***A spoiler free review***
The Get Down Review: “The Bronx was Out of Control in the 70s”
This musical and visual masterpiece, brought to us by Baz Luhrmann, details the birth of hip hop culture in the South Bronx, set in the summer of 1977. There is disco and grafitti art, afros and clear racial and class lines drawn between the burroughs. The Get Down is a thoughtful and relatable coming of age narrative that nails the tensions of black youth in America.
For me, three things that make a great film or television saga are 1) the music 2) the setting and 3) the character development. This show has all three in high-quality portions. The Get Down is a six-episode miniseries brought to audiences by Baz Luhrmann, the same artistic genius who brought us Romeo and Juliet ( 1996), Moulin Rouge (2001) and The Great Gatsby (2013), all films which are visually and musically stunning. If his resume isn’t enough to get you interested, the talented cast includes Jimmy Smits, Giancarlo Esposito, Jaden Smith, Herizen F. Guardiola, Lillias White and Stefanee Martin. Check out the cast and crew below.
This show is an emotional roller coaster. I cried, laughed, and was filled with righteous anger for the racial tensions of the past (present, future) in the first episode and throughout the entire series. The main storyline is that of the Get Down Crew, 5 boys who are trying to figure out their place in the world, but there are numerous powerful subplots happening throughout that make the storyline rich and complex. My biggest regret? That there are only six episodes and Netflix takes notoriously long to create S2s.
Should I Binge It?
Yes. It’s six hours of your life you won’t regret giving up to television.
Do I have to be Black to enjoy this show?
Not. At. All. If you are black, though, it’s pretty great to see a bunch of different types of black folks, some of which probably look like you (and me!).
Is this a musical?
Not really, but there’s a lot of music, a lot of singing and rapping. There are musical numbers, but without the canned feeling that a musical usually has.
Can I watch it with my kids?
There’s cussing, some drug use, a pretty tame sex scene, and a couple of titty shots during in one particular night club scene. There are also some pretty strong family, community and individual values being touted, as well. I am contemplating whether to let my 13yo watch it, but my first instinct would be to say don’t watch it with the kids until you’ve seen it yourself. Best to gauge these things on your own comfort zone and what you feel is appropriate for a particular age group. That being said, it depicts high school aged kids dealing with inner city life, so, it’s pretty realistic sex, violence and drugs for that age.
xoxo C. Diva