With their new YouTube Red series, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg -- who co-created The Karate Kid sequel with Josh Heald -- employ the same subversive tactics they used in making their three Harold & Kumar films. "That is, they’ve taken an appealing conceptual kernel and cooked it into something heartier, expanding upon a Reagan-era underdog tale in a way that speaks to America in 2018," says Melanie McFarland. Unlike Karate Kid, Cobra Kai fully fleshes out William Zabka's Johnny Lawrence character. "Positioning one of ‘80s cinema’s best known bullies as an anti-hero is a fierce hook, but what keeps Cobra Kai interesting is its conscientiously-rendered contrast of the kind of men Daniel and Johnny symbolize, separately and together," says McFarland. "Clearly Johnny is stand-in for guys mired in a retrograde view of masculinity, the kind of loathsome dude-bro many falsely hoped was on his way toward extinction. Daniel represents the high example of the capitalist ideal, a man who pulled himself up by his bootstraps and did everything the right way."
TOPICS: Cobra Kai, YouTube Premium, Hayden Schlossberg, Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald, Ralph Macchio, William Zabka