Mozart in the Jungle is back for a fourth season, February 16th on Amazon Prime.
By Ariba Bhuvad
The sweet sound of the New York Symphony Orchestra has once again found its way back into our lives in the form of Mozart in the Jungle. Its return brings the corky, eccentric conductor Rodrigo (Gael Garcia Bernal) and talented Hailey (Lola Kirke) into a story much different than past seasons. With their fairly new relationship, the fourth season explores their dynamic as a couple—with some obstacles along the way.
After last season’s failed audition, Hailey embarks on a new journey towards becoming a conductor. This proves more difficult than she imagined, especially with a world-famous conductor as her boyfriend. While this relationship provided a new twist on the story, it also felt that it was the primary driving force behind this season. Much of the focus fell on Hailey’s feelings about proving herself worthy or Rodrigo trying to be “the boyfriend”. At times, it felt like it distracted us from the core beauty of this show—the amazing music.
Rodrigo faced demons of his own as he faced the idea of losing his muse, Mozart. Where once he looked to his visions for inspiration, now there was complete silence. This becomes an uphill battle of sorts as he juggles this artistic loss while trying to be in a relationship. Watching this struggle was entertaining because we’ve never quite seen Rodrigo’s character like this before. Watching his spaz and aloofness focus in on love and using unconventional ways to locate his muse was amusing and frustrating—all at the same time.
Perhaps the most entertaining aspect of this season was seeing Thomas (Malcolm McDowell) take his talents to Brooklyn to be a part of a start-up orchestra. I feel like it gave him a larger part in the story, and brought some hilarious moments to the season. His “no effs given” attitude lit up the screen as he stepped into this new role and away from the Orchestra. Watching him find his purpose once again was inspiring and hopeful, a message we can all learn from.
All in all, the fourth season of Mozart in the Jungle proved to be fairly solid. However, the focus on the love story was quite frustrating at times. It was the classic “my boyfriend is more successful than me, so I have to prove myself” storyline, which is overdone and boring. Luckily for Mozart, its saving grace has always been its music and even when it was casted to the sidelines, it would find its way back. This season did a good job focusing on a very common occurrence in the world of arts—losing your muse. I think Bernal did a good job showcasing Rodrigo’s anxiety and frustration with this. And the lengths to which he went were absolutely hilarious and silly. While the season may have shifted its focus in a way I didn’t quite enjoy, the beautiful music was enough to keep me engaged all the way through. Welcome back Mozart in the Jungle, we’ve missed you.
I give Mozart in the Jungle a B.