Only one day after the new web series’ first two episodes were first made available for free on plain ol’ YouTube, close to six million viewers already have logged on to see how, in adulthood, Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny (William Zabka) are reviving their childhood feud.
The first episode is below; you can track down the second one here.
Making the first two installments available for free gives viewers a chance to get good and hooked before the Google-owned service begins asking $10 per month (or $13, if you’re registering an Apple device) to catch the eight episodes that round out Cobra Kai’s first season.
If you’re just now discovering that a Karate Kid revival is an actual thing in 2018, here’s the lowdown: The show has brought back Macchio and Zabka, the original films’ two main stars. Daniel and Johnny still live in the same San Fernando Valley town where the events of the movies unfolded. Daniel’s in a cozy career as an affable, slightly obnoxious car salesman, while Johnny is just getting by with a blue-collar job and a nasty drinking habit — and an evident hunger to add some greater purpose to his life.
The setup finds Johnny starting up his eponymous strip-mall dojo to train a new generation of students in his “strike first; strike hard” philosophy. When Daniel sees what his old nemesis is up to, he determines to put a stop to it before young minds become corrupted with Johnny’s brand of aggression.
From there, the game is on — but not before Johnny begins mentoring Miguel (played by Xolo Maridueña), a young man who’s ready to follow any path that will keep him from feeling bullied.
With critics pleasantly taken by the show, and millions of fans gobbling up the free episodes, maybe it’s time we head back to the dojo to see what all the fuss is about. Check out Cobra Kai and let us know how many crane kicks you think this new Karate Kid revival deserves.