Amazon Prime’s endearing comedy and ’80s throwback Red Oaks returns for its third and final season on October 20th. (If you haven’t already, binge-watch the first two; you won’t be disappointed.) The series, which debuted in 2015, shows how the employees and members of a New Jersey country club’s lives are intertwined as they go through both the triumphs and struggles together.
We sat down with Paul Reiser (Getty) and Richard Kind (Sam) to talk about the underrated show that has everyone who watches it fall in love with the characters – and also come away with a nostalgia for the decade of cassette tapes and Ellesse tennis shirts.
When we last left them, the lead character, David, packed up and moved to Manhattan in hopes of pursing his dream of becoming a filmmaker. So the first episode of Season 3 is aptly named “Summer in the City,” and the entire six-episode season spends more time in New York City than the suburbs of Jersey. “There’s less of the country club, which is always going to be sort of a built-in problem because can you really stay in the country club for 3, 4, 5 years?” said Reiser, who plays Getty, the father of David’s former love interest, Skye. (Getty spends the beginning of Season 3 in prison for insider trading.) As for the fate of the country club, Reiser gives us a glimpse into its future: “It’s up for grabs. Membership is down. The world as we know it is really changing.”
When asked why they think viewers have embraced the show and invested in its characters, Kind said:
I am astounded that this show isn’t running for five more years because I love the characters, think the writing is lovely and the tone of the show is pleasing…It’s a nice thing to have in this awful world. So I am shocked that it doesn’t go on and that not more people know about.
Adding his thoughts on why the show was not renewed for more seasons, Reiser said:
It’s pleasing, warming and intriguing, but it doesn’t have the sexy sizzle…It doesn’t have what Transparent or Game of Thrones has. It’s warming, and in this world, you need something that grabs you. This doesn’t have that. Now, I think there is great value in things that just make you feel good, but they’re not the attention grabbers. And I think that’s part of why this didn’t get the attention that it deserved.
As for others television credits, Reiser starred in the ’90s sitcom Mad About You for all of its seven seasons and plays Dr. Owens in Season 2 of Netflix’s Stranger Things, which premieres this month as well. Kind, who also was on Mad About You, starred in Spin City for all its six seasons.
While discussing what makes an Amazon show different from their past production experiences, Reiser said it felt more like making a movie. “It didn’t feel at all like making regular television,” he said. Kind added, “Very rarely did you see an Amazon representative on set and when they were there, I was happy to see them, because I happen to like them and they’re nice people.” “Yeah, but you would ask them, ‘Hey, what’s happening with my garden hose!'” Reiser joked.
So can this really be the end for the Red Oaks gang? Reiser left us hope for the future:
It’s the very last season…or not. One of the things they did really well is they ended every character and wrapped it up neatly. And yet, if there was a groundswell and next year, they said, ‘You know what, everybody was so afraid it was going to be over that they suddenly watched it and now it’s popular,’ they could pick it up, because there’s enough forward motion.
And if that doesn’t happen? Kind said, “It would be nice if it had a life after,” to which Reiser replied, “It will.”