The Get Down

mariah casillas


This past summer, Netflix has introduced its viewers to a phenomenal musical drama TV series similar to Empire, Luke Cage, Fame, and Stranger Things. As the series opens, we are introduced to a diverse group from the South Bronx.Viewers are given a 1970s vibe, and we are introduced to a wide variety of styles, including hip-hop, punk, and disco, as we start to see the elements of modern pop music taking shape.

With The Get Down, Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Guirgis have created a riveting, wonderful series about the lifestyle of upcoming rappers and singers of the 70’s. After quickly binge watching all six episodes of the first season, it was difficult to accept that there were none left.Each episode was the perfect length and never had a problem keeping me absorbed in the story line.

Our protagonists are Ezekiel (Justice Smith) and Mylene (Herizen F. Guardiola), framed as a modern-day Romeo and Juliet; coincidentally, Baz Luhrmann also directed an adaptation of the iconic Shakespeare tale in 1996. They are both pursuing dreams in the music industry and with the help and support of their family and friends; their prospects are beginning to brighten. Underlying the reality of things, they are both unsure of how their career outcomes will play in their personal relationship and their relationships with their friends. Despite any struggles, they genuinely love and support each other through every step; like any girl in her 20s, a sweeping romance always keeps me interested.

We also spend time with the infamous Mr. Shaolin Fantastic (Shameik Moore), a young street runner who creates a rap group with his friends, to bask in their shared love of music. This group consists of Shaolin, Ezekiel, Dizzee, Ra-Ra, and Boo-Boo, and, in a clever nod to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, they decide to call themselves "The Fantastic Four Plus One" This is a great idea, to have many various talents of each member come together as one to defeat other local groups. Most of the teens of the community were gang involved or sitting at home doing nothing, while the Fantastic Four (or five) are determined to become the best rap group of the area. Their dedication to music helps them forget about the violence and social unrest that permeated the 70s, and gives them hope of escaping their poverty-stricken lives.

I truly enjoy the fashionable, culture based; suspenseful season because of their reality of what life appeared to be in the 70's. Hearing Hector Lavoe's track "Que Lio" reminded me of my younger days spending time at my grandmothers home where she cooked and cleaned to the same song. Sometimes being reminded of great old memories makes me emotional, realizing how much I love the show for bringing me the opportunity. The Get Down will give you that memorable mixture of feelings from old artists to relationship problems.

Hopefully, we won't have to wait too long for season 2.


View trailer of The Get Down


Mariah Casillas is a junior English major with a concentration in Writing. She is devoted to making a change in the world through a journalistic lens. She loves traveling and being adventurous.