Oops, I Did It Again: The Mozart in the Jungle Season 3 Recap

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Mozart in Venice (not the Jungle)

Yes, loyal readers (LOL), I binge-watched another season of Mozart in the Jungle because clearly I hate myself. THIS was how I decided to spend my first day of winter break?

In the interest of maintaining IH’s tradition of blogging after each season of the show, here we go: Season 3!

(SPOILERS)

We start off in Venice, where Rodrigo (the ever-dreamy Gael Garcia Bernal who is the only reason to watch this show, basically) is hoping to convince opera queen Alessandra aka “La Fiamma” (Monica Belucci who looks fantastic, not just for her age but in general) to return to the stage. There’s only one rule provided to Rodrigo by Alessandra’s assistant/ex-husband: he is not allowed to sleep with her. Of course, he sleeps with her.

Meanwhile, Highligh (Hailey, who is sporting quite the hairstyle this season. I’d describe it as as mullet with short bangs? very 80s rocker) also happens to be traveling Europe with the Andrew Walsh (Dermot Mulroney) Ensemble. During their stint in Venice (hey, look!) she is truly insufferable as she runs around with her gay friend, sleeps with a mime and then throws up in the middle of a performance. Dermot, erm, Andrew is pissed and fires her (#tbt to when they slept together that one time). Highligh is now stuck in Venice but alas, Alessandra and Rodrigo just happened to attend that show and allow her to stay with them while they rehearse.

Back in New York, the orchestra is on strike and have started picketing. Gloria and Thomas have found comfort in each other and have started getting it on. Cool, good for you guys. Gloria is also still trying to get Rodrigo back on board and even calls him while in Venice. Rodrigo hears her voice, she mentions the mayor (he wants the orchestra and management to meet to end the lockout), and Rodridgo throws the phone out the window to some kids playing outside. Yeah, it’s all a bit ridiculous and slow and we begin to wonder why we have spent so much time in Europe. Oh, right, the opera.

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Striking

Rodrigo sleeps with Alessandra, she flips out and runs away, he goes after her (while Gloria jumps onto a gondola in pursuit because apparently she and Thomas are also in Venice now). Alessandra agrees to sing but she’s definitely not happy with Rodrigo. It doesn’t help that she saw him and Highligh kiss (because that is still the main story). Rodrigo’s also in bad shape because Placido Domingo (um, HELLO) just told him that his mentor died.

Yikes, on the night of the opera? The opera goes mostly well-Highligh fears that Alessandra will shoot Rodrigo because she already used a real knife to knick his little rattail DURING the performance (Girl, thank you for doing us all a solid). The world watches as she awkwardly runs onto the floating stage to quietly gasp “stop!” as Alessandra lifts her gun up. Everybody is fine and they put on a great show but it’s clear Alessandra does not want to work with Rodrigo again. Girl’s got some issues. Great voice but major issues.

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Right before she chops off his rattail (BLESS)

Everyone but Alessandra returns to New York, where we find out that Highligh’s roomie Lizzie has bought a bar and is dressing up like a Czech composer. Sure. The lockout ends (finally) and Rodrigo comes up with a great first performance idea-they will perform at Rikers. There’s this whole episode that’s supposed to be a documentary by Bradford Sharpe (played by Jason Schwartzman, a Coppola). It’s kinda moving but also excruciatingly slow. Anyway, the orchestra is back.

Meanwhile, Rodrigo can’t sleep and has taken a pay cut so he kinda just couch hops. Gloria takes Thomas to visit her parents, where he discloses that he wouldn’t want to marry her. Ooh, no, Thomas, no. Highligh also now wants to be a conductor and takes lessons from Thomas after an initial lesson with Rodrigo. She premieres Thomas’ new composition at opening night of Lizzie’s bar. Highligh seems to be having fun but what about her oboe?!

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Oboe No Mo?

Never fear, she’s still interested in her instrument! In fact, Betty the former bitch 1st oboist, is now retiring so that spot’s open. Highligh auditions and so does a cute Asian guy from Chicago. Long story short, they go with the Asian guy. Rodrigo goes to Highligh to break the news and they end up…sleeping together?! Oh yeah, Cynthia has gotten surgery for her carpal tunnel so who knows if she will be able to play again?

While there were some totally pointless arcs and appearances from Yung Mozart, Yung Bach and even Yung Nano (Mozart’s sister), Season 3 was enjoyable and clearly watchable since I got through it in a day. Can’t say the same for Season 2.

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Classic Rodrigo

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Blac Chyna & Rob Kardashian Split, Probably

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[Insert shamrock emoji here]

Rob Kardashian, the only son of Robert Kardashian and Kris Jenner and the “mogul” behind a socks-only clothing line, has reportedly ended his relationship with his half-sister Kylie’s current boyfriend Tyga’s babymama Blac Chyna.

Whew, that was hard to get out.

This not-yet-confirmed news broke today after a whirlwind romance, which began when Blac Chyna posted an Instagram photo of her wrapped in some dude’s tattooed arms. That some dude was Rob Kardashian,as it turns out.

Soon after, the reclusive Rob, who has been in hiding for over a year due to physical and mental health issues that we’d rather not get into (but we fully support his road to recovery #pray4rob), began posting suggestive photos of and with his new lova. He even gifted Blac Chyna with an actually really cool pop art portrait of her, which likely left Kylie fuming over her half-brother’s burgeoning romance (Although perhaps she was busy promoting her poorly-named nail polish line).

Kylie wasn’t the only Kardashian to voice her distaste for this new coupling. Khloe, who housed Rob in her Calabasas mansion while she arranged cookies in jars, posted some not-so-subtle Tweets, including a Godfather reference: “Never go against the family,” presumably aimed toward Rob/Chyna (even though she later denied it). Rumor has it that Kim and Kourtney were not pleased with Rob’s social media antics either but likely had bigger issues to worry about like Kanye’s $53 million debt and Scott’s partying ways (#prayforye #prayforlorddisick).

Anyway, as of today, it looks like the Kardashian-Jenner Klan can breathe a collective sigh of relief because both Blac Chyna’s and Rob’s Instagram accounts have been scrubbed of any evidence of their relationship. If that isn’t the way to tell whether a relationship is over these days, we don’t know what is.

p.s. Rob: we’re still rooting for you to go to USC Law! It’s never too late, buddy! (This has nothing to do with the fact that I might want to go there).

Nobody’s Perfect, We Gotta Work It (Out)

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Well, it appears Miley Cyrus, Disney-Channel star turned Bangerz twerker is back together with ex-fiancee Liam Hemsworth, the hotter of the Hemsworth brothers and the dude who plays Gale in the Hunger Games.

Side note to People Magazine: It is a travesty that you chose Chris Hemsworth as the Sexiest Man Alive when he’s not even the Sexiest Hemsworth Alive

Anyway, back to Miley & Liam. Yes, the prodigal daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus,  who played Disney Channel’s beloved pop queen Hannah Montana on the hit show of the same name  appears to be hanging out with the hotter Hemsworth again.

Miley and Liam met on the set of one of those terrible Nicholas Sparks movies . While I did not see this movie, I can only assume it was terrible because Nicholas Sparks. Actually, I might choose Nicholas Sparks over John Green, whose first few pages of “The Fault in Our Stars” or “TFIOS” (as the young people call it) made me nauseous.

Miam’s (Miley/Liam, obvs) movie did also star Greg Kinnear. We here at Initial Hype love Greg Kinnear and we can’t wait for the movie that finally casts him as Chief Justice John G. Roberts. Perhaps the film could portray the epic tale of the Affordable Care Act? JK, nobody would watch that.

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What was this post about? Oh right, Miley and Liam. Sorry, got lost in Greg’s and John’s eyes for a moment there. Such mesmerizing. So wow.

K, snap out of it.

Miley spent the holidays with the Hemsworths down undah and she was spotted wearing the old Neil Lane engagement ring that Liam proposed with back in 2012. This sparkler not only indicates that the two are back together but they actually might get married!

What an exciting time for Miam fans everywhere, who thought it was all over after Miley did this with Robin Thicke.

Shortly after, Paula Patton dumped Robin Thicke’s sorry ass (yaaaas, queen) and it was only a matter of time before Miley and Liam followed suit. We’re glad that of the two, this couple got back together. We just hope Patrick Schwarzenegger and his pizzas will be fine.

I Watched Mozart in the Jungle Because Amazon Told Me To

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When Gael García Bernal won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Series-Comedy, I was pleased. After his unforgettable turn in Alfonso Cuaron’s “Y Tu Mamá También” in 2001 and his role in Jon Stewart’s debut film, “Rosewater” in 2014, it’s nice to see Gael on American television or at least American Internet-streaming television. His genuine shock at winning  only added to his charm, as he beat out perceived HFPA favorite, Jeffrey Tambor. Like Marcy, maybe the HFPA just wasn’t feeling Transparent Season 2.

But when Mozart in the Jungle won for Best TV Series- Comedy, I groaned. Already predicting Amazon’s gloating email the next morning about its original show winning 2 Golden Globes , I decided to be proactive and start the series right after the ceremony. Well here I am, less than 24 hours later, just having finished Season 1.

Before you think I don’t have a job and I just binge-watched all day, let me clarify: I watched on the train, which conveniently struck a car today (no fatalities or injuries, thank goodness), as if to support my binging habit. Shoutout to the Amazon Instant Video app. Also shoutout to T-Mobile’s Binge On for facilitating this incredible feat.

Spoilers ahead…obviously

Mozart in the Jungle is the Coppola-Schwartzman (who is a Coppola) produced Amazon original inspired by a book of the same name. It’s the show that nobody bothered to watch, instead clicking on “The Man in the High Castle” when logging into their Amazon Prime accounts. No one but Marcy, who watched the first episode like over a year ago. Seriously. I can confirm this and can probably even dig up the first FB chat message exchanged over this show.

Anyway, the show centers around the new conductor Rodrigo( Mozart!) -played by Gael- of the New York (the Jungle!) Symphony Orchestra. The exiting conductor Thomas Pembridge, played by a fantastically grumpy Malcolm McDowell, is pissed that this young, cool-haired foreigner is taking over his baby and flees to an initially undisclosed location. Turns out it’s Cuba, which we figure out when his on-off again mistress Cynthia the bassist (played by an unbelievably cool Saffron Burrows…awesome name btw) casually flies there to check on him.

Anyway, back to Mozart in the Jungle. Cynthia befriends a twenty-six year old oboist, Hailey Rutledge. Side note: Ok, when I first saw Hailey, I thought “Is that Jemima Kirke?!” I was too lazy to do my Googles so I watched a couple more episodes before giving in and Googling. I found out that Hailey is played by Lola Kirke, Jemima’s sister! Cool story, huh? Ok, no, not the point.

Hailey really wants to play in the orchestra and eventually becomes Rodrigo’s assistant, making him mates and cutting his luscious locks but leaving a disgusting few rattails. C’mon Hailey, you should know better than to leave these  hanging smh . She also replaces Sharon, the Asian assistant who Rodrigo once made out with. (Actually, wait what happened to Sharon?! Coppolas: I demand an explanation)

Honestly, the best part of this show is the way that Gael says Hailey’s name. It’s very phonetically accurate, if that makes sense. Like it starts off sounding like the first part of “highlighter” (before the “ter” part).

Anyway Highligh -uh- sorry, Hailey lives with an artsy girl Lizzie who is a recovering prep-school rich kid and is now a tattoo artist or something (We discover this at a rich person party which I originally mistook for a Playboy party but was actually just hosted by some old woman named Bunny). Hailey is also dating a Juilliard dancer turned butt-model named Alex who is eerily similar to that one bisexual guy on Broad City but not as much of an idiot.

She ditches her roomie and Alex whenever Rodrigo needs her, which is quite often, especially when he has the urge to see his crazy ex (or maybe current) wife Anna Maria, played by Nora Arnezeder. I’m still not really sure what kind of accent Anna Maria is supposed to have because it fluctuates from French to Spanish to American. Anyway she is insane and breaks violins and screams wherever she plays, whether in Greenland or in a graveyard.

As far as the story is concerned,the season progresses slowly (the final episode is Rodrigo’s conductorial debut…sort of). I found myself flying through the season only because each episode is about 25 minutes and the “Next Episode” button is so conveniently located on the Amazon app. There are some noteworthy cameos: Jason Schwartzman has a role as Bradford Sharpe (B Sharp…GET IT?!), a nerdy podcaster who’s got a thing for Hailey’s roommate and Wallace Shawn guest-stars as a pianist with mommy issues and a thing for hypnotism.

Obviously, there are a lot of classical music references that fly over my head. I may not be well-versed in this scene, but I can’t be the only one who thought it was bizarre when Rodrigo imagined Mozart talking to him in the library. It’s probably better if we don’t have random Mozart flashbacks. Just a thought.

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Mozart, pictured here in the library and not the Jungle

Overall, I did enjoy Gael’s performance and I can see how the HFPA could say that he deserved the Globe over say, Aziz, who really just played an exaggerated version of himself (or his standup character) in “Master of None.” Still, a little shocked that Mozart won the comedy show category but I’m willing to give it a shot for Season 2. After all, when Amazon makes it so easy to watch, why not? Oh also, I need to know if Highligh and Rodrigo get together in the next season or if she stays with butt model Alex.

See you tomorrow, Season 2.

Gayn D’Oh!

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Well, it appears that this new romance is official. Gizi? GiZay? ZayGi? Gayn? Ok, let’s stick with Gayn.

Who, you may ask? Let’s break it down:

Zayn “High Notes” Malik is the 22 year old heartthrob and most beautiful member of One Direction (1D). In 2015, Mr. Malik left both 1D and his fiancee Perrie Edwards  to pursue a solo career and an American girl, respectively, under false pretenses of wanting to be “a normal 22 year old.”

Yes, because normal 22 year olds give very long interviews to Fader magazine at the bar that’s conveniently situated in their backyards.

Gigi Hadid, at 20 years old, is the eldest daughter of Yolanda Foster (of RHOBH fame and apparently Kris Jenner’s BFF too…side note: how do I become Kris Jenner’s BFF?) and a new Victoria’s Secret Angel. She’s also the reigning BFF of Kendall Jenner and a key member of her #squad. Gigi was most recently in a relationship with Joe Jonas, which ended in November (presumably after Joe and his weirdass band did this).

Meanwhile, Zayn’s former bandmate, Harry “Yung Mick Jagger” Styles was spotted vacationing in St. Bart’s with Kendall Jenner, even though he finds her rather boring .

Well, whatever happens with these two apparent couples, we can only hope that eventually the foursome will go on double dates, which will eventually lead to a One Direction reunion. Oh wait, but Louis has to be a dad now.

Goddammit, Louis.

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Drake Won 2015…Here’s Why

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INDIO, CA – APRIL 12: Rapper Drake performs onstage during day 3 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 12, 2015 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

As you make your BevMo runs for your glittery night out or Trader Joe’s 2 Buck Chuck runs for your sweatpants-hair tied chillin with no makeup on (see what I did there?) night in, let’s reflect on the year in entertainment.

More specifically, let’s reflect on one entertainer in particular: Aubrey Graham. You may know him as Drake, Drizzy, 6 God, or even by his Instagram moniker Champagne Papi. Drake started from the bottom, if you
will, (I hear your groaning from here) and has risen up from the wheelchair that his character Jimmy Brooks was bound to on Canada’s hit drama, Degrassi (Still groaning?). Drake won 2015 and let me tell you why.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I am a recovering Drake stan. I watched Degrassi and thought Jimmy was a cutie. I was a little confused when he started rapping but copped his mixtapes and told everyone how great he was. People laughed when I spoke of his bars, telling me that he was weak and was more of a singer than a rapper. I have at least 3 different posters of Drake (whether they’re hanging or not is irrelevant) and I’ve seen him in concert twice. To this day, I believe Take Care is one of the best albums of the past 5 years.

ANYWAY.

This all changed in February of 2013. Why, you ask? That’s when Drake dropped his “Started from the Bottom” video. Drizzy bouncing around in his convertible while it snows and rapping about how he started from the bottom, even though Degrassi is SO not the bottom was just too much. I put myself on a Drake hiatus. Tired of hearing about the money and the fame he’s garnered, I was done.

Until 2015.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Drake has redeemed himself in my eyes. This was the year that Drake headlined Coachella –ok, maybe he wasn’t great but uhh… shouldn’t the audience have been looking for Bey & Nicki who filmed “Feelin Myself” there? And what about when Madonna held Drake against his will as she made out with him? That should be good enough to distract from his lackluster performance, right?

Ok, let’s move on. In February, he dropped his new album/mixtape, “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late” and the album art itself became an Internet phenomenon, used in everything from the everyday Twitter trending topic  to the  NBA Finals.
Speaking of the NBA, Drake not only brought the Toronto Raptors out of obscurity (well, in my eyes) and back into the headlines for the first time since Chris Bosh took his “talents” to Miami. Toronto hosted its own “Drake Night” where Drake announced the 6’s lineup and released a bunch of OVO Raptors shit. He solidified his place in the basketball sphere by attending a bunch of random games
and even making In-N-Out runs with NBA’s First Family, The Currys (President Riley, who would run on the Drake-inspired platform: “Wayy Up, I Feel Bwessed”).

While we’re talking about Drake and sports, let’s not forget about his relationship with world champion and Sportsperson of the Year, Serena Williams. Drake and Serena were spotted canoodling in Cincinnati following her win at the Women’s Tennis Association Tournament. After Serena’s stunning loss in the US Open semifinal, the Internet was quick to blame Drake, who attended the game and left with a disappointed Serena. Although it appears Drake may have been friendzoned, we’re sure he’ll be fine as he enters 2016.

Still not impressed? Well, the summer of 2015 is when Drake really proved his rap chops during the beef of the year which, unless you’ve been living under a rock, occurred when Meek Mill (forever known as the guy we can’t believe Nicki Minaj is still with) threw a tantrum over Drake not tweeting about Meek’s new album. As if Drake doesn’t have better things to tweet about?

Well, Meek decided he needed to expose Drake and let the world know that the 6 God has a ghostwriter. Instead of addressing Meek’s accusations on Twitter, Drake decided to do it musically, dropping a single called “Charged Up” which didn’t reference Meek directly but definitely called him out. With lyrics like “6 God is watching, I just hope you’re prepared to face him,” the world anxiously waited for Meek to respond with his own bars. Instead, Meek turned to Twitter, bashing on Drake’s single without dropping any music of his own. Then, the unthinkable happened.

Drake dropped ANOTHER single, “Back to Back” (now GRAMMY-NOMINATED, by the way) that didn’t spare Meek at all, calling him out on his Twitter escapades and the fact that he’s an artist on Nicki Minaj’s tour.

To add insult to injury, Meek’s response single, “Wanna Know”(released one whole week later) was equivalent to the drill that fills in your large cavities at the dentist: painful and you just want it to end.

Drake took it one step further at OVO Fest in Toronto, compiling Meek memes and presenting a comedic Power Point presentation for not only the fans but Will Smith and Kanye West to enjoy.

We can only hope that Weak..er, I mean Meek Mill learns his lesson not to fuck with Drake in 2016.

What else has Drake done? Hmm…while Jay-Z was gathering artists for Tidal, the streaming service that that puts more money into his own pocket, Drake was scheming with the big dogs, showing his tech prowess by helping Apple present its own streaming service, Apple Music, at its Worldwide Developer Conference. Don’t write Mr. Aubrey Graham off as he’s well on his way to becoming a mogul on par with Hov himself.

And finally Champagne Papi blessed us all this year with the video for his hit single that threw it back to the old Drake days: “Hotline Bling.” Knowing that the video would inspire countless memes, GIFS, and Vines, Drake was his dorkiest self, dancing like a  dad at a Bar Mitzvah and even pulling out some lowkey salsa and Indian Bharatanatyam moves. Thank you, Drake, for making it acceptable to dance like a complete derp at the club when your song comes on.

 

Drake proved himself in 2015. Now that he’s got nothing left to prove, will he go back to rapping in the snow with the convertible top down? Or will he use his powers as 6 God for good? Only time will tell. 2016: bring it on.