Cobra Kai has enough episodes at this point to stand on its own without The Karate Kid, but it's fair to say the series will never escape the original franchise or the ideas some fans have about it. Mary Mouser learned this the hard way when she revealed that playing the child of Daniel LaRusso, believe it or not, does have a downside.
I had a chance to speak with the actress in a junket ahead of Season 3 and asked what the worst thing about being Daniel LaRusso's daughter would be. Mouser laughed, and while she didn't specifically talk about the downside to being Danny's daughter, she did say there's a very real burden the LaRusso actors have to face when it comes to The Karate Kid and Cobra Kai.
The comments are not always so kind to the LaRussos. Some of them seem to think that we’re the real bullies and that we’re the villains all along. I hear that one quite a bit... it comes with a little bit of a toll. The energy it takes me not to go [online] and respond ‘But what about all the other people? What about everyone else who made a bad decision, it’s not just me!’
I certainly empathize with Mary Mouser, whose character Samantha got a lot of flak in Season 2 for unintentionally pitting Miguel and Robby against each other due to a love triangle. While I spoke to the actress ahead of the release of Season 3, I can imagine moods have not changed in that regard considering a kiss between Miguel and Samantha ended up pushing Robby to join Cobra Kai.
Despite that, though, Mary Mouser is right to be aggravated that fans think Sam or any of the LaRussos are the true villains of the franchise. One of the main themes of Cobra Kai is that people's natures aren't as black and white as they may have been portrayed in The Karate Kid and that people can make both good and bad decisions at various times.
And while Samantha LaRusso is a source of some major drama in the Cobra Kai series, she's not the sole source. If we're looking at the real villains of Cobra Kai, Season 3 showed that it was adults like Daniel, Johnny, and Kreese who unintentionally or intentionally manipulated teens in an attempt to settle old feuds. Also, it takes two to tango in these romances, so anyone mad at her should also be mad at Robby and Miguel.