Since Amazon opened up its doors for its gradual deluge of original scripted programming, the company has amassed massive critical acclaim for Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle, but several of its other streaming series remain just outside the mainstream. For instance, the 1980s comedy Red Oaks, which has delivered two seasons of subtle-until-it-isn't comedy and coming-of-age drama so far. Fans will be delighted to know that Season 3 has officially been ordered, but then saddened to learn it will be Red Oaks' final season. Mozart in the Jungle Season 4 is happening, too, which we mostly expected.
Making its debut in late 2015, Red Oaks largely centers on Craig Roberts' intelligent but listless David and how his life is changed after he takes a summer job as a tennis instructor at the titular country club. Season 1 was largely about him transitioning relationships from Karen (Gage Golightly) to Skye (Alexandra Socha), with the latter offering up trouble through her father and Red Oaks president Doug (Paul Reiser). Season 2 took things further for this central narrative and ended on a note that would have served as a fine series capper, though a third season will be even more intriguing now that David has everything in front of him. Thankfully, it's planned for a 2017 premiere, so we won't have to wait too long.
Because Amazon doesn't go wildly public with all their ratings information, it's unclear how popular Red Oaks has been for the studio, although one assumes it has done well enough, considering it's getting three seasons. (Unlike Netflix, Amazon has had zero problem axing shows after first years.) And to be fair, there's a lot more to draw in fans than just David's story. The brilliant Ennis Esmer is fantastic as the slimy but sympathetic tennis pro Nash, Oliver Cooper has stoner nerd appeal for the Superbad-lite romance for David's friend Wheeler, and you can't go wrong with a foursome of parents including acting vets like Paul Reiser, Gina Gershon, Richard Kind and Jennifer Grey. Plus, the series has an A-list of directorial talent such as David Gordon Green (also an executive producer), Hal Hartley, Amy Heckerling, Gregg Araki, Nisha Ganatra and Andrew Fleming.
Meanwhile, the more predictable part of Amazon's announcement today was that the Gael Garcia Bernal-starring Mozart in the Jungle will return for Season 4 at some point in 2017 to continue telling the stories of Bernal's Rodrigo and everyone under his conductor control at the New York Symphony. The series had a solid 2016, taking home the Golden Globes for both Best Television Series and Best Actor in the Comedy/Musical categories. That success didn't happen again this year, but the good will had already been done. Mozart in the Jungle could be around for quite a while.
So in case you haven't yet given yourself the pleasure, head to Amazon to watch the first two seasons of Red Oaks in anticipation for the final chapter of David's relationship woes, and don't forget that all three currently released seasons of Mozart in the Jungle are there as well. Then head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what's coming to the small screen in the near future.
It's unfortunate that Red Oaks was cancelled. However, if you are looking to add the series to your digital collection, you can check that out here.