Cobra Kai: Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes

Cobra Kai: Season 1 (2018)



Critic Consensus: Cobra Kai continues the Karate Kid franchise with a blend of pleasantly corny nostalgia and teen angst, elevated by a cast of well-written characters.


Cobra Kai: Season 1 Videos

Tv Season Info

Thirty years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament, a down-and-out Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo, reigniting his rivalry with a now successful Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), who has been struggling to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his mentor, Mr. Miyagi.


Ralph Macchio
as Daniel LaRusso
William Zabka
as Johnny Lawrence
Courtney Henggeler
as Amanda LaRusso
Tanner Buchanan
as Robby Keene
Mary Mouser
as Samantha LaRusso

News & Interviews for Cobra Kai: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Cobra Kai: Season 1

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (13)

But if we must reboot our beloved old favorites, it's much better to see it done like this, using the passage of time as an asset and a way into a different story about the same people, than as a cheap rehash...

May 2, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The series should appeal to savvy teens who delight in mildly transgressive content and to those nursing their nostalgia like Daniel and Johnny do.

May 2, 2018 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

This series has an underdog spirit of its own, even if it's not quite the triumphant crane kick it could be.

May 1, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

You might have a good idea of how all of these pieces are going to intersect, but the real fun is in watching these characters come together in interesting ways.

December 21, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

If Cobra Kai shows us anything it's that just because some characters are dated, it doesn't mean that they don't still have valuable stories left to tell - and when they're this good, they should be told.

December 21, 2018 | Full Review…

What the series does to strike balance is not provide a real "Good vs. Bad" plot, but a more complex, realistic look into familiar characters, and backstory behind some new faces.

December 20, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Cobra Kai: Season 1


Super Reviewer


For so many reasons, I never felt that I was going to ever watch this series, let alone feel the need to review it, but did I ever eat my words when watching the first season of Cobra Kai. After the success of the original Karate Kid film, three lukewarm sequels were formed as a result of its success, and while they weren’t ever known as abominations, I never needed anything more from this franchise. When the original film was reimagined and cast Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan in the lead roles, I really had no thoughts about ever seeing the original cast members again, but once again I’ve been proven wrong. Here’s why this first season of Cobra Kai is better than anything that has come out since the original film that had any relevance to The Karate Kid. Decades later, Daniel LaRusso now owns a car company and lives a very wealthy and happy life with his wife and two children. Since his life has become that of a fairytale ending, the show is focussing far more on that of Johnny Lawrence. Fired from countless jobs and barely getting by, Lawrence finds himself reopening his old dojo in order to face his past demons. Gaining a new trainee in Miguel, this character fits the persona of Larusso from the original film pretty well, but there are definitely differences. Everyone has their share of arcs to go through from the time this show starts, until the very last shot of this season, but the most interesting character for myself was Robby Keene, played by Tanner Buchanan. This is a character that you start off hating, but then realize you may have to rethink your thoughts on the entire show after just a couple episodes. Yes, Ralph Macchio gives his all here and William Zabka impressed the hell out of me every time a comedic or dramatic moment would arise for his character, but I found myself emotionally invested in Robby the most. There are many subplots and callbacks that relate to past events, but they never feel forced. They are either done in a playful way or used as a tool to further this new story. I never once found myself annoyed when portions of the classic story were referenced. This brings me to my experience of this show in general. From the music choices to the call back with the very recognizable score, this is a show with a lot of energy when it needs to be exciting, while also being a show that displays no fear in slowing down for emotional or tender moments between characters. There were multiple occasions when it felt clear that the writers had kept a close eye on character details when weaving classic storylines into this television series. What also surprised me was the fact that footage is used from the original film every now and then in order to fill in the gaps for those who may not have seen the original movie from the 80s. In the end, Cobra Kai is a worthy successor to The Karate Kid legacy and I can’t wait to see where they go next. I hope this show is renewed because many possibilities are left wide open at the end of this season. To put it bluntly, I never expected to love a show that I thought looked absolutely atrocious from its trailers, but I honestly can’t recommend checking this out enough. Great nostalgia for people who grew up watching the original movies and also features great life lessons for young viewers who wish to start fresh with this show instead of catching up with previous installments. For everything this show sets out to accomplish, it does so in spades and always keeps you guessing. Yes, there are some very cheesy moments, but that’s also what make the original movies such a joy to watch. Aside from cringing at a few lines of dialogue, I absolutely loved watching Cobra Kai. I can’t wait for more. Now streaming on YouTube Red, this show is worth a subscription to their service alone. Definitely check this one out.


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Super Reviewer

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