Some old rivalries never die, and in the new trailer for YouTube Red’s Cobra Kai, the rivalry between Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso is still alive and well.
Back when Karate Kid first premiered in 1984, there was no doubt in audience’s mind who the bad guy was–it was Johnny from the Cobra Kai dojo, hands down. However, as we’ve all had the benefit of time and maturity, a lot of us started to see that while Johnny made mistakes, certainly, maybe we got the actual antagonist of Karate Kid wrong. Maybe Daniel was the bad guy all along.
That’s precisely the narrative that the new YouTube Red series, Cobra Kai, is leaning into in the new trailer. Picking up with Daniel and Johnny decades after their infamous fight, we find Johnny not living his best life at all. He’s drinking too much, he doesn’t appear to have a job, and he doesn’t seem to have anyone meaningful in his life.
Daniel, on the other hand, is rich, he appears to have a partner, and is painted out to be a major jerk. He’s a car salesman, and when Johnny shows up to his dealership, Daniel and his friends proceed to make fun of Johnny for a karate match that happened decades ago.
However, it’s when Johnny sees a boy being bullied by a group of teens (who he proceeds to beat the snot out of, which is definitely not great) that he decides to better his life. Johnny takes the bullied teen under his wing and re-opens the Cobra Kai dojo.
While the first Cobra Kai trailer painted Daniel as the good guy, this new trailer seems to favor Johnny a bit more. It makes us think that this new series is really going to play with that idea of Johnny not being as awful as we all thought as kids. This show is truly an intriguing one, as it seems to not only be playing to nostalgia, but also addressing internet discussions (whether those discussions happened in jest or not) about the film’s two main characters.
We’re excited to see what Cobra Kai has in store for us when it premieres on YouTube Red on May 2. Get your crane kicks ready!