This week on Red Oaks, we get an homage to an 80s classic, and spend some time in the Big Apple. Misty and Wheeler get some time alone, and David and Skye happen. I continue to feel conflicted about all of it.
“Body Swap” can be considered the Freaky Friday episode, complete with the Magical Asian and generational conflict. David and his dad, Sam, are made to spend a day as each other, only to realize that things aren’t as great as they seem.
It all starts with Mr. Meyers trying to get David to choose his classes for the next semester. I think it’s good writing that Red Oaks returns to this conversation of what it is that David’s going to do with his life, because it was the thing that kicked off the series. As I’ve said before, it’s very relatable.
The switch isn’t super remarkable, but I like their attempt to sound like each other. Richard Kind’s 20-something is really weird and squeaky-voiced, but Craig Roberts’ impression of Richard Kind is spot on, complete with the hunch. I love it.
Best line of the episode? “I can’t tell white people apart.” It did not help that I had just come from watching a show where I could not tell the three blondes apart.
This is the most awkward, but not cringe-worthy, episode of the season, and yet it’s still pretty funny. David has the worst time being his father. The voice may not be right, but the look of absolute horror that takes over Richard Kind’s face during the therapy session is perfect.
Sam, however, has an awesome time being David, even to the point of accidentally furthering David’s relationship with Skye. Which, of course, catches Karen’s attention and validates the love triangle. I usually hate love triangles, but I was all in for this moment.
Eventually, Sam and David have a heart to heart, and the Magical POC shows back up to set everything to right. The use of Matthew Wilder’s “Break My Stride” in a montage scene also made me happy.
This might have been the weirdest episode, but it does further the plot, even if it’s only the Skye/David/Karen triangle. It also makes me wonder if any of the other episodes took their plots from other 80s movies. I know that the structure for it was there, but my limited knowledge of 80s movies made it impossible for me to be able to tell.
In “After Hours”, Wheeler gets a new car and treats Misty to a great night out. David and Skye take a trip to New York where they really get know each other.
I should have hated this episode for the simple fact that I despise anything David/Skye, but I’m not going to pretend that the chemistry isn’t there. It definitely wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
I like the idea of Getty as David’s mentor. It was implied by the trailers, but it’s not really driven home until this episode. I like that though, because it feels organic. Should David get into bed with Getty and Skye? Probably not, but I’m all for exploring it.
Wheeler says he got his new car off of tips, but the audience knows that it has to be drug dealer money. I’m not here to judge, but they probably should have gone with a better color.
Wheeler’s face is so not attractive to me, but he’s so nice to Misty. I know that his endgame is to date her, but the way that he goes about it is so endearing to me. He sells drugs to rich people so that he can afford to give Misty a good life. He’s plotting ahead for the life he wants to give her in the off chance that she chooses him. Wheeler’s not even trying to force her to choose him!
I need a moment.
My biggest issue with David and Skye hanging out is that Skye now knows that David has a girlfriend. I feel like she should have hit him with a “what does your girlfriend think about you hanging out with me?” Instead, she heads to the city with him. You’re better than that, Skye. I can’t be bothered to attempt with David.
David and Skye in the city were interesting, to say the least. I don’t know if stereotypically catty gays are a New York staple, or just what television wants me to believe, but Red Oaks makes sure to employ that trope. I want to say that I liked that David can’t dance, but it bothers me when a dance scene is wasted on mediocre attempts at dancing. But the live sex show, though? That scene makes this whole episode worth watching. It is hilarious.
Again, I did not want to like this episode, but it got me in the end. I’m going to pretend it’s because I ship Meeler (Misty/Wheeler), but that live sex show scene really sold it for me. This is not an episode to show to your kids, if you somehow happen to miss the content warnings. It’s still pretty good, though.
I am excited to watch the last two episodes of Red Oaks. I was not always here for the series, but these last few episodes have been pretty good. One of the directors from last week’s episodes is supposed to be directing episode nine, so I expect that it willing be fairly entertaining. Here’s hoping for an 80s-style musical.
Red Oaks season 1 is now available on Amazon Instant Video.
Image courtesy of Amazon.