Red Oaks

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Red Oaks
Red Oaks title card.jpg
Genre Comedy
Drama
Created by Gregory Jacobs
Joe Gangemi
Starring
Composer(s) Chad Benton
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 26 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Gabdec Productions
Picrow
Amazon Studios
Distributor Amazon.com
Release
Original network Amazon Video
Original release August 28, 2014 (2014-08-28) – October 20, 2017 (2017-10-20)

Red Oaks is a comedy web television series by Amazon Studios. The pilot was directed by David Gordon Green, who also executive produces with writer and creators Joe Gangemi and Gregory Jacobs. The full first season was released on Amazon Video on October 9, 2015. On December 18, 2015, Amazon officially announced the show would be returning for a second season in 2016.[1] The second season was released on November 11, 2016.[2] On January 30, 2017, Amazon announced that the series was renewed for a third and final season, which was released on October 20, 2017.[3]

Plot[edit]

David, a college student, begins working at a New Jersey country club during his summer break in 1985. The show follows David's life, with numerous subplots including his family, friends and coworkers and primarily involves the Red Oaks country club. The show explores themes such as adolescence, relationships, socioeconomic mobility and the pursuit of happiness in a mostly comedic fashion against the backdrop of the New York – New Jersey area in the 1980s.

Filming locations[edit]

The main filming location is Edgewood Country Club[4] in River Vale, New Jersey. Additional locations include Florence Park in Mamaroneck, New York,[5] Willow Ridge Country Club in Westchester County, New York,[6] and Paris, France.[7]

Cast[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
110August 28, 2014 (2014-08-28)October 9, 2015 (2015-10-09)
210November 11, 2016 (2016-11-11)
36October 20, 2017 (2017-10-20)

Season 1[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Pilot"David Gordon GreenGregory Jacobs & Joe GangemiAugust 28, 2014 (2014-08-28)
20-year-old David Myers takes a job as an assistant tennis pro at the predominantly Jewish Red Oaks country club in New Jersey and tries to figure out what kind of life he wants to lead.
22"Doubles"David Gordon GreenGregory Jacobs & Joe GangemiOctober 9, 2015 (2015-10-09)
David finds himself swept into a surprising hustle when he agrees to be Getty's doubles partner for an outside-work tennis match. As David gets to know Getty's daughter, Skye, Nash nurtures dreams of playing the stock market, and Wheeler and Misty bond over a parallel parking lesson.
33"The Wedding"Andrew FlemingStory by: Gregory Jacobs, Joe Gangemi and Max Werner
Teleplay by: Max Werner
October 9, 2015 (2015-10-09)
David talks Barry into hiring him to film a wedding at Red Oaks. While the club comes out to celebrate, Nash squares off with a rival to impress the father of the bride, and Wheeler ponders an eccentric stranger's business proposition.
44"MDMA"Andrew FlemingStory by: Gregory Jacobs, Joe Gangemi and Karey Dornetto
Teleplay by: Karey Dornetto
October 9, 2015 (2015-10-09)
David's romantic plans for Karen's birthday go awry, while Sam and Judy's marriage counselors give them a new "empathy" drug to tap into their romantic feelings, and Misty sets Wheeler up on the world's worst blind date.
55"Fourth of July"Hal HartleyStory by: Gregory Jacobs & Joe Gangemi and Shawn Harwell
Teleplay by: Shawn Harwell and Gregory Jacobs & Joe Gangemi
October 9, 2015 (2015-10-09)
With Red Oaks' Independence Day party in full swing, Getty enlists David as his coach for the upcoming club tennis championship, and Wheeler catches Misty's boyfriend in a compromising position. Meanwhile, Judy struggles with conflicted feelings for her female yoga teacher.
66"Swingers"Nisha GanatraStory by: Gregory Jacobs & Joe Gangemi and Thomas G. Papa, Jr.
Teleplay by: Thomas G. Papa, Jr.
October 9, 2015 (2015-10-09)
David is hired to film a sex tape for middle-aged swingers from the club, but the experience isn't quite the stuff of fantasy. Meanwhile, Karen tries her hand at modeling for Barry, and Judy throws a party for the students in her real estate class, to Sam's chagrin.
77"Body Swap"Amy HeckerlingJoe Gangemi & Gregory JacobsOctober 9, 2015 (2015-10-09)
A mysterious Japanese liquor gives David and Sam an intimate glimpse into each other's lives.
88"After Hours"Amy HeckerlingStory by: Joe Gangemi & Gregory Jacobs and Laura Steinel
Teleplay by: Laura Steinel and Joe Gangemi & Gregory Jacobs
October 9, 2015 (2015-10-09)
David and Skye ponder their respective futures, both romantic and professional, as they spend an evening in New York City. Wheeler and Misty spend the night driving around town and discussing life.
99"The Bar Mitzvah"Nisha GanatraJoe Gangemi & Gregory JacobsOctober 9, 2015 (2015-10-09)
David's tensions with Barry, his recent night out with Skye, and his growing distance from Karen all threaten to derail a Red Oaks bar mitzvah he's been hired to film. All while Wheeler scrambles to recover a missing package of cocaine.
1010"Labor Day Luau"David Gordon GreenJoe Gangemi & Gregory JacobsOctober 9, 2015 (2015-10-09)
As the end of summer approaches, David coaches Getty for the Red Oaks tennis championship, and the Red Oaks staff say their goodbyes. But there are big changes coming for the Meyers and the Gettys.

Season 2[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
111"Paris"Hal HartleyJoe Gangemi & Gregory JacobsNovember 11, 2016 (2016-11-11)
After revealing their feelings for each other at the end of last summer, David and Skye finally reunite in Paris to ring in New Year's 1986. But surprise guests threaten to ruin their romantic week in the City of Lights.
122"Memorial Day"Hal HartleyJoe Gangemi & Gregory JacobsNovember 11, 2016 (2016-11-11)
As Red Oaks Country Club kicks off the summer season, David faces an uncertain future at school, while Wheeler tries to become something more than "just friends" with longtime crush Misty. Meanwhile, club president Getty faces a challenge to his status at the club, and Sam and Judy adjust to single life.
133"Father's Day"Hal HartleyStory by: Joe Gangemi & Gregory Jacobs and Karey Dornetto
Teleplay by: Karey Dornetto and Joe Gangemi & Gregory Jacobs
November 11, 2016 (2016-11-11)
Skye talks David into joining an uncomfortable Father's Day brunch with a less than thrilled Getty. Sam wants to celebrate with some father and son time of his own. Nash sets his romantic sights on a wealthy widowed club member, and Wheeler launches a new moneymaking scheme.
144"The Bris"Amy HeckerlingStory by: Joe Gangemi & Gregory Jacobs and Max Werner
Teleplay by: Max Werner and Joe Gangemi & Gregory Jacobs
November 11, 2016 (2016-11-11)
David takes a freelance job videoing a bris and accepts Getty's invitation to lunch in the city. Back home, Judy enjoys Ladies Night with new friends, while Sam goes on a blind date.
155"Independence Day"Amy HeckerlingStory by: Joe Gangemi & Gregory Jacobs and Shawn Harwell
Teleplay by: Shawn Harwell
November 11, 2016 (2016-11-11)
Getty prepares for his trial on insider trading charges. Nash's romance with Widow Horowitz heats up. Meanwhile, David wonders if he may be too suburban for Skye's new city lifestyle.
166"Old Flames"Hal HartleyStory by: Joe Gangemi & Gregory Jacobs and Tom Papa
Teleplay by: Tom Papa
November 11, 2016 (2016-11-11)
With the pressure of his trial weighing on him, Getty turns to an unusual confidante for moral support. One of Wheeler's students gets a little too close for comfort. And while Skye struggles to find her place on the New York art scene, David and Karen reconnect.
177"The Anniversary"Hal HartleyStory by: Joe Gangemi & Gregory Jacobs and Max Werner
Teleplay by: Max Werner and Joe Gangemi & Gregory Jacobs
November 11, 2016 (2016-11-11)
Tension bubbles as the Getty's celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary at the club. Meanwhile, Sam tracks down a lost love, Skye finds out about David's secret power lunches with her father, and Wheeler goes to increasing lengths to avoid a romantic blunder with Misty.
188"Lost and Found"Gregg ArakiStory and Teleplay by: Joe Gangemi & Gregory Jacobs and Shawn HarwellNovember 11, 2016 (2016-11-11)
Barry recruits David to film his bachelor party jaunt to Atlantic City, and Nash and Wheeler tag along for the most awkward road trip of their lives. Sam and Judy team up to search for his lost cat.
199"The Wedding"Gregg ArakiGregory Jacobs & Joe GangemiNovember 11, 2016 (2016-11-11)
As Karen and Barry prepare to tie the knot, David finds himself grappling with a forlorn Nash, arguing parents, and stark choices for his future.
2010"The Verdict"David Gordon GreenJoe Gangemi & Gregory JacobsNovember 11, 2016 (2016-11-11)
Getty feels the heat as the jury verdict-and the club recall election-loom. With the summer winding down, Wheeler and Misty confront tough questions about what fall brings. David must define his own independence and make a decision about Getty's lucrative job offer.

Season 3[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
211"Summer in the City"David Gordon GreenJoe Gangemi & Gregory JacobsOctober 20, 2017 (2017-10-20)
222"Samwich"Amy HeckerlingJoe Gangemi & Gregory JacobsOctober 20, 2017 (2017-10-20)
233"A Little Business Proposition"Amy HeckerlingJoe Gangemi & Shawn HarwellOctober 20, 2017 (2017-10-20)
244"Memories"Hal HartleyJoe Gangemi & Gregory JacobsOctober 20, 2017 (2017-10-20)
255"Paroled"Hal HartleyJoe Gangemi & Gregory JacobsOctober 20, 2017 (2017-10-20)
266"Action!"David Gordon GreenJoe Gangemi & Gregory JacobsOctober 20, 2017 (2017-10-20)

Production[edit]

For his role as Nash, Ennis Esmer read with director David Gordon Green in both his regular voice and what The New York Times describes as "an invented accent he calls 'Indo Middle Eastern British'", while trying to get Green to laugh.[9] Esmer used a vocal coach to improve the accent and continued using it while on the set.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

The pilot received mostly positive reviews.

Entertainment Weekly gave the pilot a B+, and singled out Esmer's performance:

The amusing Ennis Esmer is the best thing here, as David's sleazy co-worker Nash. But it's sometimes hard to tell if Red Oaks is a clever dissection of old, reactionary sex comedies, or if it's just a reactionary sex comedy itself. B+[11]

The New York Times enjoyed the pilot:

Set at a suburban New Jersey country club in 1985, Mr. Green's pilot is not a sendup of 1980s coming-of-age comedies or even a tribute to them, but a surprisingly straightforward extension of the genre. It's as if the spirits of John Hughes, Harold Ramis and the young Richard Linklater had all gotten together to consult.[12]

Newsday liked it as well:

A funky retro-'80s distinctiveness makes "Red Oaks" Amazon's single best new series. Dryly amusing, the characters are sharply drawn and often appealing – even when they are not. Ennis Esmer ruthlessly heists every scene he's in, and Craig Roberts deftly creates a character you may even recognize from your own past – only funnier.[13]

On review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a score of 81%, an average rating of 7.8/10, based on 26 reviews. The website's consensus reads: "Red Oaks offers an affectionate nod to 1980s sex comedies that – largely thanks to a talented ensemble cast – finds fresh humor in its familiar premise."[14] Metacritic gives the show a score of 70 out of 100, sampled from 21 reviews, signifying "generally favorable reviews".[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Waniata, Ryan (October 9, 2015). "The '80s meets HDR in the new comedy Red Oaks, on Amazon Prime now". Digital Trends. Retrieved October 10, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Red Oaks". Amazon. Retrieved August 10, 2016. 
  3. ^ Mitovich, Matt (January 30, 2017). "'Mozart in the Jungle' Renewed for Season 4, 'Red Oaks' Gets Final Season". TV Line. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  4. ^ Lewis, Hilary (October 8, 2015). "Inside 'Red Oaks': Figuring Out the Future on the Set of Amazon's '80s Coming-of-Age Dramedy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  5. ^ West, Latoya (July 31, 2015). "New Amazon series 'Red Oaks' films in Mamaroneck". lohud. Retrieved February 5, 2018. 
  6. ^ Muchnick, Jeanne (July 1, 2016). "Ready, Set, Action! TV Shows Start Filming In Westchester". Mamaroneck Daily Voice. Retrieved January 13, 2018. 
  7. ^ Palmieri, Lea (November 15, 2016). "Inside The Dreamy 'Paris' Episode of 'Red Oaks'". Decider. Retrieved January 13, 2018. 
  8. ^ Romano, Evan (November 18, 2016). "'He's Got The Chance': John Hodgman on President-elect Donald Trump". Brooklyn Magazine. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  9. ^ Best, Tamara (October 14, 2015). "Ennis Esmer of 'Red Oaks' Talks Tennis and Comedy". Television. The New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2018. 
  10. ^ Wojciechowski, Michele (November 10, 2016). "Ennis Esmer from Amazon's Red Oaks on Playing Nash". TV Today. Parade. Retrieved January 22, 2018. 
  11. ^ Maerz, Melissa. "We review Amazon's 5 latest pilots". ew.com. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ Hale, Mike (August 27, 2014). "Amazon Unveils Its Latest Smiles and Thrills". The New York Times. Retrieved November 27, 2014. 
  13. ^ Gay, Verne (August 27, 2014). "Amazon pilot contest includes 'Hand of God' with Ron Perlman, Dana Delany". Newsday. Retrieved November 27, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Red Oaks: Season 1 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 14, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Red Oaks". Metacritic. Retrieved October 14, 2015. 

External links[edit]