While I was deep into my binge of Nurse Jackie on Netflix, I received an email from Amazon that Mozart in the Jungle's newest season was available. For those who haven't seen the show, it tells the story of Rodrigo de Souza (played by Gael Garcia Bernal), the newly minted conductor for the New York Symphony. You can revisit my reviews of season one, two and three.
What I've discovered over the years is that people either love or hate this show. There is no, "Oh, I tried it and I couldn't commit." It's either "I'm obsessed with that show!" or "Ooof. I lasted two episodes before I gave up." I am definitely in the love camp.
For me, the lead character, Rodrigo, is captivating. He experiences the world with a child-like wonder that I envy, but that free spirit is coupled with a frenetic, manic energy that it's impossible to contain (and can be hard to watch). He's a bit of a mad scientist.
Rodrigo shares the screen with an up and coming oboe player, Hailey. He pronounces her name "Jai-alai," which cracks me up every single time. #EasilyAmused
Hailey is played by Lola Kirke (sister of Jemima Kirke from GIRLS). In the fourth season, Hailey tries to step out of Rodrigo's shadow and become a conductor herself. This story line got me very fired up, particularly in our current political climate. The show makes a point to say over and over again that there are very few successful, female conductors. I relished getting to watch a fierce, talented woman chase her passion.
In season two Rodrigo returned home to Mexico, last season he went to Italy and this season he and Hailey travel to Japan. The cinematographers on this show are incredibly gifted. You truly feel transported to a far away land with every scenic shot or elaborate meal. During several episodes I had an overwhelming craving for noodles.
*SPOILER ALERT! Do not keep reading if you don't want to know any specifics about season four.*
I had two favorite episodes this season, number one and number three. In the season opener, called "The Boyfriend," Rodrigo and Hailey go public with their relationship and he tells everyone he passes on the street that he's someone's boyfriend. I found his giddiness about being with her adorable beyond belief.
In the third episode, "Significant Lover," Rodrigo visits a ballet choreographer who is interested in designing a show that tells his life story. As the choreographer asks Rodrigo questions, the ballet company begins to interpret his answers into movement. It was so cool watch. On a larger scale, I was impressed the writers incorporated modern dance into the script, not just classical music.
This show has a supporting cast with serious comedic chops, including Bernadette Peters as the symphony's director and Malcolm McDowell as the former maestro. In season four, Thomas decides to separate himself for the symphony and begins conducting for a fledgling orchestra in Queens.
I was completely sucked into season four, finishing all 10 episodes in three days. Each is 30 minutes long. I have to admit, I found the classical music very soothing. When I said that to my sister, she replied, "You know, Mol, you can listen to classical music any time you want, not just when you're watching the show." Face palm.
Now that I've finished this season, I've moved on to season two of Sneaky Pete. Tell me, what are you currently watching?