"Cobra Kai" returns: Will the "no mercy" way of fighting win?

The people who loved that first season would have wanted more even without the return of the aggressive dojo’s founder, because executive producers and writers Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg successfully sell those 10 episodes as the beginning of a new history for an old story.

He and his wife Amanda (Courtney Henggeler) run a chain of successful car dealerships, and Daniel hangs a significant amount of public image on his reputation as the All-Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament way back in the 1980s.

Granted, the franchise’s superfans may heartily disagree with this assessment, especially in view of the series’ stylistic improvements: the fights are better and more plentiful, and although there is no tournament to train for this time around, Kreese intentionally gins up higher stakes.

Likewise, in the same way there exists an ongoing tension among viewers as to whether specific turns on “Game of Thrones” double as political commentary, how much Johnny fits into the mold of a MAGA hero in season 1 was the subject of some discussion last spring.

But as “Cobra Kai” progresses, its stealthy incorporation of themes about aging, battling irrelevance and pitfalls of raising kids in a certain way takes a backseat to the return of Kreese and his slow poisoning of Johnny’s students.

On the adult side of the tale, the second season opens up the show’s focus to allow Macchio’s charisma to shine on an equal level with Zabka’s, as Danny’s obsession with resurrecting Miyagi-do impacts his marriage.

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