Everything that is wrong in „Mozart in the Jungle“, Season 2, Episode 6 „How to make God laugh“

How to make God laugh


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)


  • 01:50 In typical Vaudeville fashion: if you want to hide the lover in your bed from the guy knocking at the door…FIRST HAVE A REALLY LOUD CONVERSATION WITH HIM BEFORE HIDING HIM! It will work, promised…
  • Thinking about it – given that Pembridge is just travelling along with the orchestra – why is there actually a journalist waiting for him at the airport? He isn’t actually doing anything in this tour! And again and again we are told that he is a has-been that nobody cares for anymore.
  • 6:44 In the window behind Mexican sponsor guy one can see the reflection of the green screen behind the window. You didn’t think they were actually flying in this scene, did you?
  • 8:40 the immediate reaction of overwhelming bliss when listening to less than a bar of “La Bohème” is…a bit exaggerated, don’t you think? It’s like the guy has an instant orgasm by Puccini.
  • …and in a bloody helicopter you couldn’t hear soft music played on an iphone, and also not much of the soft conversation that went before (although granted: one could probably always hear Gloria’s grating voice!)
  • So why didn’t Rodrigo tell his grandma that he was coming? Doesn’t he have a phone or something? And thinking about it: grandma – albeit friendly – doesn’t exactly keel over with surprise when her grandchild suddenly appears at the door…who hasn’t even told her that he is in the country! Her reaction is rather benign, even somewhat subdued…
  • 16:25 Bob must be really unique – I don’t know any flutist who starts his career out with…THE PICCOLO! And even weirder: the orchestra seems to hire him out only as…THE PICCOLO PLAYER! He even plays in pieces that…DON’T FEATURE THE PICCOLO! Reality check: even though flutists can specialize on being really good piccolo players they usually still play the normal flute. And the orchestra usually hires a third flutist that…sometimes…is obliged to also play the piccolo. A lot of classical repertoire doesn’t even feature piccolo flute and until today a lot of orchestra pieces are written that don’t have piccolo flute in them.
  • 21:00 everybody who has ever worked with a Mexican orchestra (and I have) knows that you don’t just enter a courtyard at a certain moment and everybody is there and immediately ready! Half of them would stand somewhere, smoking, others would fiddle around, others would talk.
  • They do this concert every week in the plaza? For whom? And why in the open? What happens when it rains? Oh, they do it because one day a camera team will come along and it will simply look gorgeous on TV.
  • And they play pretty clean for an orchestra of mostly young kids – and it sounds like in Carnegie Hall!
  • 21:20 and now we know where Rodrigo learned his bizarre conducting technique. From the bearded Maestro! The only actor so far who manages to look even less convincing than Rodrigo while conducting!
  • 21:25 So this is the 15 second piece that Rodrigo conducted as his first piece? Which orchestra piece starts like that and only lasts 15 seconds? Only in Mexico…I say this because he orchestra basically stops playing like the piece has come to an end, without any sign from the Maestro that they should stop! Or is the weird gesture he makes a “stop” gesture? It looks like he is conducting traffic.
  • 22:22 and those crazy Mexicans dragged a piano into the plaza! They probably do that every week as well…
  • And the Music sounds like American Film Music trying to sound Mexican. Why would they play a piece like that? Wouldn’t they rather play real Mexican Music?
  • 24:10 if in real life a successful conductor was offered to take over a youth orchestra in some tiny village – he would probably run away screaming (actually Rodrigo does, in a way)! Even though famous conductors often conduct youth orchestras and enjoy working with young talents they always do it on a short-term basis, never permanently.
  • And…what an old, pompous fart the “maestro” is! Why isn’t he proud of what Rodrigo achieved: international success and fame? Why does he want to cruelly take it away from him and force him to conduct young amateurs in the Mexican countryside? No good teacher would ever demand this from a successful pupil…Why doesn’t he simply ask Rodrigo to come by from time to time? I am sure he would say yes…and his grandma would be happy, too!
  • They force people from economy to vacate a seat in business class, but not the other way round. If the seat is free and Rodrigo would want to sit there, no airline hostess would prevent him!

Moritz Eggert