Mozart in the Jungle

Last updated

Mozart in the Jungle
Mozart in the Jungle logo.png
Genre Comedy-drama
Based onMozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music
by Blair Tindall
Developed by
Starring
Theme music composer Roger Neill
Opening theme"Lisztomania" by Phoenix
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes40 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Roman Coppola
  • Jason Schwartzman
  • Paul Weitz
Production locationsNew York City
Venice, Italy
Camera setupSingle camera
Running time26–30 minutes
Production companies
Distributor Amazon.com
Release
Original network Amazon Prime Video
Original releaseFebruary 6, 2014 (2014-02-06) 
February 16, 2018 (2018-02-16)
External links
Website

Mozart in the Jungle is an American comedy-drama streaming television series developed by Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Alex Timbers, and Paul Weitz for the video-on-demand service Amazon Prime Video. [1] The show received a production order in March 2014.

Contents

The story was inspired by Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music, oboist Blair Tindall's 2005 memoir of her professional career in New York, playing various high-profile gigs with ensembles including the New York Philharmonic and the orchestras of numerous Broadway shows. [2] The series stars Gael García Bernal as Rodrigo, a character based on conductor Gustavo Dudamel, [3] alongside Lola Kirke, Malcolm McDowell, Saffron Burrows, Hannah Dunne, Peter Vack, and Bernadette Peters.

The first season premiered in full on December 23, 2014. [4] The show's renewal for a second season was announced by Amazon on February 18, 2015. [5] All episodes of the second season were made available online on December 30, 2015. On February 9, 2016 a third season was announced. [6] All episodes of the third season were made available online on December 9, 2016. [7] On January 30, 2017, Amazon announced that the series had been renewed for a fourth season, [8] which was released on February 16, 2018. [9] On April 6, 2018, Amazon canceled the show after four seasons. [10]

Cast and characters

Main cast

Recurring cast

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1 10February 6, 2014 (2014-02-06)December 23, 2014 (2014-12-23)
2 10December 30, 2015 (2015-12-30)
3 10December 9, 2016 (2016-12-09)
4 10February 16, 2018 (2018-02-16)

Production

The many oboe solos played by the protagonist and other characters throughout the series are performed by Lelie Resnick, principal oboist of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, while the character of Rodrigo is loosely based on Gustavo Dudamel, the Venezuelan music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. [11] Dudamel coached García Bernal before the latter conducted, in the character of Rodrigo, for a real performance of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, scenes of which were used for the second season opener. [12] Dudamel has a cameo in that episode, acting as a stagehand trying to convince Rodrigo to move to Los Angeles. Other musicians that have cameos in the series are violinist Joshua Bell, pianists Emanuel Ax and Lang Lang, composers Anton Coppola and Nico Muhly, Broadway star Brian d'Arcy James and conductors Alan Gilbert and Bernard Uzan. Blair Tindall, oboist and writer of the book on which the series is based, also appears in a cameo. [13] Much of the original music for the show (most notably "Impromptu", and other work presented within the show's continuity as by Thomas Pembridge) is composed by acclaimed contemporary composer Missy Mazzoli. [14] For Pembridge's more experimental music in Season 4, the show turned to another female composer, Laura Karpman. [15] Irish composer and conductor Eímear Noone served as Lola Kirke's real-life conducting coach in season four. [16] Interior shots of the home concert hall were filmed at the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase. [17]

Focus on women composers and conductors

In addition to behind-the-scenes contributions from Mazzoli, Karpman and Noone, the theme of underrepresented, or unjustly forgotten or overlooked women composers and conductors in the world of classical music has become central on screen in the show's third and fourth seasons. Historical female composers who appear in the show include Vítězslava Kaprálová, Isabella Leonarda, Nannerl Mozart and Fanny Mendelssohn. The fourth season featured Pulitzer Prize-winning contemporary composer Caroline Shaw appearing as herself (and the characters perform one of her actual compositions). [16] Composer Paola Prestini also makes a brief cameo in season four, playing one of her own compositions. [18]

Reception

Critical response

Critical response of Mozart in the Jungle
Season Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
191% (35 reviews) [19] 73 (20 reviews) [20]
288% (17 reviews) [21] 71 (5 reviews) [22]
3100% (16 reviews) [23] 84 (5 reviews) [24]
4100% (10 reviews) [25] 84 (5 reviews) [26]

The first season of the series received positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the series a 'fresh' 95% rating based on 20 critic reviews, with the critical consensus "Though confined to the isolated world of classical music, Mozart in the Jungle's Gael Garcia Bernal makes this charming little show sing." [27] Metacritic gave the series a 73 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [28] Cory Barker, writing for TV.com , praised the series. "What works so well is that Mozart isn't afraid to throw you into a world you're likely unfamiliar with, but it doesn't swim so far into the deep end that you immediately drown in jargon and distanced dramatic stakes." [29] Robert Lloyd, writing for The Los Angeles Times , also lauded the first season. He stated that "Characters who were mouthpieces for attitudes start to seem like people, more complicated than a thumbnail description can accommodate. You grow interested in what will become of them without expecting or rooting for any particular outcome." [30] Kory Grow of Rolling Stone also praised the series, writing that "thanks to quirky scripts and a smart ensemble cast... it comes off whimsical without ringing off-pitch." [31]

Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter also gave the first season a positive review. "Bernal is both likable and magnetic, and makes the eclectic maestro surge on the screen. He alone is worth streaming the series, but, thankfully, there's a lot more going on here." [32] Brian Lowry, writing for Variety , also lauded the series. "While Mozart is surely a niche confection, the show generally shines by proving long on charm even when it's short on laughs." [33] In a more mixed review, Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly gave the series a B-.

Some socially-minded critics have praised the show's push for gender equity, while others have critiqued the "almost all-white orchestra and main cast" as unrealistic, given the prevalence of East Asian musicians in real-life orchestras. [34]

Accolades

YearAwardCategoryRecipientsResultRef.
2015Imagen Foundation AwardsBest Actor - Television Gael Garcia Bernal Won [35]
2016 Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Comedy Mozart in the JungleWon [36]
Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy Gael Garcia BernalWon
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation Thomas Varga, Andy D'Addario, Bill Higley, Chris Navarro (for "Nothing Resonates Like Rhinoceros Foreskin")Won [37]
Imagen Foundation AwardsBest Actor - TelevisionGael García BernalWon [38]
2017 Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – ComedyMozart in the JungleNominated [39]
Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or ComedyGael Garcia BernalNominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour) Tobias Datum (for "Now I Will Sing")Nominated [40]
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half-Hour or Less) Tommaso Ortino, Susanna Codognato, Letizia Santucci (for "Now I Will Sing")Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and AnimationAndy D'Addario, Gary Gegan, Marco Fiumara (for "Now I Will Sing")Won

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