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Mozart in the what-now?

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The fact that Mozart in the Jungle won Best Comedy at the Golden Globes caused some consternation. I’m not going to argue that it was the best among the nominees, three of which I haven’t seen the nominated seasons of, and two of which—Silicon Valley and Transparent—I’d concede are more daring programs than Mozart.

But (even though the Globes are basically ridiculous), I couldn’t help be happy that this little show no one’s heard of got some attention. It is a fun one to watch!

So back to my list of TV shows of 2015:

Under the radar

  1. The Americans – Shomi / FX
  2. Borgen – TVO (originally on Danish television)
  3. Catastrophe – Shomi / BBC
  4. iZombie – Shomi / CW

5. Today’s feature: Mozart in the Jungle – Shomi / Amazon

The premise: Mozart in the Jungle looks at the workings of the New York Symphony as it ushers in a new, young, edgy maestro known simply as Rodrigo (Gael Garcia Bernal). He’s determined to shake up and revitalize the Symphony. In this effort, he has the support of symphony President, Gloria (Bernadette Peters), but not necessarily of the major donors and symphony union members.

Aching to join this organization is young oboe player, Hailey (Lola Kirke). She befriends cellist Cynthia (Saffron Burrows), which gives her a bit of an in, but it’s not going to be a smooth ride for Hailey. The series shifts between the symphony goings-on and Hailey’s jobs (oboe teaching, mostly), roomates, and potential love interests.

Notable participants: Apart from Gael Garcia Bernal and Bernadette Peters (whom I can’t believe is 68—she looks amazing!), the series has notable guest stars such as Malcolm McDowell as Thomas, the previous maestro; Jason Schwartzman as an arts blogger; and John Hodgman as an arts patron.

bernadettepetersmozartjunglepremieres5zo3ntizxfbl

What’s good about it: It’s funny, and not too heavy, and it’s nice to have shows like that in the mix. The characters are varied and vibrant, with both genders well represented. The characters are passionate and attractive, and sexy scenes do sometimes ensue.

And as a regular symphony attendee, I really enjoy this “behind the scenes” look, even though events are clearly (I hope!) heightened for entertainment value. But I don’t think you have to be a classical music fan to enjoy the series; it’s not as though they play entire symphonies during episodes.

Mozart in the Jungle Season one trailer

Any qualms? Much of the humour derives from the eccentricities of artistic temperaments, with very odd behavior on the part of some characters. Sometimes walks that line between this is weird but interesting and kind of funny and what the hell is going here?.

  1. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Netflix

Critically acclaimed

  1. Agent Carter – CTV / ABC
  2. The Jinx – HBO
  3. Transparent – Shomi / Amazon

Popular successes

  1. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – CTV / ABC
  2. Amazing Race Canada – CTV
  3. Grace and Frankie – Netflix
  4. Silicon Valley – HBO

One thought on “Mozart in the what-now?

  1. Wow, Bernadette is looking great. She hasn’t changed much 🙂

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