There is a new Netflix show to binge on called ‘The Get Down’.
I first found out about this show on my way to the subway when I saw an advertisement here in NYC. At first glance the ad looked like a show about minority inner city kids in the 70’s that had something to do with music. The movie ‘Roll bounce‘ came to mind, but I was hoping maybe this show would be a little more serious.
I noticed the name Baz Luhrmann on the ad and realized just how awesome this show could possibly be. Luhrmann is writer/director/producer of blockbusters such as ‘Moulin Rouge‘ and ‘The Great Gatsby‘, so needless to say I came into the show with high expectations.
Jumping right in to the show, I found there was a lot of music intertwined throughout the show…but was this going to be some kind of 70’s knock off of the show ‘Empire’? Thankfully after continuing to watch, this show created its own identity. To be honest I thought the rhyming in the beginning was corny. I thought the show started out kind of weak, but Wow! It kept developing and getting better every episode.
From my point of view, ‘The Get Down’ is about the origins of hip hop set in New York, its birthplace, highlighting the four original elements of hip hop that I learned about as a kid (DJ’s, MC’s, Graffiti, and B-boys). Centered in the Bronx, a group of young people show us their development through these 4 elements while dealing with the reality of poverty and family issues.
I thought the show started out kind of weak, but Wow! It kept developing and getting better every episode.
Like every good show or movie, there is a love story, and I honestly enjoyed watching the lead character ‘Ezekiel’ the word smith grow from boy to man with ‘Mylene’, his love interest and the female lead. Both Mylene and Zeke have their own crew of best friends and watching them hang out gave me flash backs to times in my life beat boxing and free styling with the homies. Don’t get it twisted, this show isn’t just hip hop, disco is what was poppin in those days. This show may come across as a period piece Hip Hopera, but what I love the most is how it seamlessly ties disco music, poetry, and even gospel into hip hop.
Both Mylene and Zeke have their own crew of best friends and watching them hang out gave me flash backs to times in my life beat boxing and free styling with the homies.
Like I said earlier, this show is about the FOUR elements of hip hop, and it was great seeing which characters embodied which of these elements. I have never seen a movie or television series with the art of DJ’s so well portrayed. There were times when I felt like I was being entertained as well as educated. Don’t get me wrong, there were some things I didn’t like or thought could be stronger but I will get to that in the spoiler.
The sound track is a high note and pleasant surprise. Since Zeke the word smith is the lead, there is an emphasis on lyrics through out the show, and interestingly the sound track artist is also the voice of Zeke in the future. Apparently season one has been split in half and we only get 6 episodes until 2017, but trust me when I say that it is worth watching and that even in 6 episodes they still manage to build a great story line that leaves me hopeful and eager to see part two. The music business, politics, love, and hip hop and more!
What did you think of ‘The Get Down’? If you haven’t seen it yet, click the banner to see the trailer. Rate the Netflix series below, and tell us what you think in the comments!
* SPOILERS *
Baz Luhrmann brought in the legendary DJ Grandmaster Flash as a producer to keep the story accurate and to add the younger him as a mentor character into the story. But lets talk about the sound track. NAS!!!! That is right, Nassir Jones had a large role in this series, but not on camera. He was perfect as the soundtrack artist/narrator. The narrator part kept getting introduced when they flash forward to who I assume is Ezekiel because of the reflective lyrics but the flash forwards don’t add much to the story. If anything, letting us know they make it big in the future was a bit premature.
Wait a minute! Side note…Baz Luhrmann got Jay-Z to do the soundtrack on his film The Great Gatsby, and now he has Nas doing the sound track to The Get Down!? That’s dope! But lets not forget that Nas had a song called ‘Get Down‘ on his Diamond selling album ‘Godson’. Almost too clever to be a coincidence.
Something else I thought was great is how the world trade center entered the story and how beautiful the cityscape establishing shots were, with the twin towers standing strong.Since I live in New York currently, It was great seeing the city and subways with all the graffiti, and even the fashion before my time. There is not as much street art these days but ‘The Get Down’ seems to get into the politics of why.
Something else I thought was great is how the world trade center entered the story and how beautiful the cityscape establishing shots were, with the twin towers standing strong.
One thing I thought was missing is an equal part for the b-boys, but hopefully next year we will see more killer dance moves and battles in the second half of the season.
Whats up with Mylene’s Mom and her Uncle? Or how about the dynamic between Dizzee/Rumi (Jayden Smith) and fellow graffiti artist Thor? Will we see these relationships grow in the next half of the season? Tell me what you think in the comments.
The Get Down Season 1 (first half) is like that cold beer when you get home from work, its pretty refreshing and keeps you in your seat for a while. Whats not to like about a group of interesting characters to follow, with great hip hop battles, good music, dancing, partying, and the occasional violence? New York is a historical city with great stories to tell, and when its done well it it makes you want to get down with 'The Get Down'.