We binge-watched Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs and Classical Music and counted the sex, drugs and classical music

It's won two Golden Globes and a third series has been commissioned. So why hasn't anybody watched it?

Mozart in the Jungle

What is this 'Mozart in the Jungle'?

Mozart in the Jungle is a TV show about young conductor Rodrigo (Gael Garcia Bernal) who is brought in to shake up the fictional New York Symphony – an organisation threatened by shrinking budgets and union unrest. It’s based on the eponymous book by Blair Tindall, a real-life exposé of life as a classical musician in New York.

The first series of Mozart in the Jungle premiered in January 2015 – with the second series released in December.

Mozart in the Jungle season 3 premiere date announced >

Is it any good?

Mozart in the Jungle hasn't made a huge impression on the popular consciousness, but there are signs that people are starting to take notice. The show has just won two Golden Globes (best comedy TV series and best comedy TV series actor for Bernal) – and a third series has just been commissioned.

As actor Albert Brooks tweeted following the Golden Globes:

Albert’s challenge has not fallen on deaf ears. It’s time for a MitJ binge.

The challenge

Classic FM asked its victim (me) to decide whether the show is any good, and more importantly, whether it lived up to its alluring tagline: ‘Sex, drugs and classical music’. To do this, I had to live tweet throughout all 10 episodes of season 1.

The tally was ready:

The reviewer was ready:

Let the binge commence!

We did not have to wait long to add ‘sex’ to the tally:

FYI - this is the protagonist, talented young musician Hailey (played by Lola Kirke), teaching an overprivileged teenage boy to play the oboe.

The fun came thick and fast in the opening episode. A pot-smoking double bass player; Gael Garcia Bernal (playing Rodrigo, the brilliant young Mexican conductor based on Gustavo Dudamel)...

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...Malcolm Macdowell playing the bitter old conductor he’s replacing; a musicians’ house party with a classical take on spin-the-bottle; Joshua Bell:

Joshua Bell in Mozart in the Jungle

And how’s that Sex/ Drugs/ Classical Music tally coming along?

Our tireless reviewer continued to plough through series one for 10 straight episodes.

We learned a number of things, some of which might even have some basis in fact:

1. Most members of the orchestra, including administrative staff, are on prescription drugs sold to them by the percussionist

2. Rodrigo’s favourite pick-me-up, maté, is completely legal

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Despite the director’s transparent attempts to make us think it was a drug (above ). In fact, our reviewer even had a pack of maté in his cupboard and was able to sample it:

3. Classical musicians have special jokes

4. You cannot escape Classic FM Hall of Fame favourite 'The Lark Ascending' – even on your death bed

5. Perhaps it’s time journalists stopped asking if classical music is dead

6. Pianists have issues

There were heartwarming bits

And great lines

Mozart in the Jungle quote

There were even real music issues

The final tally

And after five hours of incessant tweeting, our reviewer totalled up the sex, drugs and classical music in Mozart in the Jungle.

So, was it any good?

What are you waiting for? You can watch Mozart in the Jungle, series 1 & 2, on Amazon Prime now >

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