Interview with Gregory Jacobs and Joe Gangemi of "Red Oaks" on Amazon - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne and Cristina

Gregory Jacos and Joe Gangemi 

Interview with series creators/writers Gregory Jacobs and Joe Gangemi of "Red Oaks" on Amazon 10/20/16

Last year, I really enjoyed this show, and I'm so thrilled that it's back for a second season! I'm very happy that I got to speak with the show's stars as well as these two brilliant men that created and wrote the show. They write amazing characters. We had a very nice chat!

"Red Oaks" returns for its second season November 11, 2016. You can watch Season One

Here's a recording of our interview.

Suzanne: Were you both around in the 80's and were you college age?

Gregory: I was born in ‘97 and Joe was born in 2003. [Both laugh] We are both roughly that age. We all remember the ‘80s well.

Suzanne: Did you have to do much work to make sure that the show was accurate as far as 80's stuff?

Gregory: We tried to be rigorous about that. One of the things we tried not to do though was be gimmicky with props and wardrobe. Make it as accurate as we could, but not overdo it.

Joe: Not to do any songs that are on ‘80s mixtapes. You got to go for the deeper cuts. That applies to all of our creative choices when it comes to playing the nostalgia card. We don’t want anything that kicks you out of the show. We want it to be the texture and the background.

Suzanne: What gave you the idea for this show? Parts of it really remind me of movies like "The Graduate" as well as 80's movies.

Gregory: Joe and I have been buddies for a long time. We talked about jobs we had, in a sense, our “coming of age”. It really grew out of that.

Joe: We have kind of been sharing these stories for more than a decade. At one point we were going to do a feature film but [ NAME? ] who is our partner on this said, “No, this is a tv series”. That really made the lightbulb go off for us. A television show allows us to go deeper into the era and spend more time with these characters than we would have the luxury of doing, if we were doing a 100 minute movie.

Gregory: "The Graduate", I'm glad you brought that up. That was one of our touchstones when we were developing and writing it, even in casting Craig.

Joe: Interesting to watch, do nothing but react. Absolutely. The thing that I don't want people to say, completely surprised me is Barry is obviously a Wooderson character from “Dazed and Confused”. Because “Dazed and Confused” is definitely a touchstone for us also. The golf course kegger is our little homage.

Suzanne: I love the music. Did you choose the music to fit the episodes or did you already know which music you wanted? Were you able to get all of the songs you wanted?

Gregory: The music was generally chosen to fit the episodes. In some case we had specific songs in mind, in some as we're shooting, we'll start listening to stuff. But it's a combination.

Joe: I think we only scripted a music cue that ended up in the show and that was in the pilot episode, the first season. Is Robbie Dupree, over the montage introducing the club. That was actually in the pilot script that we sold. That’s part of the fun of it. As we’re finishing an episode, we start to talk to with our music supervisor and amongst ourselves. We play songs for each other on our iphones. “Remember this band? Remember that band?” That’s one of my favorite things.

Gregory: Yeah for the most part. I'd say by and large. Yes.

Suzanne: Do you think there'll be a third season? Do you already have it in mind or know what you want to do with it?

Gregory: Not yet.

Joe: We got to have a season two.They like creatively what we've done for them.

Gregory: Yeah, I mean we have ideas for sure.

Suzanne: I really love the characters. Are any of them based on people you know in real life?

Gregory: Not really. I mean there's kernels of people we came across. It's really a hodge podge of people we’ve encountered, I'd say.

Joe: I think everyone has a Wheeler in their life. I had a Wheeler. Greg had a Wheeler. You start with a kernel of truth, but then you quickly start deviating a line to make them more interesting than any real people were. The truth is we're all the characters. You have to sort of become the characters to write about them. I think they're all really aspects of ourselves. It's funny, on set the hair and makeup department had an ongoing conversation about , "Were you a Karen or a Skye growing up?" I think our characters also have an aspect of archetype to them. That's why I said everyone knows a Wheeler. I think everyone knows a Nash, works with a Nash.

Suzanne: Anything else you're working on?

Joe: Not yet. Kicking around a couple of ideas. Feature ideas, things like that.

Gregory: Hopefully we get to work on season 3.

Red Oaks cast

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