YouTube has ordered a second season of the ‘Karate Kid’ series.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Cobra Kai is some of the best television you’re likely to see in 2018. Seriously, guys: this is the rare case of a belated sequel that has earned the right to exist in modern times. The sooner we get more of it, the better. And I know I’m not the only cat in town who feels this way.
At the time of this writing, the first episode has been streamed 18 million times — that’s a lot of views right there. YouTube Red is keeping stats for the other episodes under wraps for now, but I think it’s safe to assume that the numbers are impressive considering that the streaming service has just ordered another batch.
But how long will we have to wait until the dojo reopens?
No release date has been specified for Season 2 of Cobra Kai yet, but a video released on the show’s official Twitter account revealed that we can expect new episodes sometime in 2019. What we do know for sure: showrunners Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg will return. Check out the statement from YouTube’s Global Head of Original Content, Susanne Daniels:
“This series had all of the right elements from the very beginning — compelling characters, a storied rivalry, and the talented original stars. The way viewers have embraced the new twist on this beloved franchise has been nothing short of amazing, and we’re thrilled to partner with Sony TV, Overbrook, and the extraordinary creative team led by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg to create a second season.”
In case you’re still unfamiliar with the premise, let me give you a quick refresher. The story is set 30 years after the events of the original 1984 movie and revolves around a down on his luck Johnny (William Zabka). In need of income and redemption, he decides to reopen the Cobra Kai dojo and teach the local geeks and misfits how to be winners.
However, this reignites his rivalry with Daniel (Ralph Macchio), who‘s now a successful businessman but finds himself losing track of the man his old mentor, Mr. Miyagi (the late Pat Morita), taught him to be. Seeking newfound purpose, both men take new students under their wing and teach them the art of karate. They just have different ideas about what karate should be.
The first season does an excellent job of laying the groundwork for some promising future developments. You could even say that the future looks brighter than Mr. Miyagi’s car after being waxed on, waxed off. With this in mind, though, here are a few things we’d like to see in Season 2 that could potentially happen based on what we’ve seen so far. If you haven’t watched the show yet, go binge every episode then come back. There will be minor spoilers.
More Focus on the Background Players
While most of us tuned into Cobra Kai for Daniel and Johnny, the show was never going to sustain itself by relying on the old guard to carry it. They are the heartbeat of proceedings, sure, but the array of youthful new blood made their presence equally as felt. Samantha (Mary Mouser), Robby (Tanner Buchanan), and Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) are vital components and will undoubtedly receive priority attention moving forward, but Hawk (Jacob Bertrand), Aisha (Nichole Brown), and Anthony (Griffin Santopietro) stole several scenes they were in throughout the eight episodes. The show has allowed its bit-part characters to shine, and hopefully Season 2 will give them more of their arcs to truly soar.
The longterm rivalry between Johnny and Daniel is the heart of the series, but this competitive spirit has been inherited by their respective protégés as well. So far, every interaction between Miguel and Robby has boasted conflict. With Daniel planning to take the fight to the Cobra Kai dojo in Season 2, you can rest assured that the pair’s dislike for each other will intensify and culminate in more combat.
Samantha in Action
Until now, we’ve only been exposed to glimpses of the ass-kicking abilities of Daniel’s daughter. Her arc has mainly consisted of typical teenage high school drama and relationships, which, while compelling, have lacked axe kicks and punches. For a while it seemed as if she’d rather lounge by the pool than get into the dojo, but if the series’ finale told us anything, it’s that Samantha has rediscovered her inner warrior. Hopefully we’ll see it put to good use on the mat.
A Showdown for Old Time’s Sake
Some of the most entertaining moments of the first season are when Johnny and Daniel cross paths. Despite their best attempts to coexist in the same space, however, it didn’t take long for them to start bickering and measuring dicks (figuratively, of course). Both characters are so likable that you want to see them make amends — but not until they’ve had their long-awaited rematch.
A True Villain
A familiar face appears during the closing moments of the series’ finale, and I doubt even viewers fond of nostalgia were happy to see him. We suspect Kreese (Martin Kove) will play a big part in Season 2. This guy represents everything the show’s themes of honor and respect are against, and his resurfacing could prove troublesome in Johnny’s quest for redemption. Still, the best hero stories contain threatening antagonists who must be defeated, and with this particular character returning to spice things up, we may just have found the show’s first true villain.