Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon Prime is quite good

I mean, maybe it’s just me being fascinated by a music world I know absolutely next to nothing about. Perhaps that’s it.

Or, perhaps I’m enchanted by the cast with Lola Kirke and Gael Garcia Bernal as the leads and an astonishing ensemble (Malcolm McDowell, the criminally forgotten Bernadette Peters, Saffron Burrows, Mark Blum, et al). That could easily be a contributing factor.

Mostly though, I’m enjoying the characters and the writing. A lot. It’s a witty show. Occasionally a bit too over-the-top, but mostly (and I’ve only seen the first 4 episodes) they reign in the Coppola family tendency to excess fairly well. (Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzmann are credited as co-creators along with a dude named Alex Timbers I’m unfamiliar with.)

Definitely worth checking out. I’m far, far from being a classical music guy, and I just love seeing this stuff that feels fairly authentic.

The wife and I are watching and enjoying this as well. It’s a tightly scripted 30 minutes.

Just realized that the actress who plays Lizzie is Griffin Dunne’s daughter, which explains why her face looks so familiar but I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen her in anything else. (IMDB says she was in Frances Ha, but I don’t remember her role in that.)

I’ve started watching the show as well and am finding that I enjoy it quite a bit too.

With each episode a bit under 30’, I thought it would be worth a quick try yesterday. I ended up watching the first 4 episodes in a row.

The pilot is nothing special. But, because the episodes are so short, it’s easy to be pulled into watching “just one more”. Before you know it, you’ve started getting to know the characters and to want to find out what’s going to happen.

The show tells the story of a philharmonic orchestra, its new conductor and a hopeful oboe player. But life in the world of classical music is not as tame as it might seem.

I stuck with it at first because I have a weakness for Malcolm McDowell. But he’s not the best part of the show. It’s certainly over the top at times. But it’s indeed tightly scripted and a good ensemble story.

If you have an hour or 2 to spare, give it a try.


A couple of more weird observations: in the final few episodes when she got more lines, Hannah Dunne’s resemblance to her late aunt (Dominique Dunne, who played the daughter in Poltergeist and was murdered by an ex-boyfriend shortly after) is really striking. Her voice especially has the same sort of huskiness to it. Really striking to notice it.

Also, in French classes, you learn French Christmas carols during the season. One is “Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant”

The first line is the title, followed by a second line in the verse:

Il est ne le divin enfant
Jouez hautbois, resonnez musettes

I don’t think I ever knew what a “hautbois” is. It’s the French word for oboe! And if you pronounce “hautbois” correctly, you can see how the English turned that word into oboe.

So there you go.

Watch the show. It isn’t great art, but it’s very good television, if you take my meaning.

That was more John Hodgman than I wanted to see…

Finished it up last night. Very much enjoyed the whole thing. I think the pilot was the weakest episode of the bunch. It got steadily better and ended on a solid note ( HA! ).

Would watch season 2.

Does anyone else wish the episodes were longer than ~30 minutes? My wife and I both think you lose some of the tempo of the show with their brevity.

Gael Garcia Bernal is great in this.

It’s a great cast all around.

Lola Kirke was driving me crazy; she seemed so familiar. Then I realized it: her sister is one of the main characters in HBO’s Girls, and she herself was the White Trash girl in Gone Girl.

If you liked this show you should check out a Canadian series called Slings and Arrows. It’s a similar premise (a bit more comedic perhaps) set in the theater world.

Really enjoying this. Thanks for mentioning it!

Thanks for starting this thread! I’d seen the numerous ads on Amazon, but might not have tuned in otherwise. I watched the entire season over the weekend.

MitJ’s got a lot of standard relationship melodrama, and it was sorta easy to predict all the beats, but I still enjoyed the heck out of it. The leads are both super charming in their own manner, and it truly does have a fantastic supporting cast.

Yeah this was a fun show. Very watchable.

Add me to the list of people who saw the ads on prime, but thought it wouldn’t be interesting. Consider this my apology to the show. I’m enjoying the hell out of it. I also reacquired my crush on Saffron Burrows.

I’m on the fence. Being very much a classical music guy I enjoy the setting, and I like how the Dudamel character seems to be a basically inoffensive, genuinely nice person despite all his trappings of genius. His desperation to win the approval of the guy whose job he just took over and whose orchestra he’s insulted is an interesting dynamic. That said, I feel like it bounces around too freely among characters to hold my attention, and it seems to be bending over backwards to say ‘see, classical music isn’t boring because youth and sex and drugs!’ Classical music wasn’t boring anyway, and I doubt musicians often throw parties like the one in the first episode with metronomes and shit. Maybe musical faceoffs happen sometimes. Malcolm McDowell seems rather wasted to me. It’s decent, certainly entertaining, but inferior to the other Amazon show, Transparent.

I didn’t get past the first episode of Transparent. I like the premise and Tamboor but the three kids were all extremely dislikable terrible people and it’s not funny/crazy enough for me to get past that like with Arrested Development or Always Sunny. It sort of reminded me of Six Feet Under when that show was at its worst and I stopped watching it.

I finished Transparent as well, but had the same initial reaction as you. I just immediately hated the kids and really didn’t want any screen time dedicated to their antics. In the end, I liked the show quite a bit (that’s the Tamboor’s performance), but it was terribly uneven. I do feel you get more insight about the siblings as the series progresses. The final final couple of episode puts all the characters in a good place for the show to find its groove.

Gordon, how many episodes have you watched. I think episode 6 or 7 is where the show really comes into its own.

New season is out. Haven’t started yet, so no idea if it’s the same quality, but I’m looking forward to it.

The kindest thing that I can say about the second season is that it is uneven. There are some incredibly cringe-worthy episodes and none with of the wit of the first season. Any charm the show might eke out is eventually ruined by melodrama. On the plus side, Bernadette Peters sings a couple of times and Malcolm McDowell says fuck a lot.

I could watch Bernadette Peters sigh for 30 minutes each episode and be happy.

Ahh, too bad. The first season was fun so I was hoping they’d keep it up.