Cobra Kai-Karate Kid Sequel Series Starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Encuentro, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Daniel Plainview

    Daniel Plainview God's Lonely Man

    Just finished season 3. I enjoy the show, and found this season to be another good one, but sometimes this thing gets crazy ridiculous. Is there no police in this county? Is assault legal? Breaking and entering? I let it go, leave the brain at the door, just enjoy those 'member berries and roll with it.

    I found Daniel's return to Okinawa particularly poignant and satisfying. I hope we get to see these folks again.

    Season 4, one request, BRING BACK THE STINGRAY!
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  2. Are you friggin' kidding me? Daniel was the goodamn bully! He's the bully in Cobra Kai, too, up until this season. None of the pain and suffering in Cobra Kai would have happened had Daniel-San just minded his own business and not targeted the down-and-out-Johnny, who was doing a good job with the kids, separating himself from the Cobra Kai of yore.

    Presumptuous f**king Danny has to waltz up in there and not only beat Johnny in 1984, moreover, Daniel-San feels it's his duty to do it again in 2019. That is some serious adult bullying going on by the head of a well-to-do auto dealership.

    The cool thing about Season 3 is that Daniel gets taken down a few pegs, but of course then he's soon back to form, speaking shades of wisdom as a man three-times his age. It's disgusting. I don't even know how his wife could sleep with him. He's gross. At least Johnny got laid in this season. Daniel-San probably is relagated to wax-off.

    Funny. Johnny's son kicks Miguel off of the school balcony, and then Miguel's mom gives Johnny the poon for it. What a reward! But wait! Johnny just knocked boots with the best woman he's ever had, yet, what a dumb ass, he goes after the chick who dumped him in 1984. Johnny, yeah, he's stuck in the '80s, but hey that doesn't make him a bad guy. Daniel-San, on the other hand - who, by the way, is stuck in the '80s, too - is calculating in his maneuvers; he knows that he's about to screw someone over, but he does it anyway.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm in good cheer. It's a fun show and I like the different reactions. No, it's not a very good show, but that beside the point. Again, it's gooey-trashy-fun in all the great 1980s ways. I just don't think Miyagi would approve of Daniel's recent behavior-san. :D
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  3. mpayan

    mpayan Forum Resident

    I cant really tell if you are serious at the beginning or joking around.

    But if youre serious:

    Right. And Mr Miyagi was a demon wizard. The fan based idea of somehow twisting the classic bully vs new kid of the first movie is pretty lame. Like Dylan "Whats bad is good and good is bad...". Im afraid thats the way things seem to go now. Its somehow cool and cute to turn things around in these simple movies about David vs Goliath type themes. Johnny was a complete jerk in the first movie and he really hasnt changed much in the beginning of Cobra Kai.

    What is different in the series and what makes it inner'esting is we find out the why of Johnny's character. Why he is the way he is. We realize that we grow up a bit with him and passed the basic punk kid of Karate Kid. We come to sympathize with his character more and come to endear the guy as more the grump lost in the past than the punk. He at least now has a steady outlook we can depend upon. He is true to himself. For good or bad. Which stands out in these times of whishy washiness. He starts to learn about himself and finally grow up some as the seasons progress. We learn eventhough Johnny still has plenty of assiness about himself, he is the guy who carries the old school ways with him. The guy who would help you change your flat tire and now stand up to the straight up bully he once was as a kid. Yet Johnny still has faults. And big faults in his pride, selfishness and win at all cost attitude. Though this is changing and he is growing as a better human in this aspect by the last season.

    Daniel on the other hand seems to have devolved a bit and lost his way. When we first meet him he seems to have this smugness about him that went from simply trying to fit in to a stereotypical car salesman cringe. His focus on destroying Cobra Kai in a calculating way now becomes an obsession that reveals his faults and loss of what his mentor taught him was important in life. His selfishness starts to cost him his wife, daughter and business. While Johnny seems to be improving in some ways, Daniel seems to be worsening. Putting some latent grudge ahead of being what Mr Miyagi instilled in him. But how boring the series would be if he was perfect. Thats the one thing, maybe the only thing that is engaging. Learning about what these two opposing characters are about.

    People are complex. Real life as an adult is usually that way. And the show tries to express through the two main characters as well as the relationships between the teenagers that people have both bad and good characteristics. As the two characters ramp up we realize during a drink at a bar between them that they have much more in common than they knew. In the series we get a different more complex and probably more true to life explaination of rivalries. Which is one of the things that makes the series good. That we are more alike than we realize. That bigotry and hatred are many times based upon misconceptions about what motivating factors are. That understanding and compassion are much stronger allies than winning at all costs and proving good over bad. That winning isnt everything.

    I agree that there is plenty bad about the series also. The acting, the awkward cliches etc etc. But nothing worse than some idiotic hip idea that Daniel was the real bully in Karate Kid. Its simply another way folks are confused about what is good and what is bad. That theory is something that seems cool to say, but really isnt. While there are plenty of injustices and false accusations which occur everyday, Johnny being falsely accussed of being an asshat, bully, and on his way to misogynistic behavior and the real victim in the first movie isnt one of them.

    That all seems a bit serious for a Karate Kid response lol. Like you said, really its all just very simplistic gooey fun. Dont mean to blow it out of perspective as far as either the movie or series as some deep psych exploration. Its a kids movie that has the rare ability to appeal to adults also. I think the series does a pretty good job in that aspect also, despite the overwhelming faults of the series.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  4. I don't want to put much effort into a response, but no this isn't a new theory, as if it popped up with the internet; this view of Daniel-San being the bully, or at the very least, the most misguided of the two foes, has been floating around since 1984. This film wasn't a simple David & Goliath tale and you're putting a clause into the mix that if someone believes that Daniel is just as much, or more, at fault as Johnny, then that viewer has let their sense of morality slip. That's rubbish. I knew at 11-years old that something was wacky with Danny when he destroyed a perfectly fine bike and he pulled that prank on Johnny at the Halloween ball.

    But here's the facts, whether you think Daniel is a hero or not:

    a.) Daniel had the help of Mr. Miyagi. Johnny had no positive mentor at all. Nobody even tried to help Johnny.

    b.) Both kids were motivated by teen angst.

    c.) Both opposing methods of Karate are designed to kick somebody's ass. It's simply trading one ass-kicking for another. The whole premise is built upon violence, no matter the school of thought. You can say one is based upon offense, while the other is defense; either way, somebody is getting a beat down.

    d.) Johnny had his comeuppance, and life lesson, at the All Valley match when Daniel beat him. What's the first thing that Johnny did? He handed the trophy to Daniel himself, with a congratulatory and emotional, "You're alright, LaRusso." We also know that after the match Johnny saw the light and cast aside his rancid teacher.

    e.) Taking all of that into consideration, when busted Johnny wanted to start a do-jo in Cobra Kai, there was no reason whatsoever for Daniel to try and stop him. Instead, Danny was hell bent on grinding Johnny into the ground. Daniel succeeded, too. In fact, with his meddling, he started a chain reaction that got a lot of people hurt. Daniel was the seed of more violence.

    Had Johnny screwed up in Cobra Kai? Sure! He eventually called back Kreese. But he wasn't on the road to screwing up; indeed, he was on the road to success and making amends, by creating a do-jo that was a hybrid of both schools of thought. He was supportive of the kids. But then Danny came in, leveraging his success, no less, and not giving a damn how down-and-out Johnny is; Daniel-San decided to "show no mercy" and squash Johnny's dreams, knowing that Johnny had been supportive of Daniel's victory in 1984, and knowing that Johnny had condemned Kreese.

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  5. Panther

    Panther Forum Resident

    Tokyo, Japan
    Some of you might be taking Cobra Kai just a wee bit too seriously...

    I have a suspicion that Ralph Macchio only consented to do the series if the Daniel-character could be a lot meatier and less perfect than he'd been in the crappy sequels. Both Daniel and Johnny are 50-year-olds acting like little kids quite often in the series, which is why it's funny. If Daniel had been Mr. Perfect, there'd have been nothing to write about after four episodes.

    Great series, though, even if they went a bit overboard with the cheesy-humor in season three, but whatever. Circa pandemic time, this series was a real home-run. Looking forward to season 4!
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  6. JakeMcD

    JakeMcD Forum Resident

    So Central FL
    Johnny never wanted to sweep the leg.
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  7. GodShifter

    GodShifter Forum Member

    Dallas, TX, USA
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  8. yesstiles

    yesstiles Senior Member

    Just finished the series.

    Talk about over-the-top outrageous fun! Loved every minute. Season 2 was the highlight. When is Season 4? :)
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  9. Squealy

    Squealy Forum Hall Of Fame

    I think it reflects well on Macchio that he was able to recognize how much more interesting the show would be if Daniel and Johnny had equal weight in the story, and if Daniel wasn't so unambiguously the good guy. A lot of actors in his position, who hadn't been in the spotlight for a long time, would have insisted on being the center of attention.
  10. Juan Matus

    Juan Matus Reformed Audiophile

    I actually had never heard of this theory before Cobra Kai and find it pretty interesting. It's great that there can be different interpretations of the 1984 film but I personally don't think it's what the writer intended. I think a lot of this maybe could be blamed on bad direction and execution and not the intention of the screenwriter. From wiki:

    "The Karate Kid is a semi-autobiographical story based on Kamen's life. When Kamen was 17, he was beaten up by a gang of bullies after the 1964 New York World's Fair. He thus began to study martial arts in order to defend himself. Kamen was unhappy with his first teacher who taught martial arts as a tool for violence and revenge. So he moved on to study Okinawan Gōjū-ryū Karate under a teacher who did not speak English but himself was a student of Chōjun Miyagi.

    As a Hollywood screenwriter, Kamen was mentored by Frank Price who told him that producer Jerry Weintraub had optioned a news article about the young child of a single mother who had earned a black belt to defend himself against the neighborhood bullies. Kamen then combined his own life story with the news article and used both to create the screenplay for The Karate Kid."

    It seems to me that Kamen would probably not have painted himself as the bully in this situation and furthermore gone on to write a semi-autobriographical screenplay where he is in fact the aggressor. That said I don't think it matters as it's all up for interpretation. I do really find the whole idea of flip flopping the bully and hero in Cobra Kai to be entertaining.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
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  11. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    New Hampshire
  12. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Yeah, I think there's no doubt the original film was intended to be an unambiguous good vs. evil story, and Daniel was intended to be a heroic figure. It's possible to reinterpret things in the film and invert that, but it was not the original filmmakers' intent. It's kind of a popular trope these days, turning villainous figures into heroes (or at least making things more morally ambiguous). Sort of like what was done with Wicked.
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  13. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Yes. In the original film, Daniel was the hero and Johnny was the bully, even if Daniel did a couple of stupid bratty-kid things like the hose prank. He wasn't flawless - he was a stupid insecure kid who needed to learn to control himself. People try to re-interpret the film to make Daniel the bully because they think it's clever and they don't understand situations that aren't 100% black and white.

    Daniel in Cobra Kai is more consistently an antagonist but he's still not a bad guy, he's just too set in his ways to see when he's wrong. Kreese is the only real villain.
  14. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    if there is no S4 I will not watch the previous seasons as I have not seen an episode! yet. ; )
  15. Davosco

    Davosco Senior Member

    New Jersey
  16. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident

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  17. Davosco

    Davosco Senior Member

    New Jersey
    As per Robert Mark Kamen, the creator of the Karate Kid, there is no question that Daniel is not the bully in the original film.
    He addresses this in the first minute of this recent interview:

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  18. Dok

    Dok Forum Resident

  19. polchik

    polchik Forum Resident

    yeaaaahhhhhh !!

    Linger63 likes this.
  20. Irrelevant. Once you put your art out into the world, it's up to interpretation. Moreover, the fact that he must "set the record straight," means that the presentation didn't quite hit the original intent.
  21. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Nah, it doesn't mean he failed to hit his intent. It simply means that you can choose to interpret or re-interpret any creative work any way you want to. People can choose to play "So Happy Together" or "Every Breath You Take" as love songs at weddings, conservative politicians can play "Born in the USA" as a pro-USA rallying song, and internet folks can decide Johnny was a bully in the original films. Art is open to interpretation or mis-interpreation of the creators' intent. The great thing about a creative work is that it can mean different things to different people. But I can see where a creator might be annoyed if their intentions are misinterpreted.
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  22. YarRevenge

    YarRevenge Forum Resident

    Can't wait to see Terry Silver - the best villain ever -
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  23. Who on this planet, older than, say, 13, and who isn't in a penitentiary or a nut hatch, doesn't understand that things in this world aren't black & white? The abovementioned moral ambiguity is not only pervasive is Cobra Kai, but it's also disease that permeates most people who wield a modicum of power.

    If I'm starting a business or building a house, or doing anything with my life that harms nobody, and you come in and try to tank my business or pull the nails out of house, yeah, I'd say you're a pretty bad guy. This is Danny in Cobra Kai (or at least the way he started out in the show). I don't see any ambiguity there.

    What I see are two dudes who never grew up.

    Maybe that's us, too. :)
  24. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    I was referring to The Karate Kid, not Cobra Kai. If you watch The Karate Kid and conclude that Daniel is the villain, then I think you don't understand the difference between a villain and a stupid kid who needs to learn the right way to do things.
  25. You said in Cobra Kai that Daniel is not a bad guy. I disagree, because every bad thing that happened stemmed from Daniel-San in Cobra Kai, until Johnny screwed up and let Kreese back in.

    In the film Karate Kid, I simply maintain what I've always saw in it, since 1984, that Danny was about as misguided as Johhny.

    I don't think in the same ways that I did in 1984; still, back then, I thrilled that both Danny and Johnny got what was coming to them for being overtly aggressive kids. They weren't the type that I would have liked to hang with back then. They were a bit older than me; nonetheless, I thought that they were two bad apples, though both redeemed themselves at the end.

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