Everything that is wrong in „Mozart in the Jungle“. Season 2, Episode 1 „Stern Papa“
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….
SEASON 2 EPISODE 1 “STERN PAPA”
1) So there is a new intro? I wonder how many composers participated this time in the writing of these few seconds. 8 maybe?*
2) Ok, the actor portraying Mozart has the worst Austrian/German accent ever. Did the actor think that Mozart was actually French?
3) 2:42…that upbeat won’t work, Rodrigo. It won’t work at all. And then you continue in a different tempo than the orchestra is actually playing.
4) 3:55…a conductor would not say out loud in front of his baseball playing orchestra members that he likes another orchestra more. He would only say it to his conducting buddies late at night at the bar.
5) 6:20…showing a composer at work is really difficult, but Pembridge is not composing, he is just completely crazy. But perhaps that was the point. At 6:37 the music on the floor seems to have different handwriting, which also means that Tom has Multiple Personality Disorder.
6) 7:00…practicing from a Dover Study (full) Score is not normally the way to practice an Oboe solo part (you would do that from your part, which only contains what the oboe plays), especially when you’re sleeping over with your friend and don’t want to lug the extra kilos around New York.
7) 7:14…not many people will notice it, but why is the Turkish March played on a cheap electric keyboard with awful sound instead of a normal piano? Or is this supposed to symbolize the hollowness of modern city life? I guess not…
8) 9:35… a company that supports the orchestra with….FIVE MILLION DOLLARS???? I don’t care what they do in Nigeria, just give me the money…
9) 12:14…in a nice touch of realistic continuity: there actually is a poster of the Sibelius concerto of the first season in the background, with the correct name of the (planned) soloist.
10) 15:25…if there ever is a sentence that should not be spoken aloud then it is “I fucking love Bach”. Especially if you pronounce “Bach” that wrong. Or perhaps it is some freaky lesbian code?
11) 15:30…you don’t applaud if your usual conductor comes to the usual rehearsal. Not even if it is Rodrigo. Are they so happy to see the guy they see every day….again?
12) 16:00…in a rehearsal people usually know what is being rehearsed. And usually “Schubert” would be enough, you don’t have to give the key and Symphony name to the players, they have that in front of them (and actually, thanks to the reliable continuity, they really have the correct symphony on their note stands).
13) 17:20….Rodrigo is talking endlessly about batons and has one as a prop to reinforce his story….but he never uses them! Actually this is a realistic, some conductors don’t use batons, it is not unheard of. But then they also don’t bring them to the rehearsal as they don’t need them!!!
14) 17:35…while Rodrigo is clumsily fiddling with the pages, he misses the important upbeat to the new section. But the orchestra plays flawlessly anyway!
15) 19:32…the mobile phone ringing during the concert? Yes, it is completely and utterly realistic. I’ve seen exactly this happening countless times, my favorite was the Asian lady who frantically searched her handbag which hung from the note stand and who managed to topple it over during the concert.
16) 19:40…why is Bob is always saying he plays the piccolo instead of playing the flute (like he does here – correct, the 8th symphony doesn’t have piccolo in it).
17) 21:20…the same cab is creepily following Rodrigo on his bike ride, but then it mysteriously vanishes once he reaches Hayley’s apartment. It’s Travis Bickle, I suppose.
18) 24:00…good call: Hayley’s practicing actually does segue into the Mahler symphony they are playing “next week”.
19) 25:56…”selected music is available at amazon.com”. Which incidentally also produces the show. Talk about devious marketing!
*actually it’s 7 composers (!!!) who were involved in this, see 25:51