6/10 My 4th most anticipated new show of 2020, “The Eddy” had me excited because of one man, Best Director winner Damien Chazelle. Chazelle directed the first two episodes of the eight-episode season and if you have seen his filmography, you know how much he loves jazz, making this show a perfect fit for his talents. Although many individual aspects work well here, the slow pacing and rather unengaging plot left me expecting and wanting more out of this. As for those aspects that work very well, André Holland and Amandla Stenberg as the father/daughter couple are phenomenal. The acting ensemble is really strong here (using real musicians gives the show a very authentic vibe which I dug) but those two stand out above the rest and were a delight to watch. In the second half of the season, once the characters and their relationships have finally been established, their interactions feel so real like the characters the actors are playing are in fact real people and no longer acting. The production design and cinematography, mixed with the jazz music that envelops every facet of the show combines to set a fluid tone and cultural mix that the music brings together. Despite how authentic the show feels and all it accomplishes (the music and soundtrack are very impressive), this is not like Chazelle’s other works. From “Whiplash” to “La La Land”, Chazelle’s films have a quick paced energy and intensity to them that is nowhere to be found here. His style seems to be somewhat muted as to fit in with the tempo this show runs at, which is a slow and steady one. It took roughly four episodes for me to really be invested as to what was going on, which is halfway through the show. I’ve found that with great shows, you want to binge watch them since you can’t wait to get to the next episode. Here I found myself having to force myself to keep watching. The overarching plot involving criminal activity, thugs, police investigations, etc. sounds exciting on paper but those elements all felt out of place. It didn’t help that our lead character, Elliot, seemed to make so many poor decisions which only continued to make his life constantly harder. He easily could have been honest with the friends/family he has as well as the police and so much conflict and problems would have been avoided. Although the relationships the characters inhabit felt real, the plot overall did not and I never connected to it. Perhaps I set the bar too high for myself due to the talent involved here and as much as jazz buffs may get more out of this show, for the average viewer, if this jazz club stays closed, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
#SlowAndEddy / #AllFlatJazz / #HesAJazzBeen / #AWrinkleIn4/4Time / #HollandNotes / #NotQuiteMyTempo