Harder to Watch than a Speeding Punch to the Face
While Season 2 was hard to watch, but Season 3 was almost unwatchable. The writing was heavily reliant on nostalgia, reminiscent of Star Wars’ ‘Force Awakens’. I think they had high hopes for the return Elizabeth Shue’s character. Sure, it was nice to see her! But it wasn’t enough to save the season. Out of ten episodes there were probably two decent ones, but even those were peppered with bad writing, poor dialogue, excessive cheesiness, and an over-reliance on nostalgia — and not nostalgia for the very successful original movie.
No, the whole season was bloated with flashbacks from the sequels. You can argue that Karate Kid Part 2 was good, but was it memorable. Do you remember it? Does anyone?
One flaw is that John Kreese, while easy to despise, is not a very compelling villain. The flashbacks of his youth didn’t successfully make him particularly interesting, relatable, or scary. He should be at least one of those things. Instead we’re left wondering why anyone on the production side thought that a shrivelled 75 year old without a gun or superpowers would present as a convincing physical threat. And no, the writers weren’t working hard enough to make him a convincing psychological threat. He’s like the opposite of Kingpin from Daredevil (especially Season 3).
Daniel’s return to Japan was touching, and William Zabka’s Johnny Lawrence is still great, and Eagle Fang Karate is a fun name for a new dojo – but that’s just not nearly enough to justify a season 4.
So, they made a show that sucks… but I guess on Netflix there aren’t any real consequences for that. I don’t completely understand their business model, but there’s little doubt that it allows for the production of large quantities of crap without any direct financial implications. Perhaps it is this model that will assist in ushering in the impending era of sub-mediocrity. Following the trend to its logical conclusion, one can only wonder where those tracks lead. Will people will jump off the train before it derails in a dark tunnel and crashes into innocent flesh-eating mole people? Probably. But by that time, no one will care.