I am a huge fan of The Karate Kid. The romance, the fighting, the triumph of the underdog — it’s a move that has it all. However, like many movies from the 1980s, it has a problem — namely, the cartoonish, one-dimensional portrayal of its villain, Johnny. In the original movie, Johnny is dumb, brutal, and mean. Why is he mean? It doesn’t matter. He’s a jerk, and that’s all we need to know.

The new series from YouTube Red, Cobra Kai, follows the further exploits of Johnny - now an adult, and fleshes out his character in ways that are believable, well conceived, and fun to watch.

That’s not to say that Johnny is a hero in this show. He’s not. He’s a deadbeat dad, a heavy drinker, a low-key racist, and a general loser stuck in the 1980s. But neither is he the brutal bully from the 1984 movie. He’s...complicated.

Daniel Larusso is stuck in the 1980s too, but to much different effect. He is a successful business owner who uses his former karate glory days...