KAI season.
COBRA KAI S5 is currently at 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. And if you were to ask me why this is, I would say it’s because the show is so much damn fun. It’s an easy binge that you don’t feel guilty for watching, and that’s because the message in it’s loud and clear. No matter what you’ve done in your past, it’s never too late to turn it around and become the hero of your story.
The entire fifth season is available to binge.