It’s not very good! There is a blandness to the writing and barring the obligatory occasional eighties track and clothing, it could be set any time in the past forty years.
Not the worst thing I’ve seen but definitely not good. I’m a huge fan of ‘The Goldbergs,’ ’80s, and teen movies and this was a big disappointment and seemed more like a low-budget web series than an actual TV show. Paul Reiser? I don’t think anyone cares about him anymore other than my grandmother, and she’s dead. Jennifer Grey? A true waste of her talents. Watch the Sneak Peak and make your decision from there if you’d like to continue rather than waste 31 minutes on the pilot. The Sneak Peak didn’t look funny but I forged ahead for the sheer kitsch value of the jazzercise leotards they promised, with hopes the show would be better. Nope.
I felt like I was watching a script that was cobbled together by vague memories of ‘Caddy Shack,’ ’80s T & A screwball comedies, and whatever wisp they could vaguely remember from ’80s teen movies. First and foremost, there is zero plot. The entire episode revolves around following this somewhat pathetic, one-dimensional, ’90s morose, ‘Freeks and Geeks’ type character, David, who leads a completely unrealistic life. He’s short, scrawny, and looks like he’s not even strong enough to lift a tennis racquet, let alone, be a heated affairs mobil jr. tennis pro, is dating the ridiculously much-too-hot-for-him aerobics instructor, his parents are still together even though not the happiest, and he’s in college, has a good job. and still depressed and listless. Not only is his life completely unbelievable but he seems like a kid who listened to Kurt Cobain too much or a millennial rather than a kid from the ’80s. In fact, the use of the ’80s seems like a cheap after thought to garner attention or simply trying to ride on the coat tails of ‘The Goldbergs’s’ success. Multiple times there are modern references that didn’t exist in the ’80s along with the fact that this is a straight-up millennial show with millennial characters that they seem to be trying to mirror ‘Superbad’ in hopes of gaining popularity. The difference is ‘Superbad’ took the time to make likable Jonah Hill and Michael Cera likable enough that you actually suspended disbelief that they would actually hook-up with Emma Stone and the other girl. ‘Red Oaks’ didn’t bother to spend any time making David (Michael Cera) or Wheeler (Jonah Hill) likable or interesting. Frankly, they both seem like whinny, slacker jerks, and you wonder how they even got jobs at this country club, let alone, get hot girls to hook-up with them or date them.
Also, aside from David’s obvious appearance of no athletic skill, the tennis pro has a gut and looks like he hasn’t played tennis in years. What kind of country club is this? I was a kid in the ’80s who belonged to 2 different country clubs and also worked at one for the summer. Not only would there never be a ‘staff’ party where minors are allowed to drink, skinny dip in the lake, play strip golf on the green, or hook-up on the greens, but the staff pros actually looked like professional athletes, you know, from being active.