I loved the Karate Kid, and it’s a movie I watch with my family. So I was very excited when Cobra Kai came to Netflix, but wow, this is not the Karate Kid. Cobra Kai is not ok for kids and is full of language and sexual content. The fighting is secondary. It’s a shame they had to make Cobra Kai so crude. Here’s what parents need to know before you or your kids watch Cobra Kai in this parents guide.
Is Cobra Kai Kid Friendly?
Cobra Kai is rated TV-14 on Netflix, but I would rate it as TV-MA. Kids may want to watch the show if they’re fans of Karate Kid since some of the original starts are in it, but Cobra Kai is not appropriate for kids under 16, in my opinion. And I would even push the age recommendation to 18+.
Thirty years after their final confrontation at the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is at rock-bottom as an unemployed handyman haunted by his wasted life. However, when Johnny rescues a bullied kid, Miguel, from bullies, he is inspired to restart the Cobra Kai dojo and rekindles his old rivalry with Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio).
Cobra Kai is a much darker and depressing story and is not kid friendly. Here are some things to watch out for.
I’m still unsure how this did not earn a TV-MA rating on language alone. Shows like Outer Banks did, and the other content wasn’t nearly as bad. There is a ton of language including many f-words. Not only are there 4-letter words, but there’s a lot of sexual language as well like cunt and dick.
The fighting isn’t even what’s overboard in the show. But yes, there is still a lot of fighting in the dojo and in the streets that is not appropriate for kids.
Mercy, there are too many things to list in this category. First of all, there is so much disrespectful attitudes and behavior from the kids in the show -bullying, swearing, stealing, fighting, skipping school, watching porn movies, drinking, etc.
One scene shows a giant penis drawn on a billboard in a character’s mouth and then blow job jokes are made about it. There are masturbation jokes and motions.
There is plenty of racism and misogyny with immigrant jokes and sexual harassment. Another parent talks about nerds and how you should want to be in the popular crowd.
In another scene, a group of boys are watching an adult movie when a scantily clad behind is twerking up and down on the screen. There is not explicit nudity but the suggestion is there.
You can also expect drug references, alcohol, and drunk driving.
Eventually you do get to the messages of friendship, empathy, and anti-bullying, but I’m not sure it’s worth it to get there. The nostalgia is fun for adults, but it’s too bad that Cobra Kai had to dirty the messages and values learned from Karate Kid.