Screenshot: Netflix ( Fair Use ) For someone who spends a lot of time cursing nostalgia culture and lamenting the fact that the vast majority of new entertainment —from movies to Broadway musicals —seems to exist only to milk a little bit more money out of some valuable IP, I sure do love Netflix’s Cobra Kai . Based on the 1980s franchise The Karate Kid —a series I don’t even particularly like— Cobra Kai (which returns for a third season on Netflix in January after making the move from the now-defunct YouTube Red ) is improbably perfect comfort TV. It picks up with the now middle-aged characters from the original film—underdog hero Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio), the owner of a used car dealership who uses his fading fame as a karate champ as a marketing gimmick; and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), the former bully who has never quite recovered from his brutal loss to Daniel in a tournament in high school—and explores how they’ve been shaped by past glory and infamy. Though their kids play prominent roles—Daniel’s rebellious daughter Samantha (Mary Mouser) and Johnny’s estranged son Robby (Tanner Buchanan) and adopted karate protege Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) all see their lives intersect in slightly convoluted ways—the show isn’t “Karate Kid: The Next Generation.” It’s a lot more interesting: somehow a parody of 1980s sports films, a heartfelt teen drama, and a weirdly moving examination of adult regret. It shouldn’t work, but it lands a knockout punch. I can’t wait to […]