When I first heard they were doing a series on the back of the Karate Kid (a film I absolutely adored as a youngster when it first came out), I was apprehensive. I thought it would be fun to watch as a filler for nostalgia purposes.
The producers though have hit the spot. This is no simple spin-off, we have instead an incredibly well put together, written & acted show that is multi-layered with characters with mixed emotions.
The two leads are perfect, with William Zabka returning as Jonny Lawrence making us all wondering where he has been all these years? His acting performance is worth awards, and he has been the real crux of the show. Ralph Macchio is now actually the rich man. There are contrived parts to the show, but it has to help bring in teenagers to the show. The Kids are varied and you can see their arcs developing.
There is a lot of grey in this show, which is what makes it interesting. Nothing is simply black & white, but what remains is that the two leads are like big kids who can't let go of their old feud which has been rekindled, but their love for Karate is there.
Jonny Lawrence is on a road to redemption which is the greatest part of the show for me, and I truly loved this whole nostalgia show. He may be non-PC, offensive and a throw back to the 80s, but that's surprisingly part of his charm.
Give this show a try. On its low budget, its an incredible achievement. I never thought they could make it work without the peerless Mr Miyagi, but the old sensei's charm & character still permeates throughout the show.
This show and the arcs will develop as we follow the two men now sensei's and their young charges. I look forward to go on the long road with them, as well as seeing returning faces from the original set of films.
Thank you to all for making this series, and the wonderful surprise it has given me. Just rewatched the original films on the back of this.