Tag-lined as “Sex, drugs, and classical music,” Mozart in the Jungle is a TV dramedy about the fictional New York Symphony Orchestra and their new conductor, the dashing and iconoclastic Rodrigo (Gael Garcia Bernal). The show also follows Hailey (Lola Kirke), a talented and hard-working young oboist who exists on the fringes of the competitive New York classical music scene and aspires to join the NYSO. This over-the-top series also features veteran actors Bernadette Peters and Malcolm McDowell and offers a glimpse into the surprisingly catty world of the orchestra pit. Although the tone and quality vary wildly from episode to episode, Mozart in the Jungle is still very watchable. Bonus: in one episode, Rodrigo delightfully dictates a recipe for making yerba mate, which, as a tea drinker, I find incredibly endearing.
Septimus Heap is the seventh son of a seventh son and thus has magical abilities beyond any other wizard in the Castle. As the Apprentice to the ExtraOrdinary Wizard and as the adopted brother to Princess Jenna, Septimus finds himself in all sorts of adventures in this children’s medieval fantasy world populated with ghosts, wizards, witches, dragons, and necromancers. Not quite Harry Potter-level good but author Angie Sage clearly enjoys building her own mythology with very well-drawn out rules and a vivid sense of place that ties directly to her own home in Cornwall, England.
99% Invisible is a podcast that delves into the lesser-known histories of all sorts of random things, from dancing airtube men to the expiry date on food packages. Great for people who love to soak up trivia, especially about history and design. Although mainly American-centric, there are also episodes about quirky things happening in other countries (did you know there are almost no public garbage bins in Taiwan?) 99% Invisible is one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes but you can also access their episodes online, where they also have non-audio articles/text-based tidbits.
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