I feel like Red Oaks does not hit its stride until episodes 5 and 6. They were so good that I had to go look up the directors. Hal Hartley directed “Fourth of July”, and Nisha Ganatra directed “Swingers”. If you only ever watch two episodes of Red Oaks, let it be these two.
In “Fourth of July”, Mrs. Meyers has a crush on her Yoga teacher, Nash runs a poker game, and Wheeler makes a decision. Also, a minority person, that isn’t Nash, finally gets speaking parts.
I’ve been waiting for Mrs. Meyers’ sexuality awakening since the pilot, and I can’t quite say it happened yet, but it’s definitely explored in this episode. There’s definitely an attraction between Judy and the Yoga teacher. I loved the LGBT (without the B or T) Fourth of July party that neither of the Meyers seems to notice is full of homosexuals. And it’s the ’80s, so nobody actually talks about it. I love that the Yoga teacher’s Yoga teacher is also a lesbian, and there may have been a relationship there.
I feel like Getty likes David in a way that he doesn’t like Nash. I understand that they’re both employees, but the show emphasizes the difference with Nash to the point that you wonder if there are some tones of Otherism. Like there’s a big push to remind Nash that he’s the help, and if Getty didn’t give Nash a break, I’d have wondered how much this show was going to the line of Period Typical Racism. It is not lost on me that Nash is the only minority with speaking parts, in an extremely small pool of minorities. They’re not even sure of his ethnicity.
Whatever, Nash still has better hair than every other guy on this show. Seriously, that part in Nash’s hair is magical. Skip is just jealous that his hair will never be so great. I love it.
Wheeler walks in on Lefevre cheating on Misty with some random, and my biggest problem with this scene is that, when the camera is on Wheeler, it makes the girl look like she could be naked. I love how Lefevre came running from out of nowhere to stop Wheeler from telling Misty though.
It is not lost on me how much Alexandra Socha looks like Ally Sheedy from The Breakfast Club. That still doesn’t make Skye and David a thing I can get behind. I feel like I’m obligated to comment on that every episode.
I liked this episode. It ended on a good moment with the Gettys, who I love. There were also no cringe-worthy moments, which was a big plus. I feel like this episode is the point in which you would go to your friends and say, “Hey, you should watch this.” Points all around.
In “Swingers”, David gets the opportunity of a lifetime, and Wheeler gets to come along for the ride. Karen tries something new, and we get a closer look at the Gettys.
I would like to take the time to acknowledge Chad Benton and Red Oaks‘ entire Music Department, because the music on this episode was superb. The music is on par with the music from the pilot, in that it is essentially helps create the belief that the episode is its own 30-minute ‘80s movie.
I don’t know what’s going on with Wheeler’s family situation, but it looks like a lot. He mentions his mother, but that kitchen was so chaotic that I have to wonder what’s going on with his parental situation. The music that Wheeler walks out of his house on is absolutely perfect.
I am patiently waiting for Nassir’s wife to show up.
The only time I like Skye is in relation to her father. I have said before that I love the Gettys, and it just gets better every time Mrs. Getty shares a scene with her husband. The fact that Mr. Getty strives to have a good relationship with his daughter is what endears me to him.
I need Karen and David to figure out if they want to stay together or not. They’re like two seconds from breaking up, and it’s pissing me off. I will continuously never be okay with Skye and David, or Karen and Barry, but at least they won’t be cheating.
This episode should be called, “Making Porn is Hard”. The Blums’ porn shoot is made hilarious by Wheeler’s cat allergy, not to mention the fact that filming a porn is not nearly as idyllic as most people believe it to be. Then there’s Karen’s shoot with Barry, which gave me flashbacks of that one scene in FAME with Coco Hernandez and the amateur porn director. I need someone to save Karen from Barry.
Again, this was a great episode made even better by great music, and the absence of cringe-worthy moments. Honestly, any episode that makes use of Mrs. Getty is instantly better. More than I’ve ever been before, I am excited for the rest of the season.
Red Oaks is now available on Amazon Instant Video.