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Paul Reiser is the Best Thing About Amazon’s Red Oaks

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There was a time when Mad About You was on the air and hating Paul Reiser was in fashion. Red Oaks is in its own way as cloying as Mad About You, but Paul Reiser’s club president, a clumsy jackass, is the best thing about it.

That’s not much of an achievement.

Red Oaks is a semi-average when it focuses on the titular club, but it’s dragged down  by its mopey dorky main character and his sitcom home life. Every time Jennifer Grey and Richard Kind show up to do a routine that got old in the 1940s as a neurotic married couple, the show becomes teeth gratingly awful.

And it doesn’t have to be.

There are fun characters in Red Oaks like the stoner valet and the sleazy tennis pro and Paul Reiser’s club president. If Red Oaks jettisoned the dorky protagonist who is there to act as our avatar and drifted around from the points of view of the club staff, this could be a much better show.

Not great, but a lot better.

An ensemble Red Oaks could be fun. It would spare us from the miserable experience of watching another TV dork who is supposed to be a stand in for the audience, but is really a stand in for the writers and producers, having to choose between two beautiful girls, neither of whom would look at him twice in real life unless he were producing or writing Red Oaks, and choosing between a successful career as a CPA and a career as a tennis pro if he can only escape his crazy parents.

I don’t want to watch this. Based on the other responses to Red Oaks, I don’t think anyone does.

Paul Reiser, Ennis Esmer and Oliver Cooper are the good things about Red Oaks. If this thing becomes an Amazon show, it will have to keep its focus on them, get rid of Kinder and Grey.

Or better yet just order The Cosmopolitans.

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