Sex, drugs and Classical Music!
I discovered this fledgling tv show one morning while skimming my queue on Amazon Prime and sipping my coffee. Based on a book of the same name, Mozart in the Jungle was released Feb. 6th as an Amazon original production stumping for votes to be made into a full series. (Mark Malinowski has read the book and I think I will too if this series doesn’t launch.)
This is one of those shows with multiple story lines to capture all interests. You have Malcolm McDowell as the aging conductor of a New York symphony who steps down to make way for the ‘fresh’ new conductor, Rodrigo (he need only one name, Kennedy-style), brought in by board chair Bernadette Peters. Rodrigo (played by the oh-so-easy on the eyes Gael García Bernal), has ideas for revitalizing the symphony along the lines of playing concerts in the dark and is everything the Maestro despises. This is a classic comedic set-up that should be fun to watch! It smacks a bit of the Frog Hammer “youth-quake” from Slings and Arrows, and I thoroughly enjoyed that (note to self: re-watch Slings and Arrows).
For the youth-set, we have the young oboist from North Carolina who aspires to playing in the NYS, her potential love interest the ballet dancer at Julliard, and her crazy roommate who devises party games where participants spin a bottle selecting a musical era, drink a shot, then attempt to play a selection from said era on their instrument in a face-off match.
Ultimately, the oboist auditions hungover for the symphony at the prompting of the jaded cellist, Joshua Bell cameos, some high and low brow jokes to be had, some bad language and a few funny sex scenes tossed in for good measure. All in all I think this show has a lot of potential beyond what they’ve crammed into a 30 minute pilot.
Is it brilliant? No. Could it be? Sure! Jonathan Palevsky recently raved to me about Friday Night Lights. Who would have thought a show about a high school football team could be such a crowd-pleaser? Mozart in the Jungle needs the chance to be good… if you have Amazon Prime, check it out, give it a vote up. It might not sing to your inner Downton Abby fan, but it is pushing classical music into the television realm!
Have you seen it already? Have you read the book? Tell me what you think!