The Get Down: A Groovy New Netflix Original

Justice+Smith+and+Skylan+Brooks+pose+on+set+of++%E2%80%9CThe+Get+Down.%E2%80%9D%0A
Justice Smith and Skylan Brooks pose on set of  “The Get Down.”

Justice Smith and Skylan Brooks pose on set of “The Get Down.”

Photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk

Photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk

Justice Smith and Skylan Brooks pose on set of “The Get Down.”

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   We are currently living in the era of internet television. Netflix, the prominent online TV and movie streaming site, reigns supreme as probably the most popular medium for entertainment since the Roman Coliseum. After establishing its firm grip on audiences all around the globe, Netflix has further enticed its viewer base through the release of several exclusive Netflix Original Series. “The Get Down,” the website’s latest original TV series, has already received avid critical and user acclaim since its premiere on August 12.

The musical drama follows the story of Ezekiel “Books” Figuero (played by the talented actor Justice Smith), an aspiring teenage poet living in the heart of the Bronx hip hop scene in the 1970’s. The six-episode installment of the first season offers viewers a glimpse into the expressive world of graffiti art, disco dancing and impassioned freestyle rapping. The series loosely mirrors the upbringing of legendary New York hip hop MC Nas, while also touching on the experiences of the iconic Staten Island-based rap group the Wu Tang Clan.

The vibrant show achieves its unique success through a mix of keen character development and explosive on-screen action. Ostensibly, “The Get Down” is the classic story of oppressed teens trying to find their voice. Paired with the supercharged, colorful excitement of its cinematographic setting, however, characters come to life within the ever-entertaining, almost magical confines of a truly inspired time period.

As their music develops, the crew–nicknamed “The Fantastic Five Plus One”–meet the legendary DJ Grandmaster Flash (who, in real life,  contributed to the show as an advisor)  and learn the tricks of the trade as pioneers of the new era of hip hop.

The supporting roles of Dizzee, Figuero’s graffiti artist friend played by Jaden Smith, and love interest Herizen Guardiola, played by Mylene Cruz, add to a cast of young, lively performers who shine brightly on the screen. Each episode includes an individual, choreographed dance number that pairs perfectly with Director Baz Luhrmann’s colorful, aesthetically pleasing cinematography.

   “The Get Down” is Netflix’s most expensive project to date, totalling around $120 million in production costs. The series was co-created by Hollywood superstar directors by broadway playwright Stephen Adley Guirgis and film director, Baz Luhrmann. Luhrmann, an Australian known best for such films as The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge!, was inspired by the rhythmic time period and given full autonomy to create the show. “Everything that was interesting to me — movies, art, music — seemed to come from New York City,” Luhrmann said in an interview with Variety.

You can stream the first six episodes of “The Get Down” on Netflix today. The site’s original series are only getting better, and their success will likely pave the way for more. Caution: Try not to binge too much–or at the very least do your homework first.

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