After an eight-month break that’s felt like forever, the second part of Baz Luhrmann’s glossy, big budget, hip-hop coming-of-age drama returns to Netflix this month. But if you’re not sure if 'The Get Down' is worth losing a weekend for, here are five reasons why you should give it a watch.
It's got a lot of style (and a bit of substance)
'The Get Down' was seriously hyped when it debuted last summer, mainly because it had the blessing of New York hip-hop legend Grandmaster Flash. It also took on the ambitious task of using fiction to tell the real-life story of how hip-hop came through the 70's disco era in the South Bronx – so one wrong move and old school b-boys would hate it. Unfortunately, they did. The combination of Luhrmann's hyper-realistic style and the ridiculous length of the first episode meant early verdicts of 'The Get Down' weren't too kind. But you’ve got to bear with it. By episode three, the love story, the hip-hop history lesson and the insightful, inner-city social commentary all starts to come together nicely, eventually leading up to a storming conclusion to episode six. And thankfully, Luhrmann’s directorial influence comes down a few notches.
The music is really, really good
Revered New York rapper Nas is responsible for the rhymes delivered by the show’s clever hero Ezekiel ‘Zeke aka Books’ Figuero and his crew The Fantastic Four Plus One. So of course, there's rarely a moment when they don't sound brilliant. The show's soundtrack also revives plenty of disco classics and showcases original songs from Zayn, Michael Kiwanuka and Janelle Monáe.
The trailer reveals there might be more seat-gripping drama between Zeke and his lady Mylene...
Spoiler alert: at the end of episode six, Zeke and local church girl-turned-disco singer Mylene Cruz were looking fondly at the Manhattan skyline as they discussed their future, right after Zeke’s crew won their DJ battle. But so much for all that mushy stuff: from the look of the new trailer, their relationship could be tested as part two picks up a year after part one. It appears Mylene has hit the big time and Zeke is still torn between his ambitions as an MC, his loyalty to his DJ and Kung Fu-loving buddy Shaolin Fantastic, and his reluctance to go down the corporate career route. Hardly leaves him any time to fit in a girlfriend, eh?
...and there’s likely to be more seat-gripping drama between Shaolin Fantastic and ‘those gangsters’
A year later and Shaolin is now the owner of a prominent moustache which must mean he's taking his newfound manhood very seriously since that 'situation' in part one (don't worry, I won't ruin it for you). But it's clear he's still having a tough time leaving the drug game. The trailer shows glimpses of his gangster bosses, so if the first part was anything to go by, it’s likely we’ll witness more of their shady ways.
It’s only five episodes long this time round
The second part is two episodes shorter than originally planned so you can easily wax off the whole series the next time you've got a weekend spare. You won't regret it either: with a great cast, a solid storyline and a hearty dose of nostalgia, 'The Get Down' is like the best hip-hop record: it hardly misses a beat.
'The Get Down' is back on April 7. Watch the trailer below:
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