TV's ongoing revival renaissance would be fine enough with just the classic shows like Roseanne and Murphy Brown getting touched up for modern audiences, but we do love to celebrate strange outliers. Such is the case with YouTube Red's original series Cobra Kai, a decades-later return to the martial arts rivalry between The Karate Kid's Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence. Does the world need this show? That's arguable, but after watching the show's very first teaser footage below, it's undoubtable that the world is going to want this show something fiercely. Check it out!
Sure, it's somewhat unfortunate that we don't get to see any big action moments or fights between any characters, but considering this is the very first footage that has surfaced, YouTube Red probably wants to amp up expectations in a strategic way. After all, a lot of people out there probably still aren't aware that Cobra Kai is coming, so it's better ease them in with a scene-setting teaser, as opposed to nailing them in the face with the crane kick of a three-minute trailer.
Now let's get into what this teaser is actually showing us. The opening seconds offer various reminders of Daniel's glory days, for which Pat Morita's Mr. Miyagi was essential, and we see trophies and newspaper clippings touting Daniel's dominance. But while Ralph Macchio's hero moved away from that life and settled into other things -- he's a successful car salesman with a business-partner wife (Courtney Henggeler) and a daughter (Mary Mouser) -- William Zabka's Johnny Lawrence has some unresolved issues to deal with, which leads to him reopening the Cobra Kai dojo that he studied at years ago.
Did anybody else get that tingle of worried excitement when seeing the Cobra Kai mantra getting affixed to the wall? It's not only Daniel and Johnny that have changed over the years, after all, and the world is a very different place now. Even the phrase "Strike First, Strike Hard, No Mercy" carries quite a bit more heft than it did back in the early '80s. We're not expecting Cobra Kai to be a comprehensive reflection of today's society or anything, but it'll be interesting to see how these two former rivals have been affected by the evolving world around them.
It's clear that Johnny hasn't ever found a way to learn his lesson over the years, since he's still carrying on the teachings that mercy is for the weak. We're not quite sure just yet why his anger hasn't ever subsided, but it might have something to do with his son Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan), who aims to be as different from his father as humanly possible. Or perhaps Johnny's woes go back to his stepfather Sid Weinberg, played by guest star Ed Asner. However it goes, it looks like Johnny will be passing along his antagonistic tips and tactics to the young Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña), who enters Johnny's life as a victim of high school bullying.
Cobra Kai was developed by Josh Heald (Hot Tub Time Machine) and Harold & Kumar's Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, so we're hoping for some interesting humor out of this new series, too. Will Smith, whose son Jaden took on the titular role in 2010's Karate Kid remake, is on board as an executive producer.
At the time of this writing, Cobra Kai doesn't yet have a release date set for YouTube Red, but we do know that it'll make its premiere later this year. While waiting to hear more, head to our midseason premiere schedule for a rundown of all the new and returning shows coming soon.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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