Amazon is making Mozart in the Jungle available for free to everyone this weekend, in celebration of its success at the Golden Globes last weekend.
Based on Blair Tindall’s memoir of the same name, the comedy series follows the New York Symphony, a fictional orchestra where artistic dedication and creativity collide with mind games, politics and survival instincts.
The series was created by exec producers Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom), Jason Schwartzman (The Darjeeling Limited), Paul Weitz (About a Boy) and John Strauss (There’s Something About Mary) and stars Gael Garcia Bernal as sexy conductor Rodrigo, who is hired to lead the orchestra – much to the annoyance of its former maestro (Malcolm McDowell). Lola Kirke co-stars as his assistant and fledgling oboist, Hayley, with Saffron Burrows, Hannah Dunne, Peter Vack and Bernadette Peters in the supporting ensemble.
“Confidence ripples down every octave of the piece,” we wrote in our review of its second season, released in December 2015. “What once seemed like directionless writing is now comfortably casual in its approach, happy to hop between concerts and cocktail parties, from the back of limos to the streets of Mexico, from one bedroom to another. Shaking off Difficult Second Album Syndrome, the show breezes past in a light flurry of entertainment, never concerned with structure or gripping narratives. That should be a problem, but miraculously, it isn’t.”
“At at time when gritty superheroes, drug cartels, political murders and fantasy epics are competing for your attention,” we added, “Mozart in the Jungle isn’t just a rare piece of light, upbeat fun, it’s managed to become something genuinely original: not just a musical or a comedy, but a musical comedy.”
The show promptly went on to win the 2016 Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy Series, while Bernal was crowned Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series. This year’s wins takes Amazon Studios’ total haul to four Golden Globes following last year’s double win for Transparent in the same categories – and also makes Amazon the first network in a decade to win Best Musical or Comedy Series and Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series in back-to-back years for different shows.
“What an incredible honour to be recognised by the press for two years in a row,” comments Roy Price, Vice President of Amazon Studios. “We are incredibly proud of Gael, Jason, Roman, Paul and everyone involved in the making of Mozart in the Jungle – it’s gratifying and exciting to see the success of this series.”
Amazon, though, remains something of a silver medallist to Netflix in the streaming landscape, as audiences gravitate towards the online retailer’s rival. Over Christmas, Mozart’s thunder (and that of many other festive TV releases) was stolen by Netflix’s documentary series Making a Murderer. Now, Amazon is looking to expand its audience by making both seasons of its Golden Globe-winning show available for free.
From 9pm on Friday 15th January to midnight on Sunday 17th January, anyone can watch Mozart in the Jungle, regardless of whether they have subscribed to Amazon Prime Video or not (it usually costs £5.99 a month). The show is also available on 4K on Amazon’s Fire TV box and compatible smart TVs, which also makes this a rare opportunity to see a whole TV series in Ultra HD for free.