For me, Christina Ricci’s Wednesday Addams, featuring in the two 90s Addams Family movies, was an iconic image. Her cold white face, her deliciously morbid mannerisms and her comic sense of savagery… bliss.

Finding out that there was to be a Netflix “reimagining” of the Addams Family with focus on the character of the outcast girl, i was a little trepidatious. But then i discovered that Tim Burton is taking the reigns…and i was less anxious.

I also found out that none other than the ORIGINAL Wednesday – Christina Ricci herself – was to have a cameo. As well as the casting of Catherine Zeta Jones and Luiz Guzman as the iconic Addams parents, and a role for Gwendoline Christie, who is obviously brilliant.

Let me get to it. Although the show opens with your expected Wednesday-causing-havoc-in-her-high-school-with-piranhas-in-a-swimming-pool, the direction shifts gears, throwing poor Wednesday into Nevermore School for Outcasts. So she is surrounded by equally weird kids – from Medusa boy to siren girl, via she-wolf to … well…somebody in the school can turn into a vicious animal thing. And said hideous beast is killing kids. So we need a certain intrepid young investigator on the case. Fortunately Wednesday has a taste for the macabre.

And thus begins a wonderful little detective show, peppered with talented young actors (and talented seasoned actors), swinging along with all manner of plot twists and devilishly batshit crazy antics.

Jenna Ortega – this generations Wednesday – is simply perfect. How she manages to convey so much emotion with those eyes…its a joy to watch. The girl is brimming with potential – this is the first of a very long list of successes. I’m calling it now – she’s got the Oscars / Emmys in her future, (and i don’t mean guest hosting like her hilarious spot with Aubrey Plaza), i mean on the recieving end.

The tiny little wonderful moments that shine throughout the production will make you smile, gasp and enjoy. It didn’t escape my notice that the entrance to the hidden chamber requires one to snap their fingers twice… snap snap. Oh and Thing – prepare for some scenes being stolen by a disembodied hand. I’m not going to talk about the dance. The dance is everywhere and if you fancy the best three minutes of your day search for it on YouTube. Or even better, watch the whole show and understand why its one of the best pieces of television ever.

What Wednesday absolutely excels at is its relevance. It has successfully modernised itself – the way Wednesday dresses and the use of popular music… its a touch of genius.

Its creepy and its kooky, quite clever and quite ooky, its a piece of deft perfection, in acting and direction. Jenna is amazing, sorry for the phrasing – its Netflix’s Wednesday, doodle a doo Snap Snap.

Star Trek: Prodigy S1

After a bumpy start, this show undergoes one of the greatest redemptions of late. Let me explain its ins and outs, and the profound affect it has had on me.

The opening episodes, where we are introduced to misfit no.1 Dal R-el, (Brett Gray), an outcast trapped on a prison asteroid and who knows nothing of his past (cliche number one of many). He attempts an escape, and unwarily stumbles upon a hidden starship, the USS Protostar, a gleaming, shiny modern starfleet vessel that doesn’t quite look as silly as the Discovery. He is then joined by various other misfits; Gwyndala (Ella Purnell), whose father is the despotic tyrant running the asteroid – and whose mining plans are to find the aforementioned Protostar); Jankom Pog,(jason mantzoukas), a tellurite who has a penchant for engines; Zero, (Angus Imrie), a non-corporeal floating piece of nebula inside a hovering suit, reminding me of a Zeriod from Terrahawks; Rok-Tahk (Rylee Alazraqui), a humungous rock person who looks like The Thing from Fantastic Four; and finally an amorphous blob called, obviously, Murf, after the girl from Interstellar.

I happily admit i struggled. I’m possibly too old for the cartoonish antics and the fist-into-face morals that seem intrinsic to these modern cartoons. Its all about friendship, and working together. Now don’t get me wrong, its lovely to see the kids being sent messages like this, its very important. But for me, it wasn’t the cartoons that delivered this to me. I was brought up believing in teamwork when Red Squadron took down the Death Star. Friendship was the running banter betwix Venkman, Stanz and Spengler. Love was, well, “I Love You, ” “I Know”.

But i knew something was coming. Something i had no right to be excited about.

The Protostar has a resident hologram. The mentor for the band of merry gumblewits that had stolen it. Somebody to teach them the meaning of Starfleet and galactic harmony. And that hologram takes the form of Janeway.

You see, as much as i adored The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, it was truly Voyager that turned me into a die-hard Trekkie. The (mis)adventures of the displaced crew and their journey home from the middle of the Delta Quadrant were my first VHS’s that i ever bought myself. The very first video i spent my pocket money on was Season 3 video 2: The Chute / The Swarm. The Chute, to this day, is likely my favourite episode of the whole show. So for me, Captain Janeway is my Captain. I am often out voted, with Stu preferring Picard and Mark preferring Sisko. I don’t conform. Before either of these two i’d even pick Archer. Hate me.

So Hologram Janeway is aboard the Protostar, and the initial salvo of episodes bring each characters story forwards and establishes them as a crew, young and ready to learn, despite their differences. Hints at a little cliche romance between Gwyn and Dal hangs in the air. Its all standard stuff, introducing the world of Star Trek to younger viewers.

But then things heat up. I was first alerted to the unexpected by the excellent “Time Amok” (which is a neat little homage to the history of Trek), which revolves around the timey wimey plot involving different areas of the ship slowing down depending on their distance from the temporal explosion. An excellent concept, an excellent episode.

The big reveal comes with the finale of Part one of the series. You see, it turns out the Protostar’s original captain was none other than CHAKOTAY (i had goosebumps, and i hadn’t even been hit with the biggie yet)… and that a certain Vice Admiral is desperate to find her first officer. Yes, you guessed it, JANEWAY. Not some lame hologram, no, the real deal, complete with silver sheen to her hair.

And its not just a cameo. The whole show then starts to revolve around her pursuit of the Protostar, and even her crew get big parts to play.

The highlight of the whole show is when Dal and Janeways minds are swapped (“Mindwalk”), allowing Kate Mulgrew to flex her comedy muscles as Dal struggles to act-Janewayish to her crew. Her jogging on the spot in the turbolift had me in tears.

At its heart, the arc of the show is devilishly clever and sinister. The kids want to get to Starfleet, but hidden inside the belly of the Protostar is a construct which will turn any starfleet vessel against itself. So they can’t talk to the people they want to join, and they can’t ask for help. (opening comms creates a link for the construct to do its menace). Great hook, and the finale is devastating to watch.

Season Two is on its way, but we are left open to wonder just whats going to happen. Theres hints that they won’t be aboard the Protostar next season…but something else. Its the hunt for Chakotay, trapped in time.

My money is on the Voyager-A.

Now with Chakotay and Janeway on board the show, who will be see next year? Picard has reunited the TNG crew…will Prodigy do the same for Voyager? Will be get to see Kim – finally promoted? Paris. B’Elanna? The possibilities have me horripilating.

Second star on the left, straight on till morning.

Oh….and that theme tune. Engage!!

Willow (2022)

No spoilers are to be found in the following review.

The original film sits fondly in the films of my childhood, although i confess i haven’t seen it for over ten years. I didn’t even watch it in preparation for this TV show. To be perfectly honest, the music and Warwick Davis (of whom i have been a lifetime fan) was enough. The original teaser with a behind-the-scenes look at the cast and crew was so heartwarming and so human…i was hooked.

The show is set 20 years after the original. The sons and daughters of Madmartigan (played originally by legend Val Kilmer) are all grown up. Elora Danan (the baby from the movie and most important person) is safely hidden away. However, things are not good in the world. And soon into the pilot the heir to the throne has been kidnapped and the end of the world is nigh.

We need Willow, greatest sorcerer the world has ever known.

The eight part epic begins. We are introduced to a rag tag bunch of wonderful characters. We have the princess Kit (Ruby Cruz), whose brother has been taken. We have Jade Claymore (Erin Kellyman), knight in training. We have Willow (Warwick Davis), of course, as awesome as ever. Ellie Bamber plays Dove, a lowly kitchen maid in love with her prince – but who has possibly the most obvious twist in recent times. Tony Revolori has the haughty and innocence of the neighbouring Lands prince, but who keeps secret a dark past. Then finally, and perhaps the single best character in the show, we have Thraxus Boorman, played expertly by Amar Chadha-Patel for the comedy kicks. One liners and humourous asides are his babies.

The team encounter a wide variety of fantastic beasts, ridiculous scenarios and dramatic situations. Its kind of like a game of Dungeons and Dragons, a classic case of questing and adventuring.

I have heard complaints that this lack of originality for structure is a negative – it most certainly is not. There is no underlying dark arc which is difficult to follow – each episodes end with some kind of exciting plot twist and the whole thing flows like a good book. The scenarios are all born of a wonderful imagination.

What really sells the show is the love put into it, by everyone. The actors are all clearly having an absolute ball, throwing everything they have into the daftness of it all. Each character has a magnificent arc of development, except probably Boorman, who remains as hilarious and charming as he ever is.

Amazingly, a great deal of practical effects and make-up is employed. CGI takes care of the impossible, like the great barrier or the Shattered Sea, but each OTT villain is a person in a suit. Mostly. “The Gales,” in a particular, are a terrifying bunch of henchmen.

A tremendous addition to the roster of Disney+ and quite the distraction from the ‘serious fantasy’ of the likes of House of the Dragon and Rings of Power.


Oh, i cannot describe how excited i was when Christian Slater turned up. Or Julian Glover, for that matter.

Peacemaker (2022)

This spin off from The Suicide Squad (2021) was very faint on my radar. Why, though? I mean, i’m a massive comic book fan and i like to keep up to date with all the comings and goings of both the MCU and (in this case) the DCEU. I’ve seen everything so far except Morbius, Wakanda Forever and Black Adam. I hated / disliked Suicide Squad and i was entertained, if not blown away by The Suicide Squad, its too-similarly titled sequel / reboot.

So why was i not immediately enamoured by Peacemaker? Well, i confess, its because of the Peacemaker himself. I’m not a fan of John Cena – i find his personality arrogant and ham-fisted. And his performance in The Suicide Squad hardly suggests a decent TV show.

BUT. For some reason, i was in the mood to try it out the other day. My schedule was a void and i fancied some comic action. So i watched the pilot.

I cannot define exactly what it was that had me hooked. But i will attempt to explain. Firstly, the inevitable synopsis. No spoilers.

The Peacemaker is released from prison to serve with a group of ragtag Argus black operatives in “Project Butterfly”. He is told nothing to begin with – to them he is a hired bit of muscle capable of killing who he is told to. His team-mates are suitably diverse questors – the hardass girl with no heart / the beardy weirdy tech guy / the cold sinister boss man and the new girl. Together they must undertake this mission despite their grievances and their dislike for one another – and save the world.

BUT. Throw into this the hardass girl has indeed a thawing heart, the bearded dude has feelings, the boss has his own demons and the new girl is Amanda Wallers daughter – the BIG BOSS of the lot. OH and Peacemaker – the biggest douchebag of all time and all round shithead, is in fact tormented by his racist white father, is having a morale-complex and whose best friend is frikking eagle called Eagly.

The plot mergansers more than the Mississippi and is the twists are shyamalanic. You will literally feel your jaw drop at the end of (nearly) every episode.

What i’m going to highlight though is the direction of James Gunn. His use of music and slo-mo is bordering genius. Its second to none. I’ve not seen this level of pitch-perfect cinematography and pop / rock music topography since…i don’t know…a long time. Kick Ass, maybe.

Jennifer Holland is amazing as Emila Harcourt (the hardass girl with no heart), and certainly one of the reasons i think i stayed with the series. Danielle Brooks is fantastic as the new girl, displaying so much range and truly providing the emotional core of the show.

BUT here it comes. The apology. John Cena, i am sooooo sorry for judging you. You have created here a character so complex that its like a fucked-up rubix cube. On the surface he’s a muscly, handsome douchebag with enough one liners to rival Bruce Willis on a good day (to die hard), but below he is a warm-hearted goon whose character arc rivals that of Daenarys Targaryen. An absolute d**khead that is infinitely likeable, and more importantly forgivable. I mean. His dad was a terminator and a racist. His childhood was f**ked.

There is comedy without pastiche here. There is humour both slapstick and verbal. Its brilliant.

Stealer of the show though? That frikking Eagle. Simply the best!!

(and we have season 2 to follow – F*ck yeah!)

Obi Wan Kenobi Eps 5-6

The long awaited finale to my review trilogy!

The fifth episode sees a wonderful development in Reva’s journey; after being thwarted in her attempt to catch Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi is able to set her sights on her true enemy – Darth Vader. However, it turns out that sneaky Darth has always been aware of her tendency towards betrayal – I called this – and thus he puts her down like a right punk, not even drawing his own lightsabre to make an even greater mockery of her. If ever there was an example of Disney’s Star Wars giving us exactly what we wanted (and getting it RIGHT), then this surely is one of those – Darth Vader being frighteningly badass. We’re talking a rival to the end of Rogue One here. People were afraid of him for a reason, not just because he could pinch your vocal chords and “accept your apology”, but because he could defeat vicious malevolent Inquisitor-level Darksiders with his hands tied behind his back. Almost literally.

Oh and that moment when he catches the escaping transporter… OH I was loving it.

OH and that wonderful flashback with Anakin and Obi Wan, with both actors truth to reality and not uncanny CGI-valley.

I’ll get onto Part Six – arguably the best episode of the lot – once I get some quibbles out the way.

The show has in no way been perfect. The Mandalorian struck gold and will always be the superior star wars spin-off, mainly because its new story, new characters and new things to love. Don’t get me wrong, but having classic characters become the centrepiece is likely flying into an asteroid field. Sure, Luke’s appearance in mando was mind-blowing, and not toooooo bad in Boba Fett, but the Boba Fett show itself fell into Mando 2.5 (as it is now widely known in the fan community and media). Boba Fett’s legendary status was butchered – he wasn’t a kickass bounty hunter anymore, he was a fallible man who gets Daniel-craig’d through every fight – exactly the same niche which Mando himself inhabits, but he’s allowed to. He wasn’t a cult icon in much of my childhood.

So with Obi Wan we are constantly worried that some writer will misfire into discontinuity – Leia should never have met him, or at least spent that much time with him – agreed, she says nothing of this and only hints he was a ‘friend of her father’. With all that she goes through with him here, it makes her look a bit cold when he dies in A New Hope. (spoilers). Worse – are they going to Luke Skywalker / Last Jedi-swerve into making Obi-Wan, hero of the prequels, a weary traveller with no desire to kick ass? (fortunately they tread a thin line between weary and wary… for the most part.)


With all its problems like the above, it delivers some things which it gets just right. And for me, anyway, these moments iron out the rest. Again, its not perfect. But let me now ditch the critical – trying – to – be – observational – part. Unleash the fanboy.

Darth Vader pulling the transporter out of the sky??

The actually tense-as-fuck fight between Obi Wan and vader on that rock field? Yeah I’ll take all that cheers. And then the double emotional swells when not one but two of the classic music cues boil over?? Yup, there was Palpy too. Awesomeness. It wasn’t Luke taking on Dark Troopers but it was awesome.

Not so much the finale with Luke – could have done without all that nonsense, but I guess we had to give Reva her final little bit of screentime. Somebody on twitter gave a shout out for a spin-off. No, not necessary, please don’t.

Nicely done was the little connection with Luke that we probably did know – after all Mark Hamill’s teenage Luke DID know of Obi-Wan and was playing with his childhood toy T-16. So, “Hello there!” brought a smile to my face.

Then of course, that final scene. Perhaps not handled as the cinematic reveal I would have given it, but downplayed just a little… but I care not. I called it at the start of the show when the actor started denying it – it’s the way things are now. This particular character was the first real Cosplay i ever did (i mean in a massively public event), and i’ll own it. Seeing him back on screen was a nice, if not unsurprisingly, touch.

This should be the end of the show, however. Obi-Wan disappears into the desert and learns the way of force ghosting. We won’t see him again till he waves his arm about and screams and scares off the Sandpeople. (at least this is what I want. But we’ll probably get an ill-fated season 2).

A Vader show though? As he hunts down some more Jedi? Him and his cool Inquisitor henchman?

I know! A comedy! Darth Dastardly and his dog … um… Stormzy … try to outwit and hunt down remaining Jedi, but keep on getting themselves run over by their own TIE fighter! HAHAHAHAHAHAH.


No. Please don’t, actually.

Do give us a buddy action comedy with Han and Lando, though. #MakeSolo2happen

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Eps3-4)

Its finally here. Ever since the famous line “when we last met i was but the learner. now i am the master,” – and now we have an episode-long fight between Obi-Wan Kenobi, hero of the clone wars and one of the greatest Jedi of our time, and Darth Vader, arguably the most famous bad guy in the history of cinema itself. A clash, truly of the titans.

Starting strong; Obi-Wan is still reeling emotionally after discovering that Anakin in fact survived the whole burning shenanigans on Mustafar and so we can expect he won’t be force-running into head on conflict. And Darth is fucking terrifying as he descends from his ship and snaps necks and kills civilians left right and centre. This is an evil man, burned by hatred and pain and out for righteous one-sided violent revenge.

So then we dissolve into a game of Evade the Vader (like i used to play in beggars canyon back home). We’re on some blue-ish sand planet that reminds me of the various generic coal mine sets as seen in Taken / Superman 3 / classic 70s doctor who, and one or two lightsabre clashes followed by…yes, you guessed it, more running. Obi-Wan’s getting his 10,000 in.

And then Vader is finally defeated and we realise Obi-Wan is still the jedi mas…wait what? Obi-wan has been pwned? He’s lying on the ground having the cloak burned off him by a red-misted asthmatic in a cape?

There are two ways to look at the turn of events. A) Be annoyed. God dammit we’ve been thinking Obi-Wan is a god amongst men every since he panned Anakin’s ass on those hovering platforms over the lava river. Why is he being beaten like such a punk here?

or B) i call this the last jedi option. Obi-Wan has become weary. Order 66 wiped out not only half the Jedi but all his friends, near enough. And now the Inquisitors have been hunting down and annihilating all remnants of hope. Thinks are dark and bleak. And in this time he discovers his greatest mistake of all time is still alive – he is not in a good place. So, we’ve been set up.

Set up, that is, for a redemption arc, we are. Obi-Wan is going to have to face his fallacies, and get back in shape if he’s to stop Darth Vader’s bulldoze through the last hope in the galaxy.

Episode 4 is slightly anti-climactic given that we just had Darth Vader burning the shit out of my screaming childhood hero, but its nonetheless an excellent follow-up to the creepy cliffhanger of Inquisitor Riva closing in on the young Leia.

I found myself seeing callbacks to the detention centre scenes of A New Hope, with Obi-Wan sneaking about between cells hoping to rescue his young companion. My outright favourite moment however, was Obi-Wan revealing he has very faint memories of a lost brother, but they were separated before he entered the way of the Jedi. Its a touching moment reminiscent of a classic scene from old-doctor who, when the Second Doctor comforts Victoria during a siege of cybermen.

There’s a lot of hoo-haa now about what we want to see before the end of the show – but with Season 2 now greenlit, we’ve got a lot more time to play with before…well. Vader needs to have his arse kicked again before the ultimate duel we’ve ever seen – but i reckon Obi Wan needs a bit more guidance before that happens. Guidance, perhaps, from an old master…

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Eps1-2)

There has always been something sitting at the back of my mind, quietly incredibly excited. The advent of the Star Wars live action TV shows started with a bang in The Mandalorian and i truly believed we were about to get the Star Wars i wanted (the cartoons were good and the games excellent, but they didn’t feel real.) The Mandalorian S2 took things to a new level with some needed injection of outright nostalgia. Book of Boba Fett trudged an unsettling line between okayish and unsatisfying, still delivering some excellence but also…well, being a bit boring. Not rubbish, by any standards. Just boring.

Obi Wan Kenobi comes along…what am i to think? Ewan McGregor has always inhabited a special part of my young adulthood for being Obi-Wan, but also because i just like the guy. He’s inspired me in life and in movies – i particularly love Christopher Robin, unashamedly. And Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

I want to be excited, i want to look forwards to it, but i’m not sure.

“Master Yoda told me to mindful of the future.” – Obi Wan

“But not at the expense of the moment.” – Qui Gon

Damn it Neeson you’re right. I’m damned excited about this show and i’m not afraid to say it. Getting the original cast in to play their characters is spot on, and we get Jimmy Smits, Joel Edgerton and even Hayden fricking Christensen (but the latter not quite yet). Who knows who might turn up. I’ve already seen rumours, so lets just see.

You don’t need to know the plot, do you? Surely you know. I mean, is a non-Star Wars fan going to be watching this? Surely not? Oh, if you insist.

Tasked with ‘keeping an eye’ on Luke, son of Anakin Skywalker, left for dead on Mustafa, Obi Wan has taken on the moniker of Ben and is living a quiet, mundane life on Tatooine, heckled hilariously by this awesome Jawa and stealing food for his ugly anteater-camel. Uncle Owen just wants to raise Luke as his own and believes Ben’s presence is a danger itself. Jedi hunters come to town and all of a sudden things are just as bad as they ever were. Because one of the Inquistors has made her personal mission to take down old Obi-Wan… and there’s not just the one Skywalker child to threaten.

The show takes a turn i did not expect AT ALL by following Leia. Whoever came up with that idea needs a medal, because it caught me off guard. Well done.

There are four main points of note in this opening pair of episodes that has me glued to the rest of the series, hands down. So at this point the conclusion is thus: its brilliant. I loved it. Don’t read on if you haven’t seen it yet…

Point one: the characters. Okay so i didn’t like that guy from the Eternals. He looked too un-Star Warsy (kind of like that guy from Line of Duty turning up in Rogue One). But from the Jawa to the three / four Inquisitors, oh yes. Particularly Moses Ingram’s obviously unstable killer. And Sung Kang harrah! And Rupert Friend’s Grand Inquisitor, what a series villain he’s going to be…WTF???

Point two: She just killed the Grand Inquisitor???

Point three: Needles from Back to the Future 2 / 3. Oh, i hope there is more casting like this. I love this sort of thing.

Point four: that moment, that emotional punch in the gut when Obi-Wan Kenobi is told that Anakin survived. Oh god. It hadn’t even occured to me that he wouldn’t have known. This huge reveal…its massive. We’ve all known, we’ve ALWAYS known, i guess, most of us, that Darth Vader is alive and…well, as well as well can be… but Obi Wan didn’t. Not until THAT moment. My heart stopped. It was phenomenal.

So, its brilliant. I think it is, anyway.

And if they don’t have Qui-Gon’s force ghost turn up before the end i will eat my lightsabre (which happens to be a replica of Obi-Wans, haha).

Oh and did you spot the wee Temeura Morrison cameo? Sweet.

REACHER (2022)

I knew of the character before the Tom Cruise films (Jack Reacher and its ‘sequel’ Jack Reacher: Never Go Back) but having not read the books i didn’t really understand nor care about the fan reaction to the casting of the wiry little superstar. Then i randomly read one of Lee Child’s library of (mis)adventures and i could see, easily, that Reacher’s allure as a character was that he was massive, built like a brick gorilla and more likely to break through a wall than to climb over it. We’re talking less Jason Bourne, more Daniel Craig. On muscle-enhancing steroids, wearing a stay-puft marshmallow man costume and able to benchpress a brontosaurus.

So when i saw the casting of Alan Ritchson, i knew they’d nailed it.

Season 1 of this show (a second season has been confirmed), we are told, is based on the book “The Killing Floor”, and i can only assume that this is the first in the Reacher series, as it gives us some origin story and some touching character moments (and a chance for Ritchson to toe the line with his acting skills, injecting Reacher with some deep emotional gravitas as well as his stone cold terminator expression and outlook on life). This is a man that wouldn’t just have shot first, but probably shot Greedo the moment he stepped into the bar simply because he had shifty eyes.

Theres a touch of Sherlock / Patrick Jane about the man himself, able to determine your life story from a fleck of pussywillow on your shoe or what you had for breakfast last wednesday from a crumb on your dashboard; but this is largely sidestepped by brute strength, disregard for the rules and the ability to eat six tonnes of McDonald’s quality-food and not end up looking like me: – a pie.

The supporting cast are all EXCELLENT. In particular Willa Fitzgerald’s Rossco is about as far from the perfunctory female love interest / sidekick as its possible to go, becoming much more of a partner and independent powerhouse sheriff than you might expect. Malcolm Goodwin’s detective Finlay is equally brilliant, a perfect mirror; if Reacher is a garden shed then Finlay is a glass gazebo. Oh and we get to see Lana Lang / Kristen Kreuk (can’t remember which is the actress or character) turn up, having not aged at all since Smallville, and providing the stereotype screaming and hysteria for the major action scenes.

The whole show is wonderfully tongue and cheek as well as dramatic though; in particular the action scenes are over the top, the fight scenes are punch-thump-get-thrown-through-windows nonsence, and the slew of one liners all extracted perfectly from the outline of an 80’s schwarzenegger-a-thon.

“You know, Finlay, under all that tweed, you’re actually pretty jacked'”



Classic. Top notch television and looking forwards to season 2.

Cobra Kai is made up of Omega Particles

If i need to explain the subject title then you’ll just have to wing it and learn via context and observational extrapolation.

I was a Karate Kid child; i remember re-enacting Daniel-san’s kick in front of an entire classroom after i saw the film on TV over a holiday period (which makes me think it must have been the UK television premiere – maybe over a Christmas? (i’ll do a quick internet search, hang on)…so it came out in 1984, then probably 4/5 years later a TV release? So we’re talking maybe 88 or 89. Anyway. I remember loving the second one more, and being fascinated by the location filming, and then i remember hating the bit when Miyagi cries, myself affected by the film. And i remember the music.

The finale of the first film is a piece of 80s moviemaking that will last forever.

However, when i first heard about Cobra Kai i just didn’t really lap it up, despite it somehow managing to grab the original actors. Maybe i thought it would be a piss-take, a parody, and not worthy of my attention.

How wrong i was.

Cobra Kai is that gem in a trashpile, that diamond in the rough, that gadwall in the mallards. Its a sequel that is very, very much aware of its history, but with skilled filmmakers behind the camera, clever writers and performances that are so human it restores your faith in Hollywood.

Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is living on hard times. His defeat to Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) left him living a spiralling, tentative life of failures and mistakes and booze. LaRusso has created himself a good life, thriving and with a wonderful loving family.

Johnny finds himself rejuvenating the infamous Karate dojo Cobra Kai, and through his efforts we see the glorious rise of self-esteem in his students… but coincidences and unfortunate circumstances seem to entangle themselves that no ones lives are going to be normal again.

Its an incredibly human show. Things don’t go as planned, and the wonderful Bromeo and Juliet friendship betwix Lawrence and LaRusso is so well-constructed you find your own hands clenching to karate punch fists after every conversation.

The acting is so good it hurts. Zabka’s human performance is tingling, and Macchio’s warm fatherly attitude mixes sublimely with his tempered moods.

The kids are perfect; each one their own, carefully created performances, each one showing such well written and portrayed arcs of character development.

And the music. 80’s nostalgic synth tones and chinese pipe music, with Twisted Sister, Metallica and Rock and Roll classics playing perfect backdrop to numerous montages, Rocky style.

But its also so modern. Game of Thrones references in the script – even a doctor who reference (jodie whitaker is apparently bad-ass) – oh its just so good. And i’m only midway through season 3.

Humour; its tremendously funny. Facepalms, clever scripts, hilarious timing and one-liners… “hash brown team cobra kai! and send it to the internet!”

  • sincerity
  • music
  • plot
  • script
  • nostalgia
  • originality
  • humour
  • drama
  • brilliant teenage / YA actors
  • brilliant original actors from the franchise
  • knowing, loving passion for the originals but not relying on them for its brilliance

The above are my omega particles.

The best TV show this decade, i think. It actually pains me to watch it, because i feel that i’ll never be able to re-inact the way i felt the first time round.