Soul Of The Valley, With Season 5 Cobra Kai Proves Old Dogs Have Plenty Of New Tricks To Learn — None Of Them Woke



Scene from 'Cobra Kai', Season 5 (featuring Daniel, Chozen, Amanda and Johnny) from Netflix via nerdist.com
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We prefer to always be completely honest, and when we first heard in 2017 that someone was going to make a TV show continuing the ‘Karate Kid’ movies called ‘Cobra Kai’, we thought it would suck…big time. We have never been so pleased to have been wrong. The show steers well clear of politics, although it seems as if those doing it are at least not leftists, if not actually right of center.

‘Cobra Kai’ (2018-2022, so far) was created by Josh Heald (known for the ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ movies, along with Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (known for the ‘Harold & Kumar’ movies), who said that the four Karate Kid movies comprise the ‘Miyagi-verse’. The movies are: ‘The Karate Kid’ (1984), ‘The Karate Kid Part II’ (1986), ‘The Karate Kid Part III’ (1989), which all starred Ralph Macchio, and ‘The Next Karate Kid’ (1994), which starred Hillary Swank and is connected only via the Mr. Miyagi character (played by Pat Morita) also appearing.

We have never seen ‘The K̶a̶r̶a̶t̶e̶ Kung Fu Kid'[SIC] remake from 2010 that ripped off the name Karate Kid but changed the martial art AND also the location (to China from California). That was Will Smith buying it to star his now daughter (then son). Zero interest ever. ‘Nuff said!

Enhanced logo, by Hiptoro from Netflix via pinterest.com

Ralph Macchio (Daniel LaRusso in the first three movies) and William Zabka (Johnny Lawrence in the first movie) reprise their roles as well as serving as 2 of the 9 Executive Producers. After filming three Seasons at YouTube Red (two of which aired there), production moved to Netflix (where that 3rd season finally aired) and the show just keeps finding ways to create great stories based in the world of the movies.

Other than deceased actors from the movies (whose characters have NOT been recast, and are only shown in flashbacks via scenes from the original movies), they have brought back the obvious characters, as well as original actors portraying less obvious characters again*, plus added an entire world of interconnected new characters that keep storylines deep and interesting. Chad McQueen (son of actor Steve McQueen), who played ‘Dutch’ in the first movie, is the only surviving actor you can probably count out as he retired from acting and has said he will not be reprising his role, with characters in the show stating Dutch is in prison.

From left to right: William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence, Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, Yuji Okumoto as Chozen Toguchi in ‘Cobra Kai’. by Curtis Bonds Baker, from Netflix via npr.org

Family and friendship drive this show, which revolves around Daniel, his wife, son and daughter, along with Johnny, his son and ex-wife (rarely seen, but she does pop up when needed) and various friends and enemies made along the way. Unlike a 90-120 minute movie, there is plenty of room for character growth and you get that in spades! The show is multi-ethnic (we won’t use the OVERUSED word ‘diverse’ which is leftist code for anti-white) but NOT in a forced way a la the new ALLEGED ‘Lord of the Rings’ show on Amazon.

‘Cobra Kai’, which just released its 5th season of 10 episodes each yesterday, isn’t political, but that is a good thing given how woke Hollywood has become. And at the first sign of wokeness**, we will dump it and enjoy any prior episodes for what they are. There are fights, but they aren’t forced and there are plenty of scenes involving proper parenting, lighthearted moments and even comedic situations to make this something families can watch together, although there is occasional cursing (with Season 5 adding the word fuck) so parents can check it out first and determine what is appropriate.

One of the main lessons we’ve seen over and over so far is that you can’t back down from a bully, which is very applicable to 2022 and the Biden Usurpation sending FBI after MAGA and both hiring and arming 87,000 new IRS agents. Without giving much away, a chief lesson in Season 5 is working together as a team to defeat an evil force. Protect those ‘eggs’!

Season 5 poster for ‘Cobra Kai’, by Netflix via imdb.com. Just 4 of those 15 characters pictures appeared in the movies.

For fans of ‘The Office’ there is even a connection to that show in Jennifer Celotta, who directed 6 episodes from the first 4 seasons of ‘Cobra Kai’ after prior directing 3 episodes of The Office (while also writing 11, producing 98 and being co-showrunner for Season 5*** of that show). She was involved in ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 5 as well, but the extent is unknown at this time.

You don’t even really need to watch the Karate Kid movies first, but you’ll probably want to check those out at some point to be able to catch all of the call-backs. ‘Cobra Kai’ isn’t woke, and there are just (now) 50 episodes, so it is very much worth a watch. We know some will say “But it is on Netflix!” and to that we say…there are ways around that (friends, later disc releases, or COUGH BitTorrent COUGH). So if you’ve never seen it please consider giving ‘Cobra Kai’ a try.

*how they worked Robyn Lively’s platonic female friend to ‘Daniel’ from the 3rd movie into Season 5, Episode 5 was both unexpected and perfectly executed, and although we expected Sean Kanan’s return as ‘Mike Barnes from the same movie and predicted he would have evolved as a human being (Terry Silver used him in that movie just like he does everyone else) we didn’t see the path they took as a possibility…so well done.

**one female character dates a male character, then briefly dated a new female character before ending up back with the same male character. It was NOT a major storyline and quickly passed. No other gay or trans so far, knock wood.

***the BEST season of The Office as it includes Holly Flax (returning from the last 2 episodes of Season 4) AND the ‘Michael Scott Paper Company’ storyline!

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