Review of "Red Oaks" on Amazon From The TV MegaSite

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"Red Oaks" review by Suzanne 10/3/15
Airs on Amazon Prime

This is a great show. I was only going to watch one episode, but it drew me in, so I had to keep watching. It's a comedy-drama set back in the mid-80's at a country club. Famous director Steven Soderburgh is one of the show's producers.  Paul Reiser is one of the stars. At first it seems like a bad comedy rip-off of the fun feel-good John Hughes movies, but it's not at all. The characters are very well developed and believable, even in the midst of a certain amount of 80's camp.

Some parts of the show remind me more of the 70's than the 80's, but that is probably because the 70's had a lot of influence on the 80's. I was in college in the first half of the 80's, so I remember it well. Only I wasn't hanging out at country clubs! They mostly get the time period really well without making it too obvious like some shows or movies do. They do quite a bit of spoofing or referencing movies from the past.

The soundtrack is really awesome. It has many songs you'll probably recognize, and many you may not. Some you may not have heard for many years! They do a great job with the music. Most of the music is from the first half of the 80's; that's because late 80's music sucks.

The star of the show is David, played by Craig Roberts. Roberts reminds me sometimes of the kid in "Harold & Maude," or Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate." David is in college at NYU but living at home in the suburbs with his weird parents.  He has a beautiful girlfriend, but he's not sure he wants to be as serious as she does. He likes this other girl, who has a great Ally Sheedy-type of haircut.  Paul Reiser plays her dad, a rich guy at the country club. He seems like kind of a jerk, but he also takes young David under his wing to a certain extent.  Richard Kind is great as David's dad, Sam (he was in "Mad About You" with Paul Reiser). Oliver Cooper is one of the stand-outs of the show as David's friend Wheeler. Wheeler is pudgy but smart and has the hots for this pretty girl. He also sells weed. Ennis Esmer as Nash, an older tennis pro is hilarious. Jennifer Grey has a great role as David's mom.

You definitely want to make sure to watch episode 7. It's kind of mind-bending but hilarious.

There are other characters, but those are the main ones. It's well worth watching. I hope they get a second season because we want to see more of these people and what happens to them!


Here's another review of the show!

A young tennis player works at the prestigious and exclusive Jewish Red Oaks Country Club during the summer between his sophomore and junior years of college in the 1980s. Red Oaks is a comedy 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

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