Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of the original movie. When I heard about this project, I was very skeptical. There are so many ways it could have gone, mostly... bad.
I don't have Youtube Red, where this new show lives, but there are enough samples from the show on regular, free YouTube to see plenty, and I am as shocked as anyone. It's actually really engrossing, with funny as well as engaging dramatic moments. Flipping the script and seeing much more of Johnny's POV of the entire saga, seeing the touchstones from the original film scattered and re-interpreted here and there, seeing the consequences of old decisions and actions... and watching the adult versions of these characters try to interact, really gives this life. It speaks to my demographic age, I guess. It's a variant of a soap opera, sure, but with a lot of the pacing and timing of a theatrical release. They offer a free viewing of the first episode, and I suggest you give it a try, then come back here and let's discuss.
I really surprised to read this. I watched the trailer and thought it looked so bad. I grew up with the Karate Kid and loved them. I remember seeing The Karate Kid 2 in the theater. Of course, nowhere as good as the original. Mark, would you say the show is good enough to get you to pay to watch the remaining episodes?
I'm on the fence personally about paying for Red, just to watch Cobra Kai. If there were two more shows on Red I was as deeply interested in, I might, but I already have Prime and Netflix as well as basic cable, and I'm behind on a lot of the shows I follow due to time constraints and other things going on in my life. I was unwilling to pay for the CBS streaming just to watch Star Trek Discovery, and I'm a huge trekker nerd, but I just would not pull the trigger on signing up. In that case, I knew there was nothing else on that platform I was willing to pay to watch.
Truly, if you skim regular Youtube, you can find enough re-broadcasts and snippets of the season to see almost all of Cobra Kai season one for free. But they are often in low rez. If you want a decent viewing experience and think you like it after the free first episode sneak peek, you could always sign up for a month, binge the season, and bail. I think Red is hoping once they grab you with this one show, you may look around and find another in their stable and stay.