I am currently loving this whole streaming movies and TV shows frenzy. Being able to stream your favorite shows and binge-watch a whole season whenever you want is just awesome. But what’s even more amazing is the fact that companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, are now producing their own shows; as far as the ones I’ve watched they are all well produced and have got great stories to follow. I have already written about Arrested Development and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt which are Netflix Originals, today I decided to share my views on an Amazon Original: Mozart in the Jungle.
Inspired by Blair Tindal’s memoirs, Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs and Classical Music, this TV Show portrays the life of a talented, but struggling, young oboist in New York City and what it takes to be part of the Classical Music scene. Hailey Rutledge (Lola Kirke) finally has the chance to audition for the New York Symphony, but due to her lack of experience ends up as the assistant to the newly hired maestro Rodrigo De Souza (Gael García Bernal), whose unconventional style is questioned by the former maestro Thomas Pembridge (Malcolm McDowell) and members of the orchestra’s board.
Despite not being able to properly pronounce her name (she becomes [HAI-LAI]), Rodrigo becomes a sort of mentor to Hailey, showing her how he see and feel music. His goal is to help her become the musician he knows she can be since she “plays with the blood”. Additionally, his unconventional conducting style produces an unexpected reaction from the orchestra, when musicians are fighting for better work conditions. Cynthia Taylor (Saffron Burrows), a cellist for the orchestra, is caught in the middle of the drama. She is close to old maestro and is also the chair of the orchestra’s union; adding to that, she is starting to suffer from the constant joint stress of having to play more than one gig per day. Even with all that’s happening in her personal and professional life, Cynthia still becomes a good friend to Hailey, giving her advices on how to survive the dog-eat-dog world that is the classical music scene.
Created by Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman and Alex Timbers, this show is very different from any other comic romance you’ve ever seen. There is an air of poetry in the way the scenes are filmed that transports you to somewhere different from New York City. The soundtrack, mainly classical music, helps bring that feeling to the show. They have even brought a more “sophisticated” version to one of my favorite songs: Lisztomania by Phoenix:
Another reason that makes this show so special is Gael García Bernal. The Mexican actor has had a place in my list of actors that I keep my eye on since the movie Babel, so when I saw that he played the main character, I got really excited. Since Rodrigo himself is going through a learning curve, he starts as a confident, almost arrogant, maestro and realizes that he need to go back to the people who give him confidence. Gael García brilliantly portrays Rodrigo as quirky as one could be. The unusual situations he finds himself add more dimension to the character. No wonder hua performance as Rodrigo earned him this year’s Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy. I love when great Latin-American actors get the recognition they deserve.
My husband and I got so involved with the characters and the story, that I think we watched the two seasons of the show in less than a week. Having said that, when I saw the first episode, I never thought that I would like it so much. Mozart in the Jungle is not only about Hailey’s and Rodrigo’s lives, it is also about the world of Classical Music and the sacrifices these musicians make for the music. Even though this is probably foreign to most people, the producers of the show managed to make it accessible to all.
When was the last time you listened to Classical Music? Tell me about it in the comment section bellow.