Television critics and journalists have often referred to Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle,” and its focus on a classical music orchestra as “niche.” But executive producer Jason Schwartzman doesn’t believe that should keep audiences away from the comedy.
“I want as many people to enjoy the show as possible,” Schwartzman told Business Insider. “I think it’s sprinkled with a lot of things. I don’t want people to say, ‘It’s a show about classical music. I don’t like classical music. That’s not a show for me.'”
Yet, there’s plenty of references online that use the word “niche,” which generally means something appeals to or is appropriate for a specialised market, when referring to the show. For example, Variety’s TV columnist Brian Lowry referred to the show as “a niche confection” in his review last year. And A.V. Club’s Vikram Murthi lumped the classical music comedy into a group of “niche” shows like Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” and Amazon’s “Transparent” in his review of the show’s second season.
Schwartzman feels the idea that people would make decisions about their entertainment on the basis of whether they relate to the show’s subject matter or setting is “disturbing” for two reasons.
“One is it’s about classical music in a way, but it’s also about the people who play classical music. To me, I hope that people connect that it goes beyond the thing that it’s about,” said Schwartzman, who also plays Bradford on the show.
“The second thing, and this isn’t my idea, it’s Bret Easton Ellis,” the 35-year-old continued. “He says too many people are making up their minds whether or not they want to read or watch or listen to something on whether or not it relates to them. He’s like, ‘Shouldn’t we want to watch things we don’t relate to, to learn new stuff?’ So, if you’re customising everything to what you relate to, it could get to be a boring exercise.”
On the show’s second season, there are rumbles from the musicians’ union as their young conductor, Rodrigo (played by Gael García Bernal, who was just nominated for a Golden Globe for the role), has fresh worries about whether he has proven himself to be a good hire and whether this symphony and is truly his new home.
“[This show] is about a family of people,” Schwartzman said. “Musicians, like Olympic athletes maybe, it’s one of those few professions where you have to really want it and want that to be your job. That journey begins at a very young age. It’s a tremendous amount of sacrifice. Not a lot of people can relate to that journey except their friends. So, the orchestra is a family of people who all understand what it takes to get there. I think that’s what’s special about this show.”
The second season of “Mozart in the Jungle” is available now on Amazon Prime Instant Video.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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