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Cobra Kai's Ralph Macchio On How The Show Has Impacted His View Of Karate Kid Part III

Terry Silver in Cobra Kai
(Image credit: Netflix)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for Cobra Kai Season 4. Read at your own risk!

Cobra Kai Season 4 has arrived, and with its arrival comes the return of one of the "Miyagi-verse" franchise’s key villains -- Terry Silver. Thomas Ian Griffith returned to play his character for the first time since 1989's The Karate Kid Part III, which was heavily panned by critics at the time. Co-lead Ralph Macchio has since admitted that he, too, wasn’t a fan of the movie, but his perspective changed with the latest season of the Netflix series. 

Ralph Macchio discussed his thoughts on Part III in a recent interview with THR. After being reminded of his past criticism of the movie, Macchio can seemingly now see a silver lining when it comes to the frequently criticized threequel:

I was not a fan of how The Karate Kid 3 came out. I felt the story was only repeating itself and was not character forwarding for the end of LaRusso. And production-wise, it was being written one way and then changed another way. It was not a smooth ride. In the end, there were parts of the character that I didn’t embrace as well as I did with the original and the first sequel. I don’t put it on the top of my resume. However, it informs Cobra Kai going forward, clearly with season four. It gives us so much story. And what is so wonderful about doing the Cobra Kai series, the creators find ways to take that story and let it evolve and find backstories for characters who might have been thinly written.

Cobra Kai definitely expands the character of Terry Silver in Season 4 and even explains his actions in The Karate Kid Part III as the result of cocaine addiction. It certainly makes his weird obsession with wrecking the life of a teenager (with the help of another major franchise star) easier to justify and even somewhat understandable. 

Cobra Kai has done an effective job of expanding upon the stories of established characters. The more mature tone of Cobra Kai naturally lends itself to more storytelling, though at the end of the day, it’s still a show about kids doing karate. Ralph Macchio broke down the magic of the series and how it strikes that balance season after season:

There is a larger-than-life element to Cobra Kai. When you break it down, it is kind of ridiculous — but that is why it is so much fun! So you take a character like Terry Silver for this show with those larger-than-life elements and his relationship with Daniel, then add those layers of complexity to his evilness. And now it becomes a refined performance. On top of that, from the perspective of Daniel as an adult, now we are adding other stakes and elements about his own kids and students. It is remarkable that what I would call the shortcomings of the original franchise are now bearing fruit 36 years later.

It certainly is remarkable how Cobra Kai’s popularity skyrocketed in recent years. Hopefully, the series will only continue upward in future seasons and give other characters that haven’t appeared yet a chance to find their own redemption in the show as well.

Cobra Kai Season 4 is currently available to stream on Netflix. Fans certainly don’t want to miss out on the All-Valley tournament, which has about the most enormous stakes of any under-18 karate tournament... in the show's fictional universe anyways.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.