I'm well behind you guys on this, as I only started watching it at the weekend. When my girlfriend said she'd heard good things about Cobra Kai, I said that I'd like to catch up with the movies first as I could barely remember anything about them. I dragged my feet on doing so for a few weeks. I'd watched The Karate Kid when I was a child but was sure I hadn't seen it for over 30 years, and I didn't think I had ever seen Parts 2 and 3. I certainly didn't remember loving the series. I assumed that the first film would have dated really badly - I was really only intending to familiarise myself with the characters and the plot. But oh boy, only a few minutes in I was really enjoying it, and a long way before the end I was totally won over. The lead-up to the crane kick in the final fight was an amazingly edited piece of work! The relationship between Mr Miyagi and Daniel-san felt so genuine and lovely, and the 'villains' (eg. Johnny) were great. It hadn't aged at all, it was a lovely time capsule of these sorts of 80s movies. And I liked the characters so much that I didn't mind that Parts 2 and 3 didn't live up to the original. It was still fun (devoid of any years' worth of potential hype) to see Daniel and Mr Miyagi again. The antics of Terry in Part 3, which would have seemed horribly tonally mismanaged compared to the first film if I'd watched it on release, now just seemed stupid in a good way. By the end, I was massively looking forward to Cobra Kai in a way that I could never have imagined the week before.
So we watched the entire first season of Cobra Kai and the first 3 episodes of season 2 over the weekend. It's so moreish, laugh-out-loud funny (particularly with some of the stuff Johnny comes out with), and the chemistry between Ralph Macchio and William Zabka whenever they share the screen is so great. The kids are awesome too, I really like pretty much all of them. The music's excellent, the flashbacks are very well pitched, and you can see just how much love has gone into the project. I can't wait to catch up all the way, I'm bloody loving it! Johnny FTW.