Mozart in the Jungle

Common Sense Media says

Sex, drugs, and classical music in mature online series.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Talent is important in the classical world that's depicted, but it often takes a backseat to bed-hopping and social connections. Characters' excesses also tend to be glorified, particularly when it comes to partying.

Positive role models

Characters' musical talents are obvious and admirable, but the characters make a slew of iffy choices -- from binge drinking to bed-hopping -- that diminish their power as positive role models. 

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Sexual content can be steamy, stopping short of nudity but featuring multiple partners and salty talk such as "percussionists pound you like you're in a porno."

 

 

Language

Unbleeped cursing includes "f--k," "s--t,"and "bitch," plus sexually charged terms such as "t-ts," "shaft," "balls," and "pr--k."

 

 

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters engage in social drinking (including shots) and drug use (mostly pot) in party situations, often to excess.

 

 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Mozart in the Jungle explores a little-seen side of classical music that features strong, unbleeped language (including "f--k," "s--t," and "pr--k"), drinking and drug use (mostly pot), and simulated sex that stops just short of showing any nudity. The show is based on a controversial memoir of the same name chronicling the seedier side of a young oboist's classical music career.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

Based on the titillating memoir of the same name by Blair Tindall, MOZART IN THE JUNGLE follows an assortment of classical music artists working in New York City, centering on talented young oboist Hailey (Lola Kirke) and her interactions with a variety of big-name players. While Hailey navigates the ins and outs of getting hired, the city's storied symphony is undergoing changes of its own with the retirement of the seasoned maestro (Malcolm McDowell) and the arrival of his replacement, a hot young conductor (Gael Garcia Bernal).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Mozart in the Jungle isn't the only original series from Amazon Studios to harness the power of established stars (see also: Transparent), but its credentialed cast is certainly impressive and exciting, from McDowell and Bernal, who play the dueling maestros in a battle of then vs. now, to Tony winner Bernadette Peters, who plays the chair of the symphony board -- not to mention Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Alex Timbers, who penned the script. Several well-known classical musicians make cameos, too, making Mozart feel a little like Smash with a highbrow twist.

But, much like Smash, which drew a small but loyal audience of Broadway fans before it was ultimately canceled, Mozart might suffer from limited appeal, even in spite of its attempts to spice up classical music's stuffy image with sex and drugs aplenty. For consenting adults, there's enough here to like, but, for impressionable teens -- particularly those with aspirations to play music professionally -- Mozart roundly sets the wrong tone.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about classical music stereotypes and how Mozart in the Jungle often shatters them. How much of what you're seeing is based on fact, and how much has been sensationalized for TV? Does the show help or hurt classical music's image?

  • How does the televised version of Mozart in the Jungle compare to the memoir that inspired it? What changes were made, and do you think they were necessary?

  • Does the fact that Mozart in the Jungle airs on Amazon allow it to take more liberties in terms of content than traditional television shows? How has the advent of on-demand, original content changed the television landscape? 

TV details

Cast:Gael Garcia Bernal, Bernadette Peters, Lola Kirke
Network:Amazon
Genre:Drama
Topics:Arts and dance, Book characters, Music and sing-along
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:Streaming

This review of Mozart in the Jungle was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byyespleasebroadway April 26, 2015
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Good but edgy

I've only watched the pilot, so I can't say too much, but Mozart in the Jungle is a brilliant series with incredible acting and writing; however, I would recommend that if you are going to watch it, you are aware of the maturity level. There is a lot of drinking and such, and there are sex scenes. Also, the language can get pretty bad, with several uses of the word f**k. However, if you know what you're getting into and are familiar with the world of music, you will enjoy.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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