(Photo courtesy of Robert Kozak)
Alex Scrymgeour’s work is as eclectic as the titles he possesses. Writer, producer, actor; these might all be more aptly replaced by simply “creative.” Award winning films like Whoa: The Influence of Art are as different from the hit PBS TV series Vintage: Napa Valley in content and aesthetic but yet these and others have the Scrimmy (as he’s known in the industry) fingerprint. Enthusiasm and heart are part of the DNA that comes through in every Scrimmy endeavor and the latest of these is Eddie’s, a series which he created about a bar in California where people come together in support amidst their daily struggles. Eddie’s main character was inspired by the actor and Alex’s friend Eddie McGee. It was McGee’s tough East Coast exterior with a big heart that became the centerpiece for an idea the writer had long been contemplating. The script was so good that a number of heavy-hitter’s signed on for the show. Now poised for a release next year, Eddie’s is Scrymgeour’s presentation to a world which craves harmony and unity now more than ever.
The beach/coastal setting of Eddie’s is more than just opportunistic for the stories; it also presents some history for the show’s writer. Alex grew up in both New York and Bermuda. His familiarity with the people and the surroundings that are similar to those in Eddie’s allowed him to write from the heart. Even though the show is set in Venice (CA), Scrymgeour made sure to place plenty of Bermuda Easter Eggs in the show as a love letter to his early years there. The Bermuda flag adorns the wall of Eddie’s and George (the same Norm of Cheers fame) Wendt’s character [The Captain] only drinks the traditional Bermudan “Dark & Stormy.” Gosling’s Rum was ecstatic about the product integration the story, especially due to Wendt’s recognizibility and the public’s high regard for his work as an actor. The Captain is a culmination of many Sea Captains Alex had known in the past. The writer comments, “The characters in Eddie’s are all characters or amalgamations of characters I grew up with in Bermuda and in Manhattan or have met during my life. I’ve lived in many different places: Spain, Toronto, New York, Bermuda, Los Angeles, and I can tell you that there are good people everywhere. No one location possesses them all. As a writer I’m able to communicate that to people who may not have had the opportunity to live in different parts of the world like I have. It’s good for them to see that different people can also be good people.”
Alex refers to Eddie’s as one of the most important productions he’s ever written noting, “We seem to be at a period in time when everyone is arguing. I completely respect the right of individuals to be passionate about their viewpoint but it doesn’t mean that we should be harsh or uncaring towards each other.” During the first episode of Eddie’s, the bar’s proprietor (played by Eddie McGee) tells his newbie hire “Don’t be a jerk” which sets the show’s ethos of “you have to give respect to receive it.” Scrymgeour found the star of his show and its namesake while working in Madrid on the film Renko. The two hit it off well on set and having seen the actor in non-famous scenarios, Alex wrote the pilot episode in the voice of McGee but as the owner of a West-side LA bar. The script created so much conversation in Hollywood that some very recognizable names signed on. Director Michael Lange (Greek, X-Files, Northern Exposure, Bones), Will Shivers (The Long Kiss Goodnight), David Starzyk (Criminal Minds), DP Jules Labarthe (Bones, Greek), and George Wendt (Cheers, Fletch, Portlandia) all contributed their talents to manifesting Eddie’s along with others.
There’s something that appears very serendipitous about Eddie’s coming out at this time. Of course, this is simply the magic of TV as the process has been years in the making for Alex Scrymgeour. The time is ideal for show about people who struggle and yet demand the best out of themselves in their own character. What makes it so enjoyable for the viewer is that this is all on done with good natured comedy at the same time.
(Photo courtesy of Robert Kozak)