Mozart in the Jungle’s new season is pure Joy, set against the backdrop of Venice’s Grand Canal and Broadway’s Canyon of Heroes. It’s so worth the wait.
Mozart in the Jungle is finally, fabulously back on Amazon for its third (10 episode) season, to the sheer delight of its legion of semi-crazed fans who won’t be disappointed, as the show is as unrepentantly romantic and buoyant as it ever was, if not more. And with the first and second seasons similarly divided into ten 23-minute episodes, those new to Mozart in the Jungle can easily marathon through to this new one in a rhapsodic and comical series bingeing afternoon.
When season 2 had ended, the future of the New York City Orchestra was one big question mark, after a stall (and a surprise betrayal) in contract negotiations left the musicians without a home in their foreseeable future. As season 3 begins, we find Rodrigo in Venice, hired to revitalize an aging diva’s career, while Hailey Rutledge too has traveled across the pond and ends up (of course) also on the Grand Canal, however for different reasons. Gloria and Thomas, meanwhile, are back in the Big Apple trying to put the pieces of the orchestra back together while their worlds are spinning toward new trajectories, both personal and artistic.
The original cast is back, headed by the irresistible man-child star conductor, Rodrigo, played by the wonderful Gael García Bernal. Bernadette Peters and Malcolm McDowell are in rare form as the backbone of the New York City Opera, giving the show it’s center of logical gravity, even amidst their own often wacky exploits. And Lola Kirke’s Hailey Rutledge has grown up from the naive young oboist who Rodrigo took under his wing, becoming a force to be reckoned with as she finds her own wings in the dizzying, international world of classical music. Joining the series this season is the Italian actress, Monica Bellucci who plays the elusive diva soprano known as ‘La Fiamma’ (the flame.) And look out for a cameo turn by none other than Placido Domingo, too. Oh, and what would a devilishly inventive show like Mozart in the Jungle decide to include but a fictional opera about the “Long Island Lolita,” Amy Fisher? Why not?
Unsurprisingly, Mozart in the Jungle is again up for the same Golden Globe awards it won last year, in the category of Best Television Comedy and for the resplendent Gael García Bernal in the category of Best Television Actor – Comedy Series.
Fact: Mozart in the Jungle is the only show whose new season arrival I actually programmed into my smart phone’s calendar. It’s just that wonderful. It’s also the kind of show you don’t worry about forgetting to resume if you don’t have the time to see it all right now. It will keep calling you until you do. It occurred to me that even when there are scenes or characters that may translate as silly or slight, there’s a sublime pulse under this show that’s as undeniable as the air we breathe. It’s genre is Romantic Comedy, which feels more right every time I see it. Because it’s definitely funny, at times even slapstick. But there’s something about its humor that feels so human, too. Maybe it’s the daunting beauty of the music, or the dazzling cityscapes of Venice and New York. Or maybe its that, at the center of the most zany moment that can easily be played just for the laugh, you find yourself choking up at the intensely honest emotion that wells up in your heart while you’re smiling from ear to ear.
Mozart in the Jungle is presently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
YouTube Trailer Courtesy of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajo11l1TI0Y
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