Everything that is wrong in „Mozart in the Jungle“, Season 2, Episode 5 „Regresso del Rey“

Regresso del Rey


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 dialogue 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)


1) First Violin is remarkably calm for having had his expensive violin stolen. If this happened to a real life violinist he would be completely and utterly destroyed, crying, lamenting his fate, calling people up on the phone…not sitting in a foyer holding hands with Rodrigo. BUT….see 14)!

2) And why does Rodrigo have so much time to go on the hunt for the violin, before the most important concert of the tour? Doesn’t he have press dates or rehearsals or something? Rodrigo seems to have an awful lot of time on his hands for the prodigal son who returns.

3) 9:00 – apparently he has had a WHOLE DAY to spend on the hunt for the violin! It’s already dark…

4) Even though it’s kind of fun following Rodrigo through the night with his criminal friend – doesn’t that use every cliché about Mexico in the book? And if Rodrigo had such a colourful past (knowing how to have dealings with the underworld, stealing cars, etc.), how has he ever found time to practice the 20+ instruments he allegedly plays? Is he some kind of mutant with superpowers?

5) 15:30, yeah, in Mexico City shady violin dealers can just put a violin to their chin and play with fantastic skill and studio audio quality even if in some old storage room.

6) And it seems to be a really long night – concerts in Mexico start around 8 p.m., like in most places in the world. And usually it is not even dark in Mexico by that time, except in winter (but that doesn’t seem to be the current season). So how the heck could the violin search team spend so much time after nightfall and still be back in time at Las Bellas Artes for the concert (conductors and musicians usually have to be there at least an hour before to change and get prepared)? Gloria would already be scared out of her mind, calling Rodrigo every 5 minutes, but Rodrigo has time to visit the family of his friend, get chased by the police, drink Tequila, visit the violin salesman…and all this before actually arriving at the concert hall!

7) 18:30: Rodrigo stands in the biggest concert hall of Mexico City and speaks unamplified to the audience, in a normal speaking voice? How does he pull it off?

8) 19:44: that’s definitely not how one would conduct this rhythmic passage!

9) 20:06: quite a short piece, isn’t it? There was absolutely no cut in the music, and it just ends before anything like a development could take place. More like a jingle than an orchestra piece (or masterfully edited).

10) And the audience is frenetic! It’s nice to know that it needs so little to excite those Mexicans, they’re just really happy to see an American orchestra apparently…

11) 20:20: Especially on a long concert tour: musicians don’t hang around at the after-show wearing their tuxedo, that needs to be preserved for the next performances. They change before having a drink! In real life they would wear t-shirts.

12) It’s nice to see Mexicans actually speak Spanish to each other while in Mexico. If this was “24” they would speak English even if they are alone with no foreigners around!

13) 22:00 if my bad Spanish doesn’t deceive me the maestro is talking about a “cadenza of piccolo flutes” that was “rushing”? But which traditional orchestra piece (The “New York Symphony” doesn’t seem to play contemporary repertoire so far) actually has more than one piccolo flute in it playing a cadenza? There is no such piece! And if there was it wouldn’t be played…

14) 24:00 Ok, so that was why First Violin was remarkably calm. This is like the soldiers guarding Fort Knox in “Goldfinger” falling over unconvincingly, and later you learn they really faked it!

15) At 24:57 one can clearly see the shadow of the mike closing in on the monologue of First Violin on Rodrigo’s shoulder. Or it’s the long arm of the Mexican Law.

16) 26:00: and then he leaves without taking his valuable violin with him???

Moritz Eggert

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