5/10 Due to the recent release of “Elvis”, I decided to binge watch everything that director Baz Luhrmann has directed. After completing his filmography leading up to “Elvis”, I landed on “The Get Down”, which Luhrmann co-created and directed the pilot for Netflix. While several aspects work extremely well, the series ultimately ends up being mediocre and was rightfully canceled after one expensive season. When one season costs $120 million, you better bring the goods and while the season certainly looks amazing, the show just wasn’t interesting enough to attract a wide enough fan base. Before we take a look at what brought the show down, we can start off with the positives. Overall the show looks incredible. Recreating the late 1970s in New York required a stunning amount of work from the production design team and the costume design team, which they nailed. All of the buildings, cars, fashion, hairstyles, etc. completely transport you back in time. You can see where all of the money went. Luhrmann, whether you love or loathe his work, has always nailed his production design, costume design and the musical aspects. “The Get Down” is no exception. Music is one of the most integral parts of the show and the show delivers in spades in that category. Everything from the 1970s soundtrack to the original lyrics that were written for the show and everything in between might be the best part of the show. Music connects every character and despite the show falling short, I would totally listen to the soundtrack to the show. Finally, the acting is strong across the board. When I first saw Justice Smith (Ezekiel ‘Books’ Figuero), I became concerned due to his track record of playing horrible characters in mediocre to bad movies (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”, “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu”, etc.) but I was shocked to see him deliver his best performance, which came before all of those horrible roles. He started strong with his work here and needs to fire his agent for then putting him in any garbage role offered to him. While the entire cast is strong, the stand out was Shameik Moore as Shaolin Fantastic, who really impressed me as well as Herizen F. Guardiola as Mylene Cruz. Despite all of those winning aspects, the show certainly has its problems. The season is inexplicably split into two parts and released eight months apart (all episodes should have been dropped at once as there is no advantage to splitting the season in half). The second half of the season introduces animation but since there was none in the first half of the show, it feels out of place. It would have been smart to put animation into the first half so the second half of the season feels consistent, but the showrunners failed to do so. While most characters get decent subplots, Jaden Smith easily gets the most woke and weakest short end of the stick as his character gets boiled down to being gay and spray painting…that’s it. With other character arcs feeling developed and compelling, Smith’s Marcus ‘Dizzee’ Kipling character doesn’t have much to do in comparison. Finally, besides one episode that ended in a cliff hanger, the show just isn’t very interesting. I had to force myself to continue watching because every time an episode ends, there is nothing to hook the audience into having to keep going. The stakes never feel high and I personally know of people who started watching and then stopped after a few episodes and it is easy to see why. The eight month gap certainly didn’t help carry any momentum, since there was none to begin with. Despite some tremendous performances, production/costume design and music, the show ends up being forgettable and you can tell the show was meant to go for another season but audiences didn’t care enough to keep watching. If there would have been a season two, it honestly would be hard for me to continue as well. Like an album, “The Get Down” has the A track that hits and the B track that misses.

#TheBookOfEzekiel / #LittleBlackBook / #DizzeeWork / #ShameikMooreIsFantastic / #ComeOnMylene / #BlacksmithsAndWordsmiths

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