How Cobra Kai's Creators Balance The Show's Drama And Outlandishness

Robby Cobra Kai Netflix

Cobra Kai is a show that oozes love for the '80s but has also managed to recreate the world of The Karate Kid in modern times with great storytelling. The execution is so great that viewers get sucked into the drama and high stakes of the series, all while potentially ignoring the sheer ridiculousness of everything that's happening in the series and how much of it wouldn't happen real life.

Cobra Kai masterfully acknowledges the ridiculousness of the franchise from time to time, with the latest nod in a town hall scene in Season 3 where citizens wonder what the hell is happening with teens and karate in this city. I spoke with co-creator Hayden Schlossberg about the scene and asked him how exactly they and the writing staff approach balancing the drama with the series' outlandishness.

What are you talking about? There are karate fights all the time! We’re trying to capture what’s going on... Nah, that’s just a joke. We understand that we’re writing a karate soap opera. We try to write it as seriously as we can so that you do get sucked into the story, but every now and then there are those moments where you step back and go ‘What the hell is going on in this town?'

If there were a multi-participant impromptu karate brawl at a high school in America, I'd put money down on the event making national news. Cobra Kai didn't take things quite that far, but it did allow the folks of its fair California town to wonder what in the hell is happening, and why isn't the city council holding Daniel LaRusso, Johnny Lawrence, and John Kreese responsible for it.

Cobra Kai is not immune to cheese, and yes, some of the events that transpire do feel truly disconnected from reality, but it makes sense. As Hayden Schlossberg pointed out, it's not like The Karate Kid's events are all that believable either at times.

We have the same thing with the original movie. It’s a touching movie, it deals with real serious issues, but every now and then I’m like ‘Wow there’s a karate guy in this school?’ No underdog kid has ever had to deal with this level of orchestrated martial arts bullying before. Every now and then though we have to take a step outside and play with that, but not too much so we don’t lose the drama of the soap opera.

The co-creators and writing staff of Cobra Kai have seemingly found a winning formula, as acclaim for the Netflix series is as strong as it's ever been after Season 3. I wouldn't expect the team to start switching tone in Season 4, no matter who or what they have planned for the future episodes.

Cobra Kai is currently available to stream on Netflix. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the franchise and the latest news in television and movies.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.