The Get Down is a Netflix series (2016) about a group of friends living the reality of the South Bronx during the late 1970’s when it was in shambles, crime and poverty at such a high rate and corrupt politics trying to swallow it whole. Through the storm, is a story of two kids, Mylene (Herizen F. Guardiola), a young woman trying to make it through the music industry without her pastor of a father shaming her to stay with the church and Ezekiel (Justice Smith). Ezekiel is a young boy trying to become a man, with great potential and encouragement, he tries to decide between corporate life to make it out the Bronx or standing up for himself and his community through words. Through the ups and downs of enjoying the summer, Ezekiel and his friends meet Shaolin Fantastic (Shameik Moore), known local graffiti artist/DJ and are introduced to a whole new world. The underground of conscious being, “THE GET DOWN” A movement of freedom, creativity and respecting the art of being a true DJ.
Recently it was said that Netflix would be canceling The Get Down before even getting a second season, which is not common for them. Rumors have it that the creator, Baz Luhrmann, has other ventures to tend to and won’t be able to continue with The Get Down, which also happens to be the costliest series Netflix has done as well. Like many of you, I was very disappointed to hear about the news. The reality of not knowing what happens with so many cliff hangers that haven’t been answered. Personally, The Get Down was such a thoughtful representation of life in the South Bronx. The perception based on a handful of teenagers trying to just be themselves, without being exploited and faced with fucked up situations like joining a gang, shot, or being “white washed” just to get by. It’s disappointing that this show is ending, especially being one of the most diverse shows that really paid homage to the birth of hip-hop, graffiti, and the overall culture that Black and Brown folks worked hard to create; literally risking their lives to truly live. Not to mention the music, which was composed by Elliot Wheeler (known for The Great Gatsby), with help from music legends, Grandmaster Flash, Rahiem from the Furious Five, DJ Kool Herc, Jazzy Jay, Nile Rodgers and Nelson George. They were able to recreate it to a T, the music and the process of being a true DJ, showing the patience and creativity it took to do and make something most people of that time could never even dream of (You weren’t just on your Mac book pushing buttons!!).
I’m still hoping that someone will pick up the show and bring back the magic. We are in a time when we have resource's to reach out and show something different, to give life to shows that have true meaning and create a platform for young POC to showcase their talent. We have so many shows with too many seasons about nothing, so when we're introduced to something different, relatable, comforting in a way, we have to stick with it. I have been hearing some rumors about some more diverse shows coming this summer from Netflix, so maybe they are trying to redeem themselves. If you haven’t yet watched The Get Down, please do! Spark that J and enjoy!
The Get Down
Words By Tesia Pennie