When streaming site Amazon Prime released its third batch of pilots last August, “Red Oaks” was the standout. The show, which takes place in 1985, follows the coming of age story of a teenager who’s thinking about what he will do with his life after the summer. While the status of the show is not yet certain, as it awaits news of a pick-up from Amazon, Hitflix conducted an exclusive interview with the show’s creator, Gregory Jacobs, to reveal more about their plans. Read on for the details.
The idea for the comedy was something Jacobs had while working with Steven Soderbergh on the set of the HBO TV movie “Behind the Candelabra.” While discussing the details with him, the two immediately thought of other people who could come on board to develop the story, so executive producers Joe Gangemi and David Gordon Green were brought in. This group had been working together on Soderbergh’s “The Knick,” which airs on Cinemax, while planning “Red Oaks.” The latter show would be their second venture on television together as a group and both were done nearly simultaneously.
“Red Oaks” is loosely based on Jacobs’ own experience, working at a country club while he was in college. But while it is set in the 80’s, there was a conscious effort from the producers and writers to not make the show “self-referential.” There wouldn’t be any homages to the 80’s, putting more focus instead on the show’s story and characters. This way, the series can stand on its own and be “it’s own thing.”
The series was actually shopped at different networks before the group decided that Amazon would best fit it.
“The idea of putting it out there for people to decide is kind of exciting. I also like the idea of trying someplace new, and Amazon has been great to deal with throughout the process,” explained Jacobs in the Hitflix interview. He also said that Amazon was pleased with the turnout of the pilot after it was released.
If “Red Oaks” does get a series pick-up, Jacobs shared that the story will cover one week per episode of every summer in 1985, so the timeline will pretty much end by Labor Day. He also said that it definitely be “one crazy summer” for the lead character.
Were you able to watch the pilot of “Red Oaks”? Are you banking on a pick-up? You can read the recap of the pilot here and follow more about this show as we will be providing updates regularly here on Movie News Guide (MNG).
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