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If you’re on the fence about YouTube Red here’s my advice- try it for a month if for no other reason than to see Cobra Kai, an amazing series based on, of all things, the Karate Kid movie franchise from the 1980s.

Bottom line- the show exceeds the movies. It’s brilliant, actually. The return of the key original cast members and a superb cast of young adults turn in great performances in this well written comic drama with moments of fun karate, There’s also lots of inspiring and even emotional moments of unconventional (but effective) mentoring by the one time bad Guy, Johnny Lawrence.

So far, if you watched the free episodes you know it’s not important to have really been a huge fan of the movie. In fact if you sort of didn’t like the movie the writers sort of relate to that and write towards it. Its one of the strange dynamics that makes the show work.

The beauty of Cobra Kai is that the plot is inverted from that of the Original Karate Kid movie. Daniel-San (Ralph Macchio) now has an awesome life and ex-rival Johnny Lawrence is a somewhat racist and alcoholic, loser.

There’s also an evolving Anti-Bullying and Anti-Cyber Bullying statements in the show. Instead of bullies this time the students of the Cobra-Kai Dojo are from the bottom of the social order at the local high school. The question of when fighting back becomes reverse bullying starts to emerge in later episodes.

The show is filled with believable and well done Heel Turns and Face Turns and it just has a lot  of charm. I HAD to see the whole series.

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Jamming hair metal in his vintage (and worn out) Firebird, Johnny Lawrence bumbles through an average day dogged by the ever-present karate themed ad campaigns for teen rival Daniel LaRusso’s mega successful string of luxury car dealerships.

A series of bad breaks and a visit from the great Ed Asner had me squarely in Johnny’s corner as he re-discovers karate and starts teaching his lone student as he struggles of open his own Dojo.

The show just gets better from there. Johnny Lawrence is now the rogue sensei with just one student and Daniel is a sort of an unlikable jerk.

When episode 2 ends you have a decision to make- do I pay for the next 8 episodes? I did and I couldn’t be happier.

No Spoilers but the show simply gets better and better and ends on an ominous high that had me eager for next season. Its well done, its fun and its very self aware. Again, no spoiler, but watch the collar on Johnny’s denim jacket mirror his mood. When he’s really feeling good he’s got it full 80’s popped up. The lower he goes emotionally the lower the collar. Sort of represents his self worth at any given moment

So GO! Watch this excellent show and take the rest of YouTube Red’s well worth it deal. The free Google Music alone was once 9.99. as far as the other aspects of YouTube? It definitely is enhanced by Red. I personally started listening to books on tape and watching a lot of documentaries.

So Dump Netflix til they build up some more new shows and get with YouTube Red for one of the best entertainment deals out there!

I’m buying a Cobra Kai T-Shirt, that’s how much I liked it.

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