Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Get Down Season 1 Part 2 Netflix Series Review

The Get Down (2016-)
Season 1 Part 2 - 4 episodes ( 2017)
Watch the Get Down Season 1 Part 2 on Netflix
Created by: Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Guirgis
Starring:  Shameik Moore, Justice Smith, Herizen Guardiola, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jaden Smith, Skylan Brooks, Tremaine Brown Jr., Mamoudou Athie, Jimmy Smits, Giancarlo Esposito

Rating: TV-14 


Created by Baz Luhrman, the second half of season 1 continues the story detailing the origin of hip hop during the '70s in the Bronx. Zeke's group has a venue and Mylene is becoming a disco star.

This season was split into two parts due to production issues. That break in momentum really hurts this. While we get a time jump and this attempt to develop an epic story, I don't know who the main character is. Most entertainment has a main character with side characters that feed that story. This show doesn't have to do that, but I don't know what the main story is. Is this about the emergence of hip hop or the death of disco? Is it about a group of kids rising above the streets or the struggles of a Hispanic businessman? It's trying to do everything and the lack of focus is a problem.
It depends.

With the additional time the show needed, this part of the season employs a lot more animated sequences. At first I thought it tied to Dizzee the graffiti artist, which made sense, but these sequences are employed frequently and it just doesn't fit the tone of the show. No wonder this show's budget was expensive. Episode budgets were project at $7.5 million and ballooned to $10 million. This in part led to the delay.

Part 1 opened in 1977, with these episodes jumping to 1978. Mylene (Herizen Guardiola) has rocketed to stardom unbelievably fast. We know disco will die, but she doesn't. We get a look into the music world with her managers just wanting to use her, plotting to pull her away from the church and trick her into singing raunchier songs. It's not that different from her father who is using her to push his own agenda and his church. You know this war over her star power is going to blow up at some point.

Zeke's family and mentors are pushing him away from the fad of hip hop, but we know that genre will break out big. Zeke has to walk the line of being the minority that makes it out of the slums, but wanting to just make music and forgo college and 'opportunity.' It's a struggle that isn't helped by Shaolin pushing him to forget that world and his family pushing him to succeed in life. The Get Down boys have a venue through Fat Annie, but her drug and gang dealings could spell trouble.

There's a lot going on and the last episode is certainly fully of plot twists and revelations. I like these characters, but they aren't framed well. What is the over arching story? Nas raps at the start of the season, and I wonder if that is Zeke's ultimate plight, but I don't know. This show lacks focus, it tries to do everything. The show wavers between having a direction and wanting to meander. I just want to know what I'm watching.

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