The New Netflix Original Series
The Get Down is the latest show in Netflix’s stable of original programming. Set in The Bronx, 1977, the show chronicles the back half of a Rogers & Hammerstein-formula romance between Mylene and Ezekiel. It also coincides with the rise & fall of disco and the emergence of hip-hop. As you’d expect, music is a central theme of the show. However, this isn’t a musical. If that doesn’t make sense, let me know and I’ll explain. Back to the characters…
Mylene wants to be a disco star. Ezekiel wants to be a minority-role-model-civil-servant-by-day and a hip-hop wordsmith by late afternoon/night. The supporting cast helps to bring depth to their scenes as they encounter gangs, mob-like bosses, corrupt music moguls, the drug world, and the New York underground gay scene.
The Get Down Music
Let’s get this out now. I’m no fan of disco. Still, those portions of The Get Down were well done, especially by Mylene & The Soul Madonnas. What I found more impressive was the The Get Down Brothers and their travels through hip-hop’s early pitfalls. I don’t want to discuss too much in case some of you haven’t watched the six-episode (mini?) season, but will share this for those who don’t mind a small spoiler.
I only have some minor complaints about the show’s dialogue, dance, and music choices. I will freely admit I wasn’t in touch with these topics at the time, but I’m pretty sure, “Oh, SNAP!” wasn’t a thing in the 70s. I thought the foot-to-the-back-of-the-knee drop was an 80s move. Also, the likelihood that a hip-hop DJ would have and use a copy of the Star Wars soundtrack (released May 25, 1977) just a few months later seems low to me. Make no mistake, I enjoyed this show immensely. There were just a few points that jarred me from my escapist dream. Anyone else care to discuss?