YouTube has officially renewed Cobra Kai for a third season.
The series, which is inspired by the 1980s sports classic, sees Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprise their roles as arch-rivals Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence. Several decades older, with the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament a distant memory, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) lives with his beautiful family, while running a successful string of car dealerships, and Lawrence (William Zabka), whose life has taken a rocky turn, seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo, promising to teach local kids how to fight with “a method of fighting your pansy-ass generation desperately needs”.
Written and executive produced by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg, the show has been the biggest success of YouTube’s original productions to date, with its first episode racking up over 55 million views since its debut last year. The series returned for a second season last month on YouTube, at a time when YouTube has cancelled several of its other expensive originals, including sci-fi series Origin. Its opening episode has already racked up over 29 million views.
“This endearingly nostalgic follow-up to The Karate Kid delivers an entertaining punch,” we wrote in our review of Season 1, which also praised the cast for their portrayals of the grown-up characters.
Season 2 picked up after the Under 18 All Valley Karate Championships at the end of Season 1, as Johnny questions his dojo’s philosophy and deals with a figure from his past: Martin Kove, reprising his role as Johnny’s mentor, John Kreese. Daniel, meanwhile, searches for the right way to respond to Cobra Kai’s dominance – will the past get in the way of what really matters? Returning cast members from Season 1 included Xolo Mariduena as Miguel, Diaz Tanner Buchanan as Robby Keene, Mary Mouser as Samantha LaRusso and Courtney Henggeler as Amanda LaRusso.
Now, within weeks of its sophomore debut, YouTube has announced its going in for a third round. Variety first broke the news at the start of the month, but this weekend saw YouTube confirm the renewal officially, with a video announcing that the battle between the two old enemies has only just begun.
The renewal comes as YouTube looks to move its original programmes, including Cobra Kai, out from behind the Premium subscription paywall so that it’s free to watch with adverts to all users. In the meantime, you can stream Season 1 and 2 of Cobra Kai on YouTube Premium, as part of a £11.99 monthly subscription. Season 3 will air in 2020.
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