Link Party: 1/4-1/8

El Niño skies.
El Niño skies.

Here’s what I read this week:

1. An abridged history of red lipstick.

2. I did not know that private, off-the-record briefings between Barack Obama and media members were a thing, but now I’m glad I do.

3. The parallels between web design and architecture.

4. The deep space of digital reading.

5. The second-season title cards of “Mozart in the Jungle.” (I wrote about the first season here.)

And a bonus: Kanye West’s American Idol audition is golden.

Have a great weekend.

Gold Star for the Internet: Mozart in the Jungle

I blew through all 10 episodes in about two days, so that's how good it was.
I blew through all 10 episodes in about two days, so that’s how good it was.

Let me tell you about my new favorite television show. (Some of you have already heard and been converted.)

Mozart in the Jungle is a fantastic dramedy that premiered a few weeks ago on Amazon. As a Prime member, I have access to tons of streaming video options, including Amazon-only releases. When I found out about this show, I watched the pilot and was instantly hooked.

I love the subject and the premise.

Hearing George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at the Hollywood Bowl is definitely on my top 5 life experiences list, and I love television, so the two things combined are right up my alley. The show focuses on a young oboist who is trying to get a seat in the New York Philharmonic, a brilliant but emotional maestro who is replacing an old one and an ensemble of colorful characters. (It’s based on this book.) I’ve seen and heard criticism that the actors aren’t particularly realistic musicians technique-wise, but I don’t think that particularly detracts from the show. In fact, you don’t really need to have any prior knowledge of classical music to appreciate the story.

As a side note, I very rarely cry when I watch movies or television shows. But I was so moved by one of the episodes that I started weeping, which I count as a very good thing.

It’s a beautiful show.

The production values are very high, which I really appreciate. To commit to having real instruments for every actor and make the apartments and offices look realistic is a sign that Mozart in the Jungle is serious. The show is set in New York, and the scenery is incredible. Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman co-wrote the pilot and are very involved with the show, and everything they do is brilliant.

The acting is superb.

Mozart in the Jungle has an all-star cast, including Gael Garcia Bernal, Malcolm McDowell and Bernadette Peters. Lola Kirke is also really great. There’s a really strong chemistry, and you can see it play out throughout the season.

For all of these reasons, Mozart in the Jungle gets a huge gold star.

The first season of 10 episodes is currently streaming on Amazon, and each episode is roughly 30 minutes long. If you decide to delve into it, let me know so we can talk about it!

Found any good television recently? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Link Party: 12/29-1/2

Good times at LACMA on Monday.
Good times at LACMA on Monday.

Here’s what I read this week:

1. A really interesting profile on Emerson Spartz, who has made a lot of websites you probably recognize.

2. Kanye West and Paul McCartney collaborated. No big deal.

3. Jay Wilds gives an interview about Serial, and now I’m not sure who to believe.

4. There’s a medical school class about Seinfeld, which seems fascinating.

5. That one really awesome time the New York Times got spoofed.

And a bonus: A show I’m OBSESSED with that I’ll tell you guys about on Wednesday.

Have a great weekend!