The third season of Amazon’s Red Oaks was released October 20th in six thirty-minute episodes. A comedy series, it is a quick binge that is actually enjoyable. In today’s entertainment world, finding something fun to watch can feel like chasing a unicorn.
Red Oaks Country Club, a Jewish country club in New Jersey, is the center of the action, though the main character, David Myers (Craig Roberts) has moved to New York City. The year is 1987 and David is working for a video production company in Manhattan. His dream is to be a filmmaker, but he is quickly sucked back into the world of his adolescent life at the country club.
A former assistant tennis pro at the club during his high school days, David is approached by the ex-president of the club, Doug Getty (Paul Reiser) who is now serving time in prison for Wall Street white collar crime. Getty wants David to do a video for the country club’s board members in hopes of discouraging them from voting in favor of selling the club to the Japanese investors interested in making a bid. The club is struggling financially and the board members are motivated to sell.
There are some boxes checked in the series, though. For instance, in the previous seasons of this series, the bi-sexuality of David’s mom, Judy (Jennifer Grey) is worked in but in this season in episode three, titled “A Little Business Proposition,” an entire storyline is written around it. Now divorced from David’s dad (Richard Kind), Judy arranges for David to come to her therapist’s office and tells him she is dating and is bi-sexual. Judy tells him, “This is who I am. Your mostly gay mom.” She tells David that he has to “start thinking of me a sexual being.” Eww.
The hippie therapist asks him if he disapproves of homosexuality. David’s response is perfect when he replies it isn’t homosexuality he disapproves of, “I don’t approve of those” as he nods at the therapist’s Birkenstock sandals. Lol! He’s more uncomfortable being in the hippie’s office than with his mom’s confession. He tells his mom, “So long as you’re happy, the fact that you’re mostly gay doesn’t freak me out.” David is a good son but, c’mon. Mostly gay?
Even though the show takes place in 1987, they feel the need to work President Donald Trump into a couple of scenes, though his name isn’t uttered. In episode two, titled “Samwich,” his picture on the cover of The New Yorker shows up in the dentist office where Misty (Alexandra Turshen) is a dental hygienist. In the last episode titled “Action!” Red Oaks’ tennis pro and golf pro land jobs in Palm Beach – at Mar-a-Lago. Of course.
In episode four, titled “Memories,” David’s father, Sam, walks his African-American girlfriend home after attending a Broadway play in NYC. She is mugged – her handbag is stolen – and Sam angrily blames Mayor Ed Koch. Sam says, “He’s too soft on crime.” And, in episode two, the car radio is on when Sam’s partner picks him up for work. The newscaster says it is the day that Fawn Hall will testify about the Iran-Contra scandal. Liberals never miss an opportunity to work in a smack against President Ronald Reagan.
This is the final season of the series. It’s an innocent enough look into suburban life in the late 1980’s. As I mentioned, it’s a quick binge if you are looking for something to watch. Happy endings are much appreciated these days.