The Get Down focuses on 1970s New York City – broken down and beaten up, violent, cash strapped — dying. Consigned to rubble, a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers are nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them – except each other, armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans. From Bronx tenements, to the SoHo art scene; from CBGBs to Studio 54 and even the glass towers of the just-built World Trade Center, The Get Down is a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco — told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world…forever.
Though promotional material had caught my eye, I might not have gotten to The Get Down without the recommendation of a friend. It is a Netflix Original series created by Baz Luhrmann, the first part of season one released on Netflix on August 12, 2016. Described to me simply as the origins of hip-hop mythologized, the series more than exceeded the implications of this idea. While well-grounded in the setting of the South Bronx in 1977, the series has a prominent musical flair, accented with disco and Kung Fu movie styles of the time. It walks a tightrope between reality and larger-than-life eccentricity near flawlessly, depicting many characters and circumstances as mystical or miraculous without getting carried away enough to break the audience’s captivation.Read More »