The First Two Cobra Kai Episodes Are Free On YouTube Red – What Are The Critics Saying?

Ready to be transported back to the world of The Karate Kid, but not willing to fork over the cash for a YouTube Red subscription? You're in luck: the first two Cobra Kai episodes are available to watch now for free on YouTube. It's a clever marketing ruse by YouTube to get new subscribers, but the Cobra Kai free episodes may actually convince you to buy into a whole new streaming service. Because critics are raving about the long-awaited sequel to the classic '80s sports film.

Cobra Kai brings original Karate Kid stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka into the 21st century, following Macchio's Daniel, AKA the Karate Kid, and Zabka's Johnny meeting again on the dojo floor. But their situations are much different: Daniel is a successful local celebrity who runs a string of car dealerships, while Johnny is a down-on-his-luck drunk who finds himself standing up for a bullied kid. The two clash again when Johnny decides to mentor the scrappy teen, Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña), and re-open his old Cobra Kai dojo.

The web series debuted on YouTube Red today, with the first two episodes available for all viewers for free below.

Cobra Kai was already met with some early positive buzz a week ago, but now that the first two episodes are available on YouTube, more glowing reviews are rolling in.NPR's Linda Holmes called it "a crane kick of nostalgia right to the throat," continuing, "But if we must reboot our beloved old favorites, it's much better to see it done like this, using the passage of time as an asset and a way into a different story about the same people, than as a cheap rehash with the old cast perched on it like check-cashing cake toppers."

Meanwhile The New Yorker's Troy Patterson calls Cobra Kai a perfect "teen show for Gen X-ers" whose "attention to Johnny's maladjustment is a hard kernel of realism pinging off its nostalgic bits, fan-club philosophizing, and its broad analyses of the mean girls and teen bullies of the twenty-first century."

Finally, Variety's Mekeisha Madden Toby says Cobra Kai is "an entertaining ride into a forgotten world of underdogs."

Cobra Kai is now streaming on YouTube Red.

In the highly-anticipated return of two iconic characters, the arch-rivals from the legendary Karate Kid film series reunite over 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament. Now living in the affluent hills of Encino, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) leads an enviable life with his beautiful family, while running a successful string of car dealerships throughout the valley. Meanwhile, his high school adversary, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), whose life has taken a rocky turn, seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo. Their lives inevitably become intertwined and the rivalry is reignited, setting forth the next generation of "karate kids" in COBRA KAI, a YouTube Red Original Series.