The Mark Hastings Experience – Episode #62: “Cobra Kai – Season 3”, a review

In this episode Mark does a review of the third season of the exceptional American martial arts comedy drama television series “Cobra Kai” and he highlights some of the events that take place within the 10 episodes and the great character defining moments that occur – including some prominent cameos from some memorable characters from the “Karate Kid” film series.

My Poem “Tony Soprano”

There has never been a TV show since,
and there may never be a TV show
again,
like the hit show ‘The Sopranos’ –
and there will never be another
character like Tony Soprano:
the Mob Boss of North New Jersey,
who in my opinion was the first
anti-hero on TV who was so complex,
so intriguing, and so compelling
that nobody who watched him
could help themselves from
rooting for him, no matter what
he did and no matter what he said.

Tony Soprano woke up every morning,
he walked down his driveway
to retrieve his copy of the daily newspaper,
and then after that there was
no telling what he was going to next;
but one thing was always clear:
whatever Tony did he did for his family –
both his blood family
as well as for his crime family,
and everything that he did
was all to keep the Soprano family
and the thing of theirs
that was their life going
by any means necessary.

In my opinion, no one could have
played Tony Soprano
like James Gandolfini did –
because Tony Soprano was
someone who was smart;
Tony Soprano was someone
who internalised and wrestled
with a lot of psychological trauma
because of his mother, Livia,
and because his father Johnny Soprano
had been a gangster before Tony
was even born
there was no question that he would also
become a member of the family business;
but Tony Soprano was not like
everybody else in his family:
he suffered panic attacks –
and because he loved his family
so much he sought out the help
of a therapist, Dr. Jennifer Melfi,
in order to be a more effective
father and boss to those who followed his lead.

You don’t get to meet too many characters like Tony Soprano,
nor from episode to episode
watch someone like him
do what only someone like him
could do…
you don’t get to see acting of the
calibre that James Gandolfini had that often –
and it is clear as day that he put
every ounce of his talent into
making Tony the engaging, the profound,
and the powerhouse of a character that he was;
which is why viewers did not
want to see what they ultimately saw
at the end,
when the screen suddenly went to black –
because nobody knew that only moments before
they had just taken one last look
at one of the greatest characters
in television history:
the one and the only Tony Soprano.

My Poem “Hello Friend!”

It’s always great
making new friends…
when we watch certain characters
on television or in films
we often quickly become drawn
to a particular protagonist
that we, for one reason
or another, can identify with.

It’s always good to explore
new things – films, music,
books, places, stories –
and it is always fascinating
to witness how a particular
journey can change a person
in so many different ways.

Whenever we all watch
certain characters in movies,
or on television,
and we see them having to overcome
all obstacles that they have to contend with,
and face all the adversaries
that they have to face,
while walking the path that is their fate,
it can be such a thrilling
and an exhilarating experience
that certain people often choose
to return to those same stories,
and to those same characters,
time and time again.

When we become engrossed
in a particular story,
and when we become invested
in a particular cast of characters,
we never want what we and they
have been through to come to an end;
however, most audience members know
that endings are just as fundamental
to a story as beginnings,
and as long as when a story
comes to a close it is satisfying –
and it is revealed that everything
that happened was all for something –
then, in some way, people can cope
with the ultimate moment
of finality without regret.

When we have to say goodbye to someone –
even if it is only a well-loved character
who we see performing on a flat-screen –
even the most detached of watchers
can become so connected
to whom they have been watching,
especially if the storyline
that is coming to a conclusion
has been a compelling
and riveting one to behold;
and that is why, when
some people reach the end of a story,
they automatically go back
to the very beginning of
the same story that they have been
watching, reading, or perhaps
listening to, for so long,
and they start the journey all over again
in an attempt to recapture the magic somehow,
by greeting the same characters
that they are already greatly familiar with,
with a smile, and with a warm:
“Hello friend!”