My mood for the day: I actually had a pretty bad cold and spent most of the day in bed. I had no desire to watch anything remotely intellectually stimulating. I wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t be an issue if I fell asleep while watching, as that was a rather likely possibility.
What I watched: Amazon’s Mozart In the Jungle (S2:E3-S2:7) plus some Lush videos on YouTube.
Had I seen it before: This is my third or fourth time through it I think (first time for the Lush videos).
What IMDb says: Love, money, ambition and music intertwine in Mozart in the Jungle, a half hour comedic drama that looks at finding yourself and finding love while conquering New York City. A brash new maestro Rodrigo (Gael Garcia Bernal) stirs up the New York Symphony as young oboist Hailey (Lola Kirke) hopes for her big chance.
My Thoughts On What I Watched: I’ve hinted in the past how Mozart in the Jungle is one of my favorite shows currently in production but never have I written a proper blog post about it. I had actually started re-watching it about a month ago after seeing Coco, which features Mozart’s star, Gael Garcia Bernal. Hence already being up to Season 2, Episode 3.
What I’ve always thought makes Mozart special, you know besides Gael Garcia Bernal, is that it has this way of being entertaining without feeling like it’s trying too hard. Most of television is one of two extremes: the sitcom constantly trying to make you laugh, or the melodrama constantly trying for that “oh shiiiittt” moment (I’m looking at you, Shonda).
Mozart in the Jungle is literally the only show I’m aware of that pulls off the middle ground. It isn’t really funny in the way that something like The Office or Parks and Recreation is funny. I watch out of emotional investment in the characters and genuine desire to see what happens next rather than just “oh this will make me laugh.” But there’s still an element of realism that doesn’t exist in more dramatic works where every other episode features a character death or an illicit affair.
It also just so happens that today featured one of the best episodes of the series that marked a pivotal point for Hailey and Rodrogio. I’m referring of course to Season 2, Episode 6 wherein Hailey gets to visit Rodrigo’s abuela in Mexico.
For context (BUT ALSO SPOILERS) Rodrigo and Hailey had an impulsive kiss in the Season 1 finale but spend the first half of Season 2 acting like it didn’t happen. As a viewer you just know a moment like that is coming again. You’re hanging on the edge of your seat for another one. So in the beginning of this episode when the two escape from orchestral obligations to be impulsive together you’re like “OMG MAYBE TODAY IS THE DAY.”
Then there’s the scene where Abula is reading tea leaves and says in Spanish that Hailey and Rodrigo are going to have kids together but Rodrigo incorrectly translates it to prevent embarrassment. You can just feel this tension that’s been building and building start to bubble over. Just go watch it (and the preceding 15 episodes if necessary) before I get too excited and spoil it.
My Thoughts On Streaming In General: One of the things I found interesting is that I already started looking for content beyond television, in this case vlogs. Don’t get me wrong, I go in and out of moods where I binge watch people talking about fancy bath products anyway, but today was different. Today, I may have easily turned on something like Friends or watched FXX’s 257th Every Simpsons Ever marathon when I wanted something familiar, entertaining, but not too involving. Instead, when I got slightly bored with Mozart in the Jungle, I turned to YouTube.
I think it’s sometimes easy to forgot that Netflix, Hulu and Amazon aren’t just competing with each other as well as regular tv, but they’re competing with literally the entire internet or any other use of your free time. It’s not hard to find stuff to watch or do. Hell, I even played a board game with my family. If you don’t feel like watching tv, you don’t have to. This means that it’s not enough for streaming shows to just be the best streaming show, they have to be compelling enough to warrant pulling time away from other leisure activities.