The Eddy, a new Netflix limited series, comes with very high expectations, given two of several important names behind it, namely its creator Jack Thorne and its executive producer Damien Chazelle, who also partly directs it. Thorne is the screenwriter with writing credits on Skins, Shameless and Wonder, while Chazelle is the man behind Oscar darlings such as La La Land, Whiplash and First Man. And The Eddy definitely lives up to expectations.
While it does not necessarily offer anything astoundingly new, this French-American series succeeds in bringing together a mix that is quite tricky to accomplish. It boasts a fast-paced multilingual dialogue, slow burn thrills and real-life multicultural stories, all with a true sense of the Paris vibe that captures the iconic city’s essence through Chazelle’s renowned jazz staple.
The Eddy tells the story of Elliot Udo (André Holland) a retired American pianist who runs a Parisian jazz bar, headlined by a band of misfits, quite literally. The band’s lead singer is Elliot’s on again off again girlfriend, Maja (Joanna Kulig), who is easily the voice and the spirit of the series. However, while Holland is the main star of the story and Kulig the songbird of the show, the true scene-stealer here is Amandla Stenberg, who plays Elliot’s teenage daughter Julie.
Julie joins Elliot in Paris, and butts heads with her father who somehow doesn’t seem to understand anything she does or says. Surprisingly, the two find solace in a chain of crazy events as well as the magical city of Paris, and somehow end up mending their broken relationship, which continued to suffer an unspoken old wound in the Udo family. As Elliot’s daughter, Stenberg delivers an impressively raw, honest and emotionally charged performance, portraying a hundred different emotions at once and depicting a remarkable character evolution over the course of the series. The show also showcases a talented ensemble of stars, shifting the spotlight from one character to another, with each of the eight episodes focusing on one of the main players in the story.
Viewers should also keep their eyes peeled for a special appearance by the one and only Tunisian star, Dhafer L’Abidine, who plays a standout character unlike anything he’s done before.
Overall, the Eddy hits a chord that is so specific, it may not resound with everyone. However, it is sure to delight jazz enthusiasts and Paris romantics as well as viewers whose vibe may simply be in sync with that of The Eddy.
PS: Get ready to have some very catchy tunes – La La Land style – stuck in your head.