Mozart in the Jungle: Season 3
December 8, 2016 10:31 PM - Season 3 (Full Season) - Subscribe

The orchestra is still on strike, Rodrigo hates bureaucracy, and Hailey works for a jerk. Who doesn't want to see a Joey Buttafuoco opera?
posted by Eyebrows McGee (26 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm up to episode 3, it is as delightful as ever, and I am SO THERE for Jai Alai becoming a conductor!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:59 PM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Jai Alai is the best running joke in the entire show! (Best single joke I think remains Betty's oboe, uh, gesture.)

l went through this season pretty fast, but overall it felt less like a coherent story and more like a medley of loosely connected farcical sketch comedy. There were a few points where I lost the thread and didn't bother to rewind.

-Baby Mozart's face when Rodrigo pretended not to know who "the guys" were
-Nannerl and "excuse me, do I know you?"
-Rodrigo's terrible Italian
-the dressing room bubble showdown. Bernal has absurd chemistry with everyone. I understand, from a show running standpoint, not wanting to lock him down romantically. Why waste him on one actress??
-relatedly Bernal's little slide down the couch during Hailey's conducting lesson, plus his 15 second bit with Lizzie and Sean. Seriously I think he may have gotten every occupant of that apartment pregnant in that 15 seconds just by being a tiny ball of sex appeal
-Lizzie's Czech singer. I wanted more Lizzie in this season.

-Rodrigo really doesn't own ANYTHING? Or have ANY money? Anywhere? Like fine, he waived his salary and donated his Venice fee but like...nothing? He doesn't do anything that costs money! He doesn't live anywhere! He should be rolling in cash!
-Cynthia and Thomas's late night drink. Not because it wasn't true to the characters or well-well-done but because it was so painful to watch.
-NINE more terrible taco commercials? How many terrible taco commercials can the market NEED.
-Needed more Betty.
-Needed a more focused and less distractable Hailey. Reach for your DREAMS, Jai Alai! But first figure out exactly what they are! And for God's sake, you know none of them are a baby! Except lbr, there's gonna be a baby. There are literal and metaphorical babies all over this season, there is a symphony baby coming. Season four is all symphony baby. UGH. I am not that into baby-having so maybe my prejudice is showing but UGH JAI ALAI DON'T HAVE A BABY MOVE TO BERLIN OR SOMETHING UGH UGH UGH.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 2:06 AM on December 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

My brother worked on this season and I am so pleased people like it!!

Easter egg: The drag-artist street singer with whom Alessandra briefly sings along in Episode 1 is played by the guy who became YouTube-famous for this impression of Cecilia Bartoli. He's now a countertenor working in Europe.
posted by Pallas Athena at 11:40 AM on December 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've only watched the first five eps of this season, but I'm completely enchanted by this show! It is the only thing getting me through this horrible post-election time, and I am afraid of finishing it.

I will come back and comment more substantively when I'm through, but do you have any suggestions of what I might watch next? I love how gentle and relatively low-stakes everything is (Jai alai tells Betty she made out with Rodrigo, but it turns out fine!) (I know the lockout is high stakes for the characters, but it just seems so mellow.)

Also, worth looking up the clip of Gabriel Garcia Bernal winning the Golden Globe last year just to admire how he mispronounces Lola Kirke's name.
posted by purpleclover at 11:37 AM on December 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh geez, sorry GAEL García Bernal.
posted by purpleclover at 11:48 AM on December 13, 2016

Y'ALL! I did finish the show, and it actually ... exceeded my hopes for it?

A thing I really like about the show that I haven't seen noted elsewhere is that lots of people (women!) have sex with lots of other people and it's totally fine. Cynthia has a healthy sex life (plus chill bisexuality that doesn't have to turn into a DEAL!), Betty has her former student in his skivvies, Gloria has Pavel then Thomas. And! Hailey has had sex with Alex, presumably the board dude, Andrew Walsh, the mime in Venice (?) and there is zero-zip-no implication that she's somehow "deflowered" or, like, impure or not worthy of Rodrigo. This is actually very unusual in pop culture! Likewise, Rodrigo not only has sex with La Fiamma, he also gets called out by Hailey not for the sex part but for being capricious with his emotions.

A lot of my thoughts right now are about the romantic through line (although that's not the only thing I like about the show, and I didn't even realize it was going to happen until the last episode of the first season).

My first thought about the "children" prediction by the grandmother is that the youth orchestra is their baby, but on rewatching a little bit, I think Rodrigo felt rejected by Hailey about his bizarre request to have a baby, HE figured his grandmother meant something else, so came up with the bonkers, half-baked youth orchestra idea. Over on Reddit, there was some suggestion that he seemed to regret sleeping with Hailey; I think he regrets starting this complicated youth orchestra thing as a substitute for Hailey when he could have just had Hailey the whole time.
posted by purpleclover at 9:11 AM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Along with the youth orchestra being a fulfillment of his previously failed commitment to his maestro, of course.
posted by purpleclover at 9:24 AM on December 14, 2016

Other thoughts:
- Did not like the prison episode at all. Felt condescending about prisoners, and while I might have enjoyed B. Sharpe's terrible cinematography for a few minutes, the whole 30 minutes seemed like a waste of an episode. (But it also seemed like such a sink of production resources and so difficult that they needed to justify it with a whole episode). I enjoy the film-within-a-film trope really only when the filmmaker captures some salient details that they're unaware of but has meaning for the audience. (Like the wedding episode in the Yahoo season of Community or, um, I guess the entire premise of "The Office.")

- Locking everyone in the church is, like, a felony?

- The way everyone calls Thomas and Rodrigo "maestro" is kinda weird when you think about it. Hailey's going to have to get some more straight talk from Nannerl to really get herseld into that mindset.

- I LOVED the visit from Nannerl.

- More Lizzie! More Lizzie! Her costume change from tuxedoed composer to the Stockard Channing character from "Grease" (? I think?) was delightful. And I have high hopes that her performance space will be a home for Hailey's ambitions. (Would like it if we got a return of some of her fellow AWE members.)

- More Sean too! Cole Escola was great on "Difficult People," and I'm psyched to see him here.

- loved the visit to Gloria's parents.
posted by purpleclover at 10:07 AM on December 14, 2016

Oh god please tell me I'm not the only one who hates Lizzie. I would be thrilled if she just never was on the show again.

Rodrigo's dalliance with La Fiamma just felt like retreading old territory - a tormented, drama-filled romance with a tempestuous, super-talented musician? Didn't we see this in Season 1 with his (now) ex-wife Anna Maria? It bored me.

This season just felt less focused overall than the past two. I enjoyed it as a bit of escapism during a horrible time, but I think the first two seasons were written more tightly and were just better television as a result. The stakes were just so low this time around. I was underwhelmed.

Oh but Rodrigo's horrible taco commercial had me dying with laughter. Dying. Gael Garcia Bernal is a treasure. The way he just threw himself into yelling "SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER TACOS!!!!!!!!" oh man I'm going to go watch it again.
posted by thereemix at 11:21 AM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

i think the La Fiamma thing was supposed to be an Anna Maria retread? To show that Rodrigo's romantic capacity has had a very limited repertoire, and that the thing with Jai Alai is something new and different?

(I am not trying to argue with you or suck up all the air in this thread, but between the disaster of the election and some awful things happening personally, I just want to talk about this show all the time.)
posted by purpleclover at 1:20 PM on December 14, 2016

purpleclover - that's a really good point and I'm happy to recontextualize the dalliance that way, it gives it far more depth than I was picking up on.

I want to keep talking about this show too! I do love it even if I found this particular season to be a bit disjointed.
posted by thereemix at 6:26 PM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

" I just want to talk about this show all the time"

I approve of this message.

(I just need to get farther into the season to talk about it all the time, i can't watch it until my kids are in bed and then there's a NARROW WINDOW between when they go to bed and when my husband who also loves it falls asleep and I have to turn it off so he doesn't get sad I watched it without him.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:26 PM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Placido Domingo!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:41 PM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

Also Habanera was a great choice for "Symphony of Red Tape" both in terms of music, lyrics, and Maria Callas reference.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:46 PM on December 14, 2016

I just want to tell you all that when I recognized Placido Domingo by sight my husband acted like I was a wizard.
posted by purpleclover at 9:49 AM on December 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

Absolutely friggin' adored the Messaien Quartet for the End of Time at Rikers. (Non-musical) husband also very moved by it, and very interested by the ondes martinot.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:49 PM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

Spoilerz for those who haven't finishsed~

I hated la fiamma, entirely. I thought her acting was poor and the voiceover while she was signing was terribly done, it was very obvious. I also think the writing between la fiamma and rodrigo was weirdly rushed and out of place. Like, when she cooks pasta for him: he literally takes one bite, and then she clears the plates and narrates what she's doing. It felt like a high school script. There was no semblage of time-passed, like most TV dinners, where conversation happens and you just assume it's throughout the night. She basically took the food away in the same conversation that he took the bite in.

I loved the last half of the season, though. I love betty, I love Union bob, I love these people. I felt Rodrigo was way more fickle and childish, and I think it suited him well, and I was glad that they started pointing out how much of a giant baby he is. He actually had repercussions! He wasn't some deus ex machina that could magically pull the money together because he's .:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆Rodrigo☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:. He had to work for it and be a business man! The "chairs don't cost money, they're just there!" line killed me.

I interpreted the ending scene as the gravity of rodrigo realizing he's in love, honestly. His flash back moments were so tender - coming inside and pulling her close and giggling, laying in bed while she strokes his hand and he moves closer to her, she turns to him and the both laugh from joy. I thought it was altogether very sweet.
posted by FirstMateKate at 6:42 PM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

I loved the last half of the season, though. I love betty, I love Union bob, I love these people. I felt Rodrigo was way more fickle and childish, and I think it suited him well, and I was glad that they started pointing out how much of a giant baby he is.

YES! to all this.

I'm rewatching from the beginning, and I'm surprised at how difficult Rodrigo's been from the beginning; I don't know why I was giving him a pass on my first viewing. I forgot that when they did the rehearsal in the lot, Gloria got an $80,000 performance bill from Union Bob (Rodrigo pays it out of pocket). No wonder he doesn't have any money for the youth orchestra.

I interpreted the ending scene as the gravity of rodrigo realizing he's in love, honestly

Yes me too. The flashbacks are nothing but good. An interesting thing about rewatching is a moment in season 1, ep 5 "I'm With the Maestro" when Rodrigo talks to the priest on the park bench and he describes his passion for Anna Maria and, with eyes closed, says "Have you ever felt this dreadful passion? I close my eyes and I see her. ..." It stood out for me because at the end of the last ep in season 3, he has his flashback about his night with Jai Alai with his eyes SO OPEN, memorably open.

(When I wrote my earlier comment—this is true—I was in the midst of preparing to teach an art lesson at my 5-year-old's school as a volunteer, a thing I am not qualified to do, and I think it colored my feelings about how annoying it is to set up a youth orchestra.)
posted by purpleclover at 10:26 AM on December 19, 2016

I hated la fiamma, entirely. I thought her acting was poor and the voiceover while she was signing was terribly done, it was very obvious.

The voiceover was really awful when she was singing. I actually liked La Fiamma when I thought she was consciously manipulating Hailey and Rodrigo so that she could truly feel the emotions of the Amy Fisher piece. I liked the idea that instead of a tortured artist she was really more coldly pragmatic and insensitive to other people. But the show just left it as a retread with no payoff. The concert itself was so beautifully staged on the barge. I can't get over the production values of this show sometimes.

A thing I really like about the show that I haven't seen noted elsewhere is that lots of people (women!) have sex with lots of other people and it's totally fine.

There are a lot of great roles -- major and minor -- for women on this show. It passes the Bechdel test all the time, which is impressive given its rom-com streak.

I loved seeing Cynthia standing next to a basketball player in the doctor's office and having them nearly the same height. Speaking of height, Lola Kirke's listed height is 5'3", but in most scenes, she's towering over Gael Garcia Bernard (whose listed height is 5'7"). Are their publicists just lying in opposite directions? Are they really making Kirke wear 6" heels in every scene?
posted by gladly at 7:51 AM on January 3, 2017

Like, when she cooks pasta for him: he literally takes one bite, and then she clears the plates and narrates what she's doing.

No, no, no - this scene is brilliant!! Alessandra is testing Rodrigo to see if he'll be truthful with her. She serves him intentionally overcooked pasta and if you watch his reaction to that first bite - it clearly tastes terrible. But he says nothing, even when she asks him directly.

Alessandra: How is the pasta?
Rodrigo: (pause) It is so good...
Alessandra: Not overcooked?
Rodrigo: It is excellent, just right. (Chewing and wincing)
Alessandra: My dear Maestro, I'm very sorry that you have come all this way for nothing.
Rodrigo: For nothing?
Alessandra: I am afraid that it is impossible that this concert should proceed.

She immediately gets up to clear the table because this was not a meal, this was an interview and Rodrigo just blew it. A conductor that won't be honest with her is one that she can not trust and will not work with. She doesn't want to risk being turned a joke so she will go back to her normal life - washing her dishes, taking a nap - and tells Rodrigo to tell Beppi "finitia la commedia," "The farce is over." Luckily, Rodrigo catches on to her ploy and immediately confronts her on it.

Rodrigo: Alessandra! The pasta was overcooked. By at least three minutes.
Alessandra: Four and a half!
Rodrigo: Well I'm not here to conduct your cooking.
Alessandra: And if my singing is overcooked...
Rodrigo: I will never allow that - never.

This commitment to honesty is what opens the door to her ultimately agreeing to work with him.

Also, I love the idea of pasta as a culinary lie-detector!
posted by platinum at 11:04 PM on January 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Re: all the casual sex, one of my favorite bits was that it turns out that Andrew Walsh has also had sex with the one guy in his ensemble. And he did the body painted F holes on him too! Similar to Cynthia with the lawyer in season 2, bisexual antics are a complete non-event.
posted by dnash at 9:15 AM on January 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

The prison episode was really interesting. The thing I wondered at the time was "are these interviews with prisoners who describe such great reactions to this music real, or part of the script?" Because if they're real, then it's an extraordinary statement in the power of art - even highly difficult art like Messiaen. If the interviews were scripted, though, it would be nothing but utopian puffery.

Well, they were real. (Article on the episode from Flavorwire.) The whole thing was. Real performance filmed live at Riker's, real interviews with the prisoner audience after.
posted by dnash at 10:41 AM on January 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

"I have observed young musicians learning to conduct — I’ve even taken a crack at it myself — and the show gets the process improbably right. True, an orchestral musician as experienced as Hailey would probably have an easier time with the basic gesture patterns, and more confidence locating the downbeat. But the real violin virtuoso Joshua Bell tells the fictional Hailey that if she has clear musical ideas, it doesn’t really matter how she gets them across. And it’s true: One of the mysteries of conducting is that vague technique can still achieve superb musical results. But you do have to understand musicians, as well as music. "
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:42 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Renewed for season 4!
posted by purpleclover at 1:18 PM on January 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

i think the La Fiamma thing was supposed to be an Anna Maria retread?

Perhaps they were hinting at this by having actual opera singer Ana María Martínez provide her singing voice.
posted by mountmccabe at 6:43 AM on July 27, 2017

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