Everything that is wrong in „Mozart in the Jungle“, season 4, episode 6, „Domo Arigato“

Rodrigo is back! And this time he has to manage a household with dozens of kids, as Hailey has morphed into an uncontrollable birthing machine…no wait, it was a dream!
As the lovable series about classical musicians arguing, doing drugs and having lots of sex starts its 4th season, the writers are clearly on the look for new and crazy ideas to keep Rodrigo busy (he’s a social worker! he’s a waiter! he’s a philosopher!), Pembridge in the picture (he teaches Hailey! he humps Gloria! he’s a pop star!) and Hailey as lovable as possible (she’s a talented conductor! she teaches tweeting kids! she visits her parents!).
Of course this also means that a lot of stuff is going on that would never happen in real life classical music world. Or would it? Let’s find out…

  1. 1:40 And we’re in Japan! Pembridge doesn‘t know that his friend is the head judge of the competition? If he really helped prepare Hailey for the competition he would also have checked out the website listing exactly that information.
  2. It‘s a nice idea, but I really have never heard of a competition where competitors and contestants mutually visit a church or shrine before the competition starts to get a „blessing“.
  3. 4:30 „Fugu“ holds a press conference in front of clearly mostly Japanese journalists, and speaks English? Doesn‘t he know that only a small minority of his countrymen will understand him at all?
  4. 6:30 ff. The contestants in a competition don‘t enter the hall at once but usually prepare alone before their appearance. And conducting competitions don‘t force their participants to wear numbers on their back like sportsmen! Also Yuki conducts a completely different piece from what is played, but we‘re used to that in this series. Also there are no „red flags“ to stop a contestant – each gets an allotted piece and a time slot. It seems like the screenwriters have not even tried to research real competitions, this is all pure fantasy!

  5. 9:00 even though it seems ludicrous, this is actually one of the more realistic ideas in „Mozart in the Jungle“ presented here (an AI finishing the Mozart Requiem, check out Harry Lehmann’s „Die digitale Revolution der Musik“).

  6. The conversation with the robot is the unrealistic part! This robot seems to have a free will and a personality, and that is still not possible like that (although it might be some day).

  7. 10:40 The CGI simulation of Rodrigo seems way too perfect and would cost too much if it was just meant as a „little demonstration of what you might say“ (Fugu)

  8. 11:30 If a new conductor steps in front of a new orchestra in such a situation he or she shakes the hand of the first violinist, everything else is considered impolite.

  9. 11:45 „she memorized it“. First of all, why would she say that when Hailey brought the score to the podium? And second: it‘s not that uncommon when conducting classical repertoire in such a situation.

  10. 12:00 Need I say it again? Conducting that particular passage like this wouldn‘t work!

  11. 13:20 Gloria is told urgently to take her shoes off while Betty still has hers on and the shrine is still a few metres away and there is lots of time to do it.

  12. 19:30 Gloria seems to have magic powers – not only can she convince the Karaoke band of an average bar in Tokyo to play the perfect song for the occasion perfectly and in the right tune for her, but she also has perfectly memorized every line of it. And why does she let her competitor sit next to Pembridge alone when she is so jealous?

  13. 21:13 and she manages a perfect trumpet cue as well!!!

  14. 21:20 Rodrigo and Pembridge meet on the street. By accident. In f****** Tokyo, I might add.

  15. 21:46 Rodrigo is conducting the robot requiem „tomorrow“? Without a single rehearsal?

  16. 22:45 Rodrigo and Pembridge are seriously losing this game by their inept drumming,  but the game doesn‘t care and pretends they are winning.

  17. 25:00 WAM is mightier than human conductors because he can start the orchestra without an upbeat!

  18. 29:00 Developing WAM must have cost millions, perhaps billions of dollars. And Rodrigo just throws him into the river? How will he ever pay the damages? I guess the next episode will tell us.

Moritz Eggert


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