The Hero’s journey of David Meyers and Red Oaks

Red Oaks Series Blog Banner.png

Leave your email address - Become a Dear Reader - Get closer To The Work


And this season starts its close the same way it opened, David and his father playing night tennis in the public court. Sam tells David that he and Judy are going to be getting divorced. David may need to transfer to a Community College and he will need to find another place to live since they’re selling the house. Another male titan brought down to the ground in this episode. It’s at this moment that David tells his father he doesn’t want to be an accountant, but Sam already knew that. And so it’s all laid bare. There are no more winners and losers, no more tyrants and heroes. As the song, “Burning Heart” from Rocky IV claims, “It’s you against you; it’s the paradox that drives us all.”

CLICK HERE To Read This Article ON 25YEARSLATERSITE.COM

OR

CLICK HERE TO START WITH THE PILOT


The moment of crisis for Season 1 of Red Oaks does not come in the finale as one might expect for a 30 minute situational comedy. It comes in the episode just before it, in this episode, where David is riding high on a new crest of his life, where he can see the shores of adulthood just over the next wave, like the top of a skyscraper peeking out through a fog haze Jersey morning. But all of that is about to come crashing down as David’s inner child is challenged and found wanting.

CLICK HERE To Read This Article ON 25YEARSLATERSITE.COM

OR

CLICK HERE TO START WITH THE PILOT


Episode Eight “After Hours”

Three major things happen in episode 7 of Season One of Red Oaks. The first is a breakthrough and the other two are breakdowns. We are about to jump into the only episode of Red Oaks to indulge in magical realism and I hated this episode the first time I saw it. It just felt so foreign to me, all until I started viewing David’s story within the context of the Hero’s Journey. An essential step in this Journey is when supernatural aid sweeps in to provide hidden knowledge to the Hero so they may progress.

CLICK HERE To Read This Article ON 25YEARSLATERSITE.COM

OR

CLICK HERE TO START WITH THE PILOT


Episode Seven “Body Swap”

Three major things happen in episode 7 of Season One of Red Oaks. The first is a breakthrough and the other two are breakdowns. We are about to jump into the only episode of Red Oaks to indulge in magical realism and I hated this episode the first time I saw it. It just felt so foreign to me, all until I started viewing David’s story within the context of the Hero’s Journey. An essential step in this Journey is when supernatural aid sweeps in to provide hidden knowledge to the Hero so they may progress.

CLICK HERE To Read This Article ON 25YEARSLATERSITE.COM

OR

CLICK HERE TO START WITH THE PILOT


Episode Six “Swingers”

David seems to consider his father lying there on the couch, perhaps thinking about how much he’s aged since the heart attack, or perhaps noting how he is not sleeping in his mother’s bed. David goes outside to sit on the step and think about what life dealt him today.

CLICK HERE To Read This Article ON 25YEARSLATERSITE.COM

OR

CLICK HERE TO START WITH THE PILOT


Episode Five “Fourth Of July”

This is everyone’s love story right now, yours and mine. And let us rejoice in the smouldering exchange of eyesight these two young lovers pass across the universe at one another, a million little babies conceived as they wrestle with each other’s flesh in the muscle of their minds. Skin on skin. The explosions cast light over the birth of their love.

Happy Fourth of July New Jersey, 1985. David Meyers is back on the path of The Hero’s Journey.

CLICK HERE To Read This Article ON 25YEARSLATERSITE.COM

OR

CLICK HERE TO START WITH THE PILOT


Episode FOUR “MDMA”

During this episode, David is still in the 'Refusal Of The Call Phase' of the Hero's Journey and things are turning sour quickly. Note how his actions within this position, no matter how well-intentioned, actually drive Karen away. I'm reminded of the owl invasion in Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone, the more Uncle Vernon does to avoid it, the worse it becomes. Fate comes like fire to Red Oaks.

CLICK HERE To Read This Article ON 25YEARSLATERSITE.COM

OR

CLICK HERE TO START WITH THE PILOT


Episode Three “The Wedding”

In this third episode of Red Oaks, “The Wedding,” we see what happens when David takes the straight path. Things seem...safe. There is a tradition in The Hero's Journey where the Hero refuses the Call to Adventure. Sometimes this refusal can take the form of the hero taking the safe path. This is what David is doing and, on the surface, it will seem to pay off. But destiny has a way of interfering when our heroes least expect it. This episode is the beginning of David learning that lesson.

CLICK HERE To Read This Article ON 25YEARSLATERSITE.COM

OR

CLICK HERE TO START WITH THE PILOT


Episode Two “Doubles”

Red Oaks, New Jersey, and the entire world was starting to suffer from a symbolic deficiency in 1985. In this author's opinion, we are dying from its absence today as of the writing of this article. We need artists to break us through, now more than ever. Is David going to be one of those artists? He still doesn't know. He's still standing firmly inside the Call to Adventure. He just fought and won the biggest battle of his life when he defeated Getty 6 games to nil in tennis, and don't forget he was wasted just a few hours before these matches happened. And at the end of that terrible ordeal, he stood supplicating in front of Skye Getty, his rock of Gibraltar were we to compare him to Hercules for a moment.

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS ARTICLE ON 25YEARSLATERSITE.COM

OR

CLICK HERE TO START WITH THE PILOT


Episode One “Pilot”

I think the Red Oaks Pilot episode of the Amazon Studios show is one of the finest first episodes of any show ever made. I would certainly put it in my top five. As co-creator of the Red Room Podcast, now nearly ten years old and with over 160 episodes, Scott Ryan and I have made a lot of lists. Like Jack Black's character Barry Judd in High Fidelity, we believe the list of defined values in Television is critical to anyone who wants others in the TV Analysis gig to take them seriously. So I want you to understand what it means when I say I think this show is one of the best of the best and I'm using this article to kick off the long, episode by episode, argument I'm going to make for you to watch it over and over again and hopefully love it as much as I do. I'm even pulling in one of my biggest influences in life to help me out with this.

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS ARTICLE ON 25YEARSLATERSITE.COM


A NOTE ABOUT MY PARTNER 25 YEARS LATER

Offering more than just reviews, 25YL is the site that goes a little deeper, analyzing both TV and Film that calls to us and keeping the conversation alive with art that deserves to live forever.

CLICK HERE To Check Out 25 Years Later