I don’t usually do reviews on shows but I couldn’t resist. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of this new show on Netflix (which by the way is on a roll with the release of countless super cool new series), but The Get Down is an illustration of the birth of hip hop on the dj scene highlighting the 1970’s Bronx as the backdrop. I have to admit, the first episode was so action packed that I spent it confused but at the same time, intrigued. It appeared that in all the action, the plot was lost (or maybe I’m just getting old). Fortunately, episode 2 brought it all into focus and I was able to recognize it for the ode to the mastery of turntable artistry it is, the realistic depiction of the socio economic struggles of urban life, politically driven gentrification, sense of community (or at times, the lack thereof), and of course, the element of a love story. Young love at that. Which initially I thought would get lost in the main characters’ ambitious fight to find themselves and their place in the midst of a community that teeter totters between charming streets of diversity and NYC’s political trash heap. The landscape of graffiti ridden, partially demolished buildings serves as the playground of these young souls as they emerge from the wreckage of mirrored abandonment, into stardom and one main point that you don’t see until the end…..hope for something more….their way out. Grandmaster Flash not only bestows his legendary table skills onto his eager young “grasshoppers” but lessons of the party which double as lessons of life. The dj booth becomes a classroom, and it is on that stage that they are liberated from the boundaries of their reality. It is there that they all adopt the belief that they can go anywhere!
In a nutshell, I loved it! The hip hop head in me loved the developmental process that went into making music, mixing, as well as the appreciation of the forgotten art of lyricism. Zeke, the “wordsmith” was the quintessential young poet. Shy, in love, orphaned, and gifted. He had a story and to watch him grow in his genius was the highlight for me, in addition to his budding friendship with the ever insanely dope, sword yielding, ghetto ninja, Shoalin Fantastic (that name alone brought a giddy grin to my face). Shoalin was beyond fun to watch. These two became the dynamic duo and could rule any party. They both did more than just exist in their individual realities, they elevated. And to top it off, in the end, Zeke not only got a new friend, he got the girl. 🙂