The long-awaited fourth season of “Cobra Kai” is now finally available to stream on Netflix. After three years and three seasons, fans finally get to see more of the characters, drama, and action-packed fight sequences that makes the “Karate Kid” franchise so popular.
But how long is “Cobra Kai” season 4? And how long are the episodes? Should it be binged just as so many fans have done for the first three seasons? Here’s everything you need to know about “Cobra Kai” season 4 before you head over to Netflix:
‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4 Is 10 Episodes Long
Like the three seasons that came before it, “Cobra Kai” season 4 will have 10 episodes. The episode titles are as follows:
- Let’s Begin
- First Learn Stand
- Then Learn Fly
- Match Point
- Kicks Get Chicks
- Party Time
- The Fall
- The Rise
Although “Cobra Kai” co-creators Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg teased back in November during a Twitter Q&A that season 4 episodes will be longer (with Schlossberg even saying they would be “the longest ever”), the episodes are not that much longer than those in season 3. The average length of a season 4 episode is around 34 minutes, versus around 33.7 minutes for season 3.
Fans can look forward to a few episodes that are noticeably longer than the normal 30-minute running time, however: the season 3 premiere, “Let’s Begin,” is 36 minutes long, and the finale, “The Rise,” runs 45 minutes (indeed, the longest episode ever). Episode 8, “Party Time,” is also quite lengthy, coming in at 37 minutes.
Both seasons are noticeably longer than the first two seasons, however: season 2 comes in at an average of only about 31 minutes for season 2, and 30 minutes for season 1. Fans should note that this change came right as “Cobra Kai” switched platforms from YouTube Premium to Netflix. The latter platform is known for giving their creators and showrunners greater creative liberty when it comes to running their own shows, much unlike the broadcast television networks which dominated Hollywood until the 2010s. YouTube Premium (which was known as YouTube Red when “Cobra Kai” season 1 was released) was an experimental platform, and as a result likely did not give as much liberty to Hurwitz, Schlossberg, and Josh Heald when it came to episode length.
The 10-Episode Length Is Likely Permanent
Although fans of “Cobra Kai” might want more than 10 episodes per season, it unfortunately looks like the 10-episode standard will be upheld for a long time.
According to Deadline back in 2019, the producers behind the scenes at Netflix believe that 10-episode seasons for their original shows are the perfect length. As Deadline explained, “Netflix is unabashedly data-driven, with many of its decisions based on algorithms.” This is why they switched from the original – and more traditional – 13-episode seasons (which formed the basis for Netflix’s early shows “Orange Is the New Black” and “House of Cards“), to 10 episodes or less.
Apparently these shorter seasons are considered “optimal for consumption” by Netflix, and anything longer than 10 episodes do not add value, and are therefore considered an unnecessary expense. And, given Heald, Hurwitz, and Schlossberg’s fondness for the streaming platform, it is unlikely that the show will be moving again anytime soon.
Season 5 Is on the Way
Lucky for fans of “Cobra Kai,” another season has not only been ordered by Netflix, but has already completed filming. Season 5 is currently in post-production, and the creators have been very vocal about their desire to do “at least” six seasons, and probably more. Given Heald’s confidence in an upcoming sixth season – and the fact that the ending of season 5 has already been written and shot – fans can look forward to at least two more seasons after they have finished viewing this one.
In in December 2020, Ralph Macchio, who not only stars in but is also an executive producer of the show, even teased that, “The writers have always felt they had six seasons in their head, where the story arcs can go.”
All four seasons of “Cobra Kai” are currently available to stream on Netflix. Season 5 will likely be released in late 2022 or 2023.