There will be no body swaps in “Red Oaks” Season 2, but fans of ’80s genre staples can get excited for a “bachelor party road trip.”
The Amazon comedy made a few waves in its first season when Richard Kind and Craig Roberts’ characters swapped bodies for an episode, delightfully recreating one of cinema’s favorite story premises during the Reagan era (and earning the episode a spot on IndieWire’s Best Episodes of 2015 list in the process). So it should come as no surprise who, among the stellar group of producers on the series — from David Gordon Green to Greg Jacobs — pitched the idea for a body swap episode.
“It was [executive producer Steven] Soderbergh’s idea,” Jacobs said, who has worked as Soderbergh’s producer and assistant director for nearly two decades. “We learned you could still get the heart and the emotion even with the zany antics.”
But Season 2 is moving forward rather than looking back — honoring the past while experimenting in the present.
“Season 1 felt like the perfect ’80s summer movie and Season 2 feels like where it evolves from there — what happens next in the real world,” series star Alexandra Socha told Television Critics Association members during Amazon’s Sunday morning “Red Oaks” presentation.
“We started with sort of a workplace comedy, but they encouraged us to expand the world,” co-creator Joe Gangemi said. Season 2 will see trips to New York City, Paris and Atlantic City, as the clan travels further and further from the tennis club where they all met.
“I think we knew we could go deeper because we thought everyone knew them now,” co-creator Jacobs said. “It’s a coming-of-age story for everyone.”
It’s easy to see how that applies to its star. When “Red Oaks” began, it was the summer of 1985, and 20-year-old David Meyers (Roberts) took a job as a tennis pro at a country club in suburban New Jersey, as his parents (Kind and Jennifer Grey) and co-workers pulled him in different directions regarding his future.
“When we brought the comedy to Amazon, we described it as ‘Caddyshack’ meets ‘The Graduate,'” Gangemi said.
But Season 2 will spotlight the strong ensemble of characters and how they, too, need to decide what they want during the rest of their lives — even if the actors themselves don’t have any long-term plans, and for good reason.
“It’s the dumbest thing for an actor to have a plan,” Reiser said. “You don’t know what’s going to work and what’s not.”
“I’m just stalling for time — just waiting out the oncoming stroke,” Reiser joked. “I’m trying to get as much work in before [the stroke], as I imagine I’ll be somewhat limited after.”
“Red Oaks” Season 2 premieres November 11 on Amazon Prime. Check out the first-look photos below and make sure to watch Season 1, which is streaming now.