Turning a sequel to The Karate Kid into a TV series might not have sounded wise but this blockbuster show has found life in a tired franchise

A modern TV reboot of classic 80s teen film The Karate Kid sounds like an almost comically bad idea. It’s the sort of suggestion you can imagine a creatively desperate TV executive leaving for himself in a panicky Partridgean voice note while drunk on a Tuesday night. So many ways it could go spectacularly wrong, and virtually none where it could go right. And yet, with that very same back-of-a-fag-packet premise, Cobra Kai – the smash new Netflix series – has gone miraculously right, racking up 73 million viewers, according to the streamer’s latest figures.

Related: ‘There’s chunks of wisdom’: How The Karate Kid launched MMA careers

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