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The Get Down is an American musical drama television series created by Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Guirgis. It originally aired on Netflix on August 12, 2016, and ran for one season.[3][4][5]

The Get Down
Genre
Created by
Starring
Narrated by Nas
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 11 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s) New York City
Running time 53–93 minutes
Production company(s)
Budget 120 million[1]
Release
Original network Netflix
Picture format 4K (Ultra HD)[2]
Original release August 12, 2016 (2016-08-12) – April 7, 2017 (2017-04-07)

Produced by Sony Pictures Television, the series is set in the South Bronx region of New York City in the late 1970s; its title refers to parts of disco and R&B records that could be repeated using multiple turntables and were enjoyed most by dancers.[6] A five-episode second part concluding the series was released on April 7, 2017.[7] On May 24, 2017, Netflix announced that the series is concluded after part 2 and that there would be no more parts.[8]

Contents

PremiseEdit

The series is set in the 1970s in the Bronx, New York City, and follows the rise of hip-hop and disco music through the eyes of a group of teenagers. Each episode begins with MC Books, a famous artist that raps his story to a large crowd during a concert in 1996. The short rap serves both as a recap of previous episodes and as a setup of the events of the next. Each episode is also intercut with real footage and newscasts from the 1970s.

Part 1 begins in 1977 with Zeke (young MC Books), a young poet who lives with his aunt Wanda following the death of his parents, meeting Shaolin Fantastic, a graffiti artist and aspiring DJ. The two band together with Zeke's friends to become "The Get Down Brothers" with a dream to become successful music artists and take over the city. Mylene, Zeke's long-time love, dreams of becoming a disco singer and leaving the Bronx, but faces obstacles such as her religious father. Alongside this, the show depicts various gangs and gangsters of the area, especially Fat Annie and her son Cadillac, and observes the poverty and violence faced by those living in the Bronx.

Part 2 is set in 1978, which sees the group members facing adulthood and their futures in the music industry.

CastEdit

MainEdit

  • Justice Smith as Ezekiel ("Zeke") "Books" Figuero: A smart, resourceful teen, brimming with untapped talent and unrequited love, and determined to make his mark in the world. He is in love with Mylene, but her desire to leave the Bronx hinders their relationship.
  • Shameik Moore as Curtis "Shaolin Fantastic": A child of the streets; thrill-seeking, unpredictable, and eccentric, but above all, enigmatic. He is distrustful of Mylene and sees her as a distraction to Ezekiel.
  • Herizen F. Guardiola as Mylene Cruz: A tenacious girl with an incredible voice who dreams of becoming a disco star, a dream that is far outside the realm of her fiercely religious background. She loves Ezekiel, but fears that he won't ever leave the Bronx.
  • Skylan Brooks as Ronald "Ra-Ra" Kipling: A loyal, respected, and protective friend and brother with his head screwed on tight; he's the voice of reason beyond his years.
  • Tremaine Brown Jr. as Miles "Boo-Boo" Kipling: A mechanically minded kid who is an irrepressible 40-year-old in a 14-year-old's body.
  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Clarence "Cadillac" Caldwell: A "fly gangster", prince of the disco world, and son of the owner of the most notorious after-hours night spot in the Bronx.[9]
  • Jimmy Smits as Francisco "Papa Fuerte" Cruz: A South Bronx political boss who delivers services to his constituents that the city has failed to provide, such as jobs, housing, and healthcare.[10]
  • Jaden Smith as Marcus "Dizzee" Kipling : The most artistically minded of the Kipling brothers, Dizzee is a graffiti artist who tags as Rumi 411.

RecurringEdit

  • Daveed Diggs as adult Ezekiel "Mr. Books" Figuero: He rap-narrates the series. His rapping voice is dubbed by hip-hop artist Nas.
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Pastor Ramon Cruz: Papa Fuerte's brother and Mylene's father. He is the charismatic head of the local Pentecostal church who attracts a flock of followers with his fiery sermons and firm, steady leadership.[11]
  • Stefanée Martin as Yolanda Kipling: Sister of Boo-Boo, Dizzee, and Ra-Ra. One of Mylene's best friends and a member of the Soul Madonnas.
  • Shyrley Rodriguez as Regina: Another of Mylene's best friends and a member of the Soul Madonnas. Outrageous and rebellious, she is in an abusive relationship with Little Wolf.
  • Mamoudou Athie as Grandmaster Flash: Hip-hop recording artist and DJ. In real life, he is considered to be one of the pioneers of hip-hop DJing, cutting, and mixing. In this TV series, he serves as a mentor for Shaolin Fantastic as well as the rest of the Get Down Brothers.[12]
  • Karen Aldridge as Adele Kipling: Mother of Yolanda, Boo-Boo, Dizzee and Ra-Ra.
  • Kevin Corrigan as Jackie Moreno: A record producer. In the past Moreno produced many hit records, but years of hard drug abuse and alienating others in the record industry have stalled his career.
  • Brandon J. Dirden as Leon: Wanda's boyfriend.
  • Michel Gill as Herbert Gunns: New York City Council member, businessman, and supporter of then-Congressman Edward Koch.[13]
  • Zabryna Guevara as Lydia Cruz: The wife of pastor Ramon Cruz and the mother of Mylene.[14]
  • Ron Cephas Jones as Winston Kipling: Father of Yolanda, Boo-Boo, Dizzee, and Ra-Ra.
  • Judy Marte as Wanda: Ezekiel's aunt.
  • Evan Parke as Wolf
  • Sal Rendino as Stanley Kelly.
  • Yolonda Ross as Ms. Green: The caring-but-tough English teacher who nurtures the potential in her students and advocates for them to pursue their talents.[15]
  • Tory Devon Smith as Little Wolf: Regina's abusive boyfriend and one of the neighborhood's drug dealers.
  • Lillias White as Fat Annie: Owner of the notorious Les Inferno club, mother of Cadillac, and boss of the local crime family. She has a thing for younger men, and is known to be sexually abusive.
  • Frank Wood as Ed Koch: real life U.S. Congressman from New York's 18th district and Democratic candidate for mayor of New York in 1977. Koch has a tough stance against crime (particularly graffiti) and wants to restore public safety back to New York City, so he reluctantly allies himself with Papa Fuerte to help in his campaign in the Bronx.
  • Lee Tergesen as Inspector Moach.
  • Eric Bogosian as Roy Asheton: Record executive and president of Marrakech Star, a disco label, responsible for the success of Donna Summer and Misty Holloway.
  • Eric D. Hill Jr. as DJ Kool Herc: Real life DJ who is credited with originating hip-hop music in the early 1970s in the Bronx. He serves as a mentor for the Notorious Three (The Herculoids).
  • Noah Le Gros as Thor: A graffiti artist who lives a free lifestyle, and Dizzee's love interest.[16]
  • Qaasim Middleton as DJ Big Planet: Member of the Notorious Three (the Herculoids), the mortal enemies of the Get Down Brothers.
  • RayJonaldy Rodriguez as Silent Carlito: Another member of the Notorious Three.
  • Khalil Middleton as MC Luke Skywalker Cage: Another member of the Notorious Three.
  • Julia Garner as Claudia Gunns: Daughter of Herbert Gunns.
  • Barrington Walters Jr. as Doo-Wop: Street-hardened roughneck drug dealer.
  • Jeremie Harris as Shane Vincent: Mylene Cruz's manager.
  • Okieriete Onaodowan as Afrika Bambaataa. Real life hip-hop DJ and recording artist, and founder of the Universal Zulu Nation.
  • Jamie Jackson as Robert Stigwood. Real-life Australian-born British-resident music entrepreneur, film producer and impresario, best known for managing Cream and the Bee Gees, theatrical productions like Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar, and film productions including the extremely successful Grease and Saturday Night Fever.

GuestEdit

  • Billy Porter as DJ Malibu: A DJ at Les Inferno.
  • Annika Boras.
  • Alexis Krause as Leslie Lesgold. Highly influential creator of a weekly "record pool" that selects the hottest disco records to be played by New York club DJs.
  • Renée Elise Goldsberry as Misty Holloway, a popular disco singer who is idolized by Mylene.
  • Bryce Pinkham as Julien.
  • Imani Lewis as Tanya.

EpisodesEdit

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
Part 1 (1977)
1"Where There Is Ruin, There Is Hope for a Treasure"Baz LuhrmannStory by : Baz Luhrmann & Stephen Adly Guirgis
Teleplay by : Baz Luhrmann & Stephen Adly Guirgis & Seth Zvi Rosenfeld
August 12, 2016 (2016-08-12)
In the Bronx in 1977, Zeke is a teenage high school student in love with his friend Mylene. Mylene wishes to escape the Bronx and become a singer, so she and her friends attempt to impress a DJ that night at the Les Inferno club. Hoping to make his own impression on Mylene, Zeke obtains a rare record of her favorite song. However, a popular graffiti artist by the name of Shaolin Fantastic is instructed to acquire the same record by Grandmaster Flash, another DJ who has promised to mentor him if he can procure the record. After a chase Zeke ends up with the record, but then struggles to gain access to the club; Mylene, already inside, attracts the attention of Cadillac, a gangster and son of the club's owner, who asks Mylene to dance with him during the dance-off. When Shao sees Zeke outside the club, the two discuss why they both need the record. Impressed by Zeke's wordsmithing, Shao agrees to get Zeke into the club with the condition that Shao gets the record by the end of the night. As Zeke and Mylene dance and kiss, a gang shootout breaks out inside the club, killing the DJ and several others; Zeke, Mylene, and her friends barely escape. Zeke confesses his love for Mylene as he brings her home, but despite her feelings for him, she believes his reluctance to fulfill his life will stop her from leaving the Bronx if they were to fall in love. Zeke then hands over the record to Shao, who explains that he needs it for a DJing technique called "the get down". Shao takes the record with Zeke and his friends to a local club and gives it to Grandmaster Flash, who uses it to create a consistent, never-ending beat with a second record that's never been done before. Shao and Zeke then impress the entire club with Shao's dancing and Zeke's freestyle rapping abilities. Meanwhile, Mylene has run away after being beaten by her father; she goes to stay with her uncle, Papa Fuerte, a political figure hoping to improve the neighborhoods. At Shao's home, Zeke and Shao discuss their future, the two hoping to team up and use their music to take the city by storm.
2"Seek Those Who Fan Your Flames"Ed BianchiSam Bromell & Sinead Daly & Jacqui RiveraAugust 12, 2016 (2016-08-12)
Grandmaster Flash begins his training of Shaolin Fantastic. He begins by giving Shao a crayon that he refers to as the "key", and twenty-four hours to figure out its use. While the other boys give up and leave, Shao and Zeke stay overnight and realize the crayon is used to mark the "get down" point on the records. After further explanations, Grandmaster instructs Shao to perfect one record using his techniques. After working for a while, the boys take a break and return to discover that Shao's home has been set on fire, destroying his records and turntables. Meanwhile, Mylene's uncle Papa Fuerte arranges for a music producer to listen to her sing in church. Just before the service begins, however, Mylene's father tells her she will no longer sing solos due to her recent actions and foray into disco music. As the choir sings, the producer starts to leave, so Mylene defies her father's wishes and sings to stop him from leaving. The episode ends with Cadillac investigating who ordered the shootout at Les Inferno, during which he shoots a young boy from a rival gang.
3"Darkness Is Your Candle"Andrew BernsteinT Cooper & Allison Glock-Cooper & Stephen Adly GuirgisAugust 12, 2016 (2016-08-12)
This episode is set in July during a citywide blackout. Mylene's father kicks her out after her performance at the church, and she stays with the Kipling family. Her uncle continues to help her reach her dreams but he is visited by her mother, Lydia, who explains how her family is breaking apart. Moreno, the producer who saw Mylene in church, talks Papa Fuerte into independently recording a demo before taking it to a big record company. Moreno and Mylene struggle to agree on a song for her to sing, but after opening up to each other, he agrees to write a new song for her. Shao, having lost all of his possessions in the fire, returns to Fat Annie in order to make money. She invites him into her family, which doesn't sit well with her son Cadillac; he instructs Shao to dispose of his car. Zeke and the other boys look for jobs in order to help Shao raise money for new turntables. When the Kipling parents leave for a family funeral, the kids throw a party (and charge for entry), playing a mix-tape of Grandmaster's work that they purchase from a local store. Playing his music breaks the "no biting" rule, which prompts the arrival of gangsters to break up the party and trash the salon. Afterward, Shao, Zeke, and the boys discover the body of the boy Cadillac shot in the trunk of his car. After dumping the body in a lake, the boys commit to taking care of each other as "the Get Down" brothers and vow to stop Cadillac and his violent ways. The episode ends with Zeke and Mylene meeting to discuss recent events, which results in the two sleeping together.
4"Forget Safety, Be Notorious"Ed BianchiAaron Rahsaan ThomasAugust 12, 2016 (2016-08-12)
Following the vandalism and looting that occurred during the blackout, Mayor Beame informs Papa Fuerte he can no longer provide him the $10 million needed for his restoration and housing plans. In response, Fuerte takes back his promise to ensure Beame enough votes to win during the upcoming mayoral election. Fuerte is then approached by Ed Koch, another mayoral hopeful, who offers the same deal as Beame on condition that Fuerte publicly denounces graffiti. Ms. Green, Zeke's English teacher, meets with Zeke's aunt to support his academic and creative abilities; the two women decide that Zeke should take up an internship. Zeke agrees to take one with Fuerte, which also pleases Mylene. Shao and Mylene continue to disagree about the other's influence on Zeke, forcing him to choose between helping Mylene track down Moreno and fixing Shao's relationship with Grandmaster, who has banned Shao from mixing following the bootlegged mix-tape incident. Zeke decides to help Shao, which leads them into Herculoid territory and an ambush. After falling unconscious due to an overdose, Moreno is revived by Mylene and her friends; they take him to Fuerte, who isn't happy that he has wasted his money, meant for Mylene's demo, on drugs. Dizzee bonds with Thor, a fellow graffiti artist, and it is revealed that Regina is in an abusive relationship with a dealer named Little Wolf.
5"You Have Wings, Learn to Fly"Michael DinnerSeth Zvi RosenfeldAugust 12, 2016 (2016-08-12)
Whilst hunting down the person responsible for the bootlegged tapes, the Get Down Brothers run into DJ Kool Herc but manage to prove it was one of his own men. He challenges the boys to a DJ battle against the Notorious Three. Grandmaster lifts Shao's ban so he can compete. Meanwhile Pastor Cruz confronts Papa Fuerte and is shocked to see Mylene there. Fuerte reminds Cruz of his past sins before Moreno, trying to defuse the situations, explains he wants Mylene to record a hymn with a disco twist in his church. Cruz agrees and makes peace with his daughter when he hears the final song. Zeke is late to his interview but after some hard truths from Ms. Green goes back and fights for his internship with Gunn. At the same time he works with Shao and the Kipling brothers to prepare for the upcoming battle discovering they each have different musical skills. When Mylene comes to play her record to Zeke, Shao realizes a beat in her record is the missing link for their performance and forcibly takes a copy causing an argument between Glendale and Shao. The episode ends with the Get Down brothers finding the brother of the boy killed by Cadillac on their roof.
6"Raise Your Words, Not Your Voice"Ed BianchiSeth Zvi Rosenfeld & Sam BromellAugust 12, 2016 (2016-08-12)
Part 2 (1978)
7"Unfold Your Own Myth"Lawrence TrillingStephen Adly GuirgisApril 7, 2017 (2017-04-07)
8"The Beat Says, This Is the Way"Ed BianchiAaron Rahsaan ThomasApril 7, 2017 (2017-04-07)
9"One by One, Into the Dark"Clark JohnsonNelson GeorgeApril 7, 2017 (2017-04-07)
10"Gamble Everything"Ed BianchiSeth Zvi RosenfeldApril 7, 2017 (2017-04-07)
11"Only from Exile Can We Come Home"Ed BianchiSam Bromell & Jacqui RiveraApril 7, 2017 (2017-04-07)

ProductionEdit

The series was announced in February 2015, after Luhrmann had spent over ten years developing the concept. The series is described as "a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco".[17] The Sony Pictures Television show takes place in Bronx tenements, the SoHo art scene, CBGB, Studio 54 and the just-built World Trade Center.[18] On April 9, 2015, it was announced that Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, Skylan Brooks, Jaden Smith, and newcomer Tremaine (TJ) Brown Jr. would play the show's lead male roles.[19] On April 16, 2015 it was announced that newcomer Herizen F. Guardiola would play the show's female lead.[20]

Rap legends Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow and Nas hosted a Hip-Hop boot camp to educate the young actors.[21] The production crew used the Eisner Award-winning comic series Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor as a reference point.[22][23]

The trailer for part two was released in February 2017, with episodes being made available on Netflix on April 7, 2017. The series picked up a year later in 1978.[24] The accompanying soundtrack was released on April 21, 2017.[25]

ReceptionEdit

Part 1 holds a score of 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 73 reviews, with the critic consensus reading, "The Get Down's vibrant music and energetic young cast help to elevate its meandering narrative."[26] The season has a score of 69 out of 100 based on 31 reviews on Metacritic which is classified as "generally favorable reviews".[27] Part 2 received an 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 14 critics, with an average score of 7.68/10.[28]

The uptempo musical numbers and soundtrack were generally praised as well as the performances from the main cast and cinematography of the show.[citation needed] However, the overly dramatic love story and sometimes "cartoonish" violence have been criticized, saying it detracts from the darker, authentic feel of the show and its setting.[citation needed] Reviews improved with later episodes as critics felt that the series had toned down its more outlandish and over the top elements in favor of a more cohesive and balanced episode structure.[29][30][31] Matt Zoller Seitz of Vulture gave high praises to the series' second season, stating that, "A promising show has become a terrific one."[32] Seitz later named The Get Down as the 4th best TV series of 2017, writing that it is "one of a handful of series that can be said to have devised its own language."[33]

AccoladesEdit

Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2016 Hollywood Music in Media Awards
Best Outstanding Music Supervision – Television Stephanie Diaz-Matos Nominated
[34][35]
2017 MPSE Golden Reel Awards
Best Music Editor – Television Short Form Jamieson Shaw Won
Best Music Editor – Television Long Form Nominated
2017 Hollywood Music in Media Awards
Original Song – TV Show/Limited Series "Power" for Elliott Wheeler, Baz Luhrmann, Homer Steinweiss, and Donna Missal Won
[36]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Baz Luhrmann's The Get Down is the big let down ... or not". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 13 August 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  2. ^ "The Get Down". Real or Fake 4K. Russell Kercheval. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Netflix Unveils Premiere Dates For 'Orange Is The New Black,' 'The Get Down,' 'Flaked' And Others". Deadline Hollywood. 17 January 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  4. ^ "First trailer for Baz Luhrmann's Netflix series set in '70s New York". Digital Spy. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Why The Get Down Is Only Premiering Half of Its First Season on Friday". Vulture. New York Media. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  6. ^ Ringen, Jonathan (20 August 2016). "Birth of a (Hip-Hop) Nation". Billboard. 128 (21). pp. 27–28.
  7. ^ Evans, Greg (23 February 2017). "'The Get Down Part II': Netflix Announces Return Date With New Video Clip". Deadline Hollywood.
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (24 May 2017). "'The Get Down' Canceled By Netflix After One Season". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Baz Luhrmann's 'The Get Down' Adds "Disco Prince" to Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Eldridge Industries, LLC. 28 May 2015.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Jimmy Smits To Star In Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Music Drama 'The Get Down'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Giancarlo Esposito Joins Baz Luhrmann's Hip-Hop Drama 'The Get Down' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Eldridge Industries, LLC. 18 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Netflix Lands Grandmaster Flash for 'The Get Down,' Casts Young Actor as Hip-Hop Legend". The Hollywood Reporter. Eldridge Industries, LLC. 20 May 2015.
  13. ^ Liebman, Lisa (12 August 2016). "Separating Fact and Fiction in Netflix's The Get Down". Vulture. New York Media LLC. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  14. ^ McMillan, Graeme (29 September 2015). "Zabryna Guevara 'The Get Down'". The Hollywood Reporter. Eldridge Industries, LLC. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  15. ^ Petski, Denise. "Yolanda Ross Joins 'The Get Down'; Chris Petrovski In 'Madam Secretary'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  16. ^ King, Jamilah (15 August 2016). "'The Get Down' is the Queer Hip-Hop History We've Been Waiting For". Mic Network Inc.
  17. ^ Abrams, Natalie (5 February 2015). "Netflix orders Baz Luhrmann musical drama 'The Get Down'". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc.
  18. ^ "Watch The First Trailer For Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Show". Huffington Post. 5 February 2015.
  19. ^ "Netflix Sets Cast for Baz Luhrmann Hip-Hop Drama 'The Get Down' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Eldridge Industries. 9 April 2015.
  20. ^ Daley, Megan (16 April 2015). "Baz Luhrmann's 'The Get Down' has its female lead". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc.
  21. ^ Greg, Grouchy (4 August 2016). "Grandmaster Flash and Nas Made "The Get Down" Cast Go Through Hip-Hop Boot Camp". AllHipHop.
  22. ^ "Instagram photo by Ed Piskor". Instagram. 4 August 2016.
  23. ^ "Instagram video by Justice Smith". Instagram. 18 January 2016.
  24. ^ "The Get Down Part II trailer: Baz Luhrmann is headed back to Netflix". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  25. ^ "The Get Down: Part II". Soundtrack.Net. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  26. ^ "The Get Down". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  27. ^ "The Get Down: Season 1". Metacritic. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  28. ^ "The Get Down: Season 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  29. ^ Sam Wollaston (15 August 2016). "The Get Down review – an insanely extravagant love letter to 70s New York". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  30. ^ Tim Goodman (3 August 2016). "The Get Down TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  31. ^ Saraiya, Sonia (4 August 2016). "TV Review: 'The Get Down'". Variety. Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  32. ^ Seitz, Matt Zoller (6 April 2017). "The Second Half of The Get Down Is a Major Improvement Over the First". Vulture. New York Media LLC. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  33. ^ Seitz, Matt Zoller (4 December 2017). "The 10 Best TV Shows of 2017". Vulture. New York Media LLC. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  34. ^ "2016 Music In Visual Media Nominees". Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  35. ^ "HMMA Winners – Hollywood Music In Media Awards | HMMA". Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  36. ^ "Hollywood Music in Media Awards: Full Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Eldridge Industries, LLC. 17 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.

External linksEdit