In Three Words: Repercussions, Choices, Extravagant.
Before I start this review, I want to give some disclaimers.
1. There will be SPOILERS in this review.
2. If you haven't seen my first review of The Get Down Pt.1, read it here before you continue this one. I'm going to reference my review of Pt.1 in this review.
Now that we have that out of the way. Let's get into this.
I was looking forward to April 7th. So much so that I was labelling April 7th as "My 2nd Birthday". Not only was The Get Down returning, but Joey Bada$$ was dropping an album and Kendrick Lamar was teasing what we thought was an album drop. As it turns out for Kendrick, he just gave a link to his album which is now coming a week later.
But he did say "You got until April 7th to get your s*** together". I for one got my s*** together. I was ready for The Get Down.
From the 1st episode "Unfold Your Own Myth", we gather that The Get Down Brothers are going through teething and all have their individual wants. Ezekiel is looking to go to Yale, Boo Boo wants real money & independence, Ra Ra is thinking big ideas, Shaolin Fantastic is rising in the ranks after going back to Fat Annie's gang & Dizzee is "Finding Himself".
As the brothers were going through their problems, Mylene was experiencing the stress of being a star. With her father using her popularity & voice for his own endeavours, (spreading the word of the Lord) her label trying to get her out of the "Good Catholic girl" persona & trying to keep her relationship with Zeke, Mylene didn't know where to go.
And that brings me to the negatives of the show. Some of the storylines were pretty predictable, it was just a matter of guessing when it would happen. Repercussions & Choices, the characters needed to change something, it was just a matter of picking a road and dealing with the repercussions. This is what I loved about Part 1 of the show. The realistic decisions the characters made and because they were young kids, sometimes their decisions were terrible errors. That's something we all go through in life.
But there was a significant change in storytelling for this, compared to Part 1. In addition to exploring Jaden Smith's Dizzee Kipling a little more, he became the defacto narrator of the show, but they didn't have him just tell the story, it was shown as if he was drawing a comic book for his "friend" Thor who was doing a jail stint for graffiti. That was a nice touch and really kept it fresh.
Days before Part 2 dropped, I saw an article that labelled TGD as a "Marmite Show". If you don't know what Marmite is, it's basically another saying for "You either love it or hate it". Now I fundamentally disagree with that from an academic level. I can't see why people would outright hate this show, what I can see is somebody giving it a go and considering it not their cup of tea.
This is a show that is a risk at its core. How many musical/romance shows do you know that are not just this extravagant in the performances and music but with so many historical links and attention to detail?
They didn't just stop at clothing and scenery. The Get Down is, and I said this in my first review, an entertaining historical document. In the 1st Part they weaved in the NY Blackout, the Mayoral race including Ed Koch, the broken down South Bronx and the battle against graffiti. All historically accurate stories that actually happened. Part 2 went a step further. The graffiti battle continuing but also the Angel Dust Epidemic and the slow death of Disco. All of them are part of the overall story of The Get Down.
Also think about the social stigma. When The Get Down Brothers were getting real money for their music, the relatives assumed they were selling drugs! Dizzee's realisation that he's an "Alien". (a fun way of saying he's Gay) That's the attention to detail and historical significance I'm talking about.
And think about Mylene. In the space of five episodes she went from the girl trying to cater for everyone to doing weed and then cocaine on a regular basis, becoming the Disco Star she always wanted to be, with the cost of her father's life of course.
It's a perfect balance. And after experiencing the entire series now, I love the story. I understand that there were a lot of storylines to take in but the fact that they were all tied up by the end and they sometimes bled into the other storylines, as a writer I find that amazing. There are many storylines but they didn't miss a beat.
I haven't even talked about infidelity in the Cruz family and the fact that homosexuals and "Drag Queens" influenced Disco. There is so much to take in I can't write them all! This show is STACKED ladies & gentlemen!
As for the budget thing, let me set the record straight. There are many films that nobody asked for, that cost over $100m. Ghost in the Shell is bombing as of 10th April 2017 and that was based off source material. The Get Down is completely original and we should applaud Baz Luhrmann, Ed Bianchi & the many Hip-Hop legends that helped create this outstanding love story wrapped in the umbrella of Hip-Hop, Disco and 70's New York City.
The Get Down is one of the greatest shows made in this decade. Simple. Regardless if you don't like the story, you must respect that this is an original TV show, with actors you probably never heard of until you watched this, with tons of historically accurate connections while keeping the fiction interesting and in some parts extremely relatable.
In the words of Ra Ra. "The Get Down is the next great American music genre, no doubt."
You got that right...