Everything that is wrong with „Mozart in the Jungle“, Season 2, Episode 3: „It all depends on you“

So we’re onto season 2 of “Mozart in the Jungle” now! MIJ is a great show – it has perfect casting, witty scripts, great actors…and screenwriters who try to unsuccessfully imagine how the classical music scene works. Actually it sometimes even adds to the fun that they don’t have a clue, as we become witnesses to scenes and dialogues that would never happen in real life. Isn’t that what TV is about?
But as it is fun to nitpick here is a rundown of all the mistakes in season 2, episode by episode….
(Moritz Eggert)

Episode 3: It all depends on you

1) 0:20 “in the second bar of the diminuendo” is not a very precise description, as every orchestra piece contains countless diminuendos usually. Why is Rodrigo never giving bar numbers or rehearsal marks like real-life conductors? Because it would sound boring on TV, that’s why…

2) 1:00…this is definitely not how an orchestra is going on strike. They would not even come to the rehearsal for a start, and they also would not make “gee, I’m not playing” jokes. They would form a picket line or protest in front of management, not smoke joints and read books.

3) 1:21…AND IT WAS ALL A DREAM!

4) 4:00…he is shooting a video for his podcast? That must be a vidcast then. Just saying.

5) 12:05…Branford is really very knowledgeable about music if he knows an orchestra oboist from times long bygone by first sight. It’s even amazing that Hailey recognizes the dude. And some conductor called “Klemper” liked him. Does he mean Klemperer? Well, it’s an old people’s home after all.

6) And the guy is legit! His mixing advice for a vodka martini is spot on (15:45). Stirred, not shaken.

7) Pemberton now acting as an assistant to the artistic management and phoning up conductors as a replacement is …taking it a bit far. It is unrealistic enough that the guy is still lingering around the place that basically kicked him out! Does he have no pride?

8) 17:50: “He can conduct all night long!”, says Pemberton. What a weird pedigree – it’s not like waving a baton in the air is such hard work.

9) If a new conductor walks into a hall with an orchestra, and there is no rehearsal scheduled with him, he could not start the orchestra “like a car”, no matter how much he waved his baton around. The orchestra would simply completely ignore him. And if it’s their union ruled break they wouldn’t even play for Rodrigo. And come on: the guy looks like a pimp, not like a conductor!

10) Ok, there are wild conductors out there, and Rodrigo is most certainly an already exaggerated version with no resemblance to real life conductors, but this pimp guy is pushing it. Having his baby strapped to his back? Come on!

11) 19:00 And why the hell is the orchestra so creepily silent during the conversation between the 3 conductors? Either they have a break (but then they wouldn’t sit idly on stage, they would smoke or drink coffee) or they have a rehearsal, but if the latter is the case they would not listen to these guys talk but instead talk among themselves. Whatever it is, the whole situation is unrealistic.

12) And come to think of it: Why are they on strike for Rodrigo, but not for the pimp conductor, who just walks in?

13) 19:20: Hayley wants to surprise her boyfriend but waves the very bag which contains her present to him in front of her while walking next to him. Wouldn’t that ruin the surprise a bit?

Moritz Eggert

Komponist

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