October Road which stars Bryan Greenberg, Laura Prepon, and Tom Berenger, was one of my occasional guilty pleasures a few years ago. I say guilty pleasure because October Road is an amoral show about a small town where the cool kids have grown up and are all in their late 20s.
I enjoyed Season One on many levels: the town of Knights Ridge, Massachusetts is almost picture perfect; the characters are interestingly neurotic and believable; the friendships are caring and meaningful; and the acting is good. Tom Berenger is a cast regular, and he is one of my favorite actors. However, I grew dissatisfied with October Road as the series progressed because in Knights Ridge, all problems can be solved by having sex.
In spite of the ubiquitous ‘sex solves everything’ flaw, October Road has an intriguing plot that centers around friendships. The story centers around Nick Garrett (Bryan Greenberg) who left his idyllic life and his girlfriend Hannah Daniels (Laura Prepon), his best friend Eddie Letekka (Geoff Stults), and his family behind in Knights Ridge, MA, to go ‘find himself.’ Ten years later, he is a famous author living in New York who has written a book that paints his town, friends and family in a bad light.
Nick Garrett returns to Knights Ridge to teach a one-day seminar on writing at the local college. He discovers his old girlfriend Hannah has a ten-year-old son named Sam whom Nick thinks might be his biological son. His one-day visit turns into an extended stay as Nick begins to reconnect with family and friends.
Tom Berenger’s masterfully underplayed role as Nick’s gruff but loving father ‘Commander’ Garrett and the unexpected tender developing relationship between hunky ex-football player Eddie Letekka and plump, insecure bartender Janet Fields (Rebecca Field) are two of the highlights of October Road until ‘Commander’ Garrett starts sleeping with his girlfriend, and Eddie and Janet begin sleeping together, and then Janet sleeps with someone else. Meanwhile, one of Nick’s married friends discovers his wife is sleeping with another of Nick’s friends, and Nick begins to encourage his younger brother Ronnie (Jonathan Murphy) to have sex with someone so he won’t have to spend his Saturdays alone. Ronnie falls for Aubrey (Odette Yustman), the student Nick has been sleeping with to get over Hannah. Bleah!
We all know sex sells, but film makers and TV producers have lost all concept of subtlety along with virtue and morals. October Road has a great deal of creativity and intrigue to recommend it, but it doesn’t live up to its promising beginnings. The program was canceled after its second season, but the DVD has an additional 15-minute wrap-up scene shot after the show’s cancellation which reveals who the father of Sam is. If you are a fan of October Road, you will want to get the Season Two DVD just for the wrap up.
October Road stars Bryan Greenberg, Tom Berenger, Laura Prepon, Geoff Stults, Warren Christie, Rebecca Field, Brad William Henke, Evan Jones, Jay Paulson, and Slade Pearce among a slew of other regular cast members. The series debuted on ABC on March 15, 2007, and on May 5th, 2009, October Road Season Two released on DVD.
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Article © Kathryn Darden, all rights reserved.