Among the many pluses of television shows being created for streaming services such as Amazon is that the companies aren’t afraid to take chances. A great example can be seen in the second season of the Amazon Original Series, “Mozart in the Jungle,” to debut Dec. 30.
This is a series based on the critically acclaimed memoir by Blair Tindall about conquering the symphony world of New York City. While the networks are making shows about goofy doctors, crime scene investigators and people willing to eat a bug to make money, services such as Amazon are respecting the intelligence of the audience.
And because of that, they are attracting top talent. Classical music luminaries who will make an appearance this year include: conductor Gustavo Dudamel, music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; concert pianist Lang Lang; classical pianist Emanuel Ax; New York Philharmonic Music Director and Conductor Alan Gilbert; and opera composer and conductor Anton Coppola. The cast of “Mozart in the Jungle” includes Gael Garcia Bernal, Lola Kirke, Gretchen Mol, Dermot Mulroney, Esai Morales, Malcolm McDowell and Bernadette Peters.
Peters helps create a link between the fictional symphony world and the one in which she really works when she’s not involved with a Broadway show.
“I’m familiar only in respect to that I sing with them a lot. And I’m aware that it’s perilous as far as keeping them alive and raising money. And also, their rules, they have a lot of rules,” Peters says. “When you’re in a Broadway show, it’s a family. … And I’m not quite sure how the symphony world compares a lot to the Broadway world in that respect. I’m learning as I go along.”
What Peters will get to learn in the 10-episode second season is that despite months of practice, the orchestra’s growth has stalled since Rodrigo’s triumphant debut as maestro. An upcoming Latin America tour, a potential labor strike and illicit romances hang over the symphony.
Director and executive producer Paul Weitz explains that one big theme in the second season is how to keep a really disparate family together under all sorts of stress.
“Malcolm and Gael’s characters were kind of natural adversaries last year. But where we start this year is Malcolm’s character is kind of a defender of his. But nonetheless, there are things which are driving wedges between them,” Weitz says. “Also, we’re dealing with there’s a labor dispute happening, and as in these cases, some people are firebrands. Some people don’t want to rock the boat.”
I have always liked Steve Harvey as a comedian and interview subject. It is terrible that he will now have to live with disaster at “The Miss Universe Pageant.”
Harvey has become the focus of attacks and jokes after initially naming Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo, as the night’s big winner. Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, was the real winner. The host says he read the card wrong.
How does that happen? Why was there any name on the card other than the winner? Why isn’t the host told who the winner is before walking on the stage?
Harvey’s a good guy and his career should not be defined by this mistake. He deserves better, as does Miss Colombia.
No small effort: Notable guest stars join Season 2 of “The 7D,” a comedic take on the Seven Dwarfs, beginning 9:30 a.m. Jan. 23, on Disney XD. Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne will guest star in an upcoming episode as Hildy Gloom’s parents, the Duke and Duchess of Drear. Hildy is voiced by Kelly Osbourne.
Other Season 2 guest stars include Fran Drescher as Encyclopedia Enchantica; Amy Sedaris as Nocturna; Jim Belushi as Coach Coachy; Jay Mohr as King Groucherooney; and George Takei as Dr. Sweet Tooth.
What’s cooking?: Actress Tiffani Thiessen returns to the Cooking Channel for a second serving of “Dinner at Tiffani’s,” premiering at 5 p.m. Feb. 3.
Throughout the 16 half-hour long episodes, Thiessen showcases her culinary talents and entertaining skills for throwing effortless get-togethers for family, friends and former castmates, where every dinner is filled with special guests, entertaining stories, and party-pleasing recipes.