“Cobra Kai” tries with an almost agonizing effort not to be a political show. The villains are apolitical – high school bullies and mean, abusive adults – and while it features characters from a variety of identities and backgrounds, it tries to Try not to draw special attention to any major issues of inequality or marginalization.
That might be okay; inherently there is nothing wrong when a program wants to convey positive, simple messages to as many audiences as possible. The point is that “Cobra Kai” is also constantly engaging in discussions about modern “wake-up” culture, gender pronouns, feminism, and other relevant social topics pushing its non-political mission forward. its obvious in a way that is curious and sometimes questionable.
Johnny is the greatest example of this uncanny tension. He is often portrayed as ignorant of other cultures, gender identities, and basically anyone who has had a different experience from him. But all of this is well written – and even funny – because his heart is in the right place. Sometimes, this comedy works pretty well, like when Johnny cooks up a thick Americanized Mexican meal for Miguel and his family, despite the fact that they’re from Ecuador. It’s cute, because it shows how Johnny is trying to be better and more open, even if he’s a little short.
Other times, however, “Cobra Kai” portrays ignorance as a comedy in more questionable ways. Yes, people can be sensitive and actions speak louder than words – but words still matter.
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