With the new show "13 Reasons Why" arriving on Netflix within a week of Part 2 of "The Get Down," one of Netflix's most innovative shows has once again been swept under the rug. The first part of "The Get Down" premiered at the same time as "Stranger Things" and is still being left in the shadow of other Netflix series without any of the credit it deserves. So, in honor of the second part of season one's premiere, here are thirteen reasons you should binge "The Get Down" before anything else:
1. The plot.
There are a dozen storylines in "The Get Down," with everything from romance and crime to big dreamers and rebellious teenagers, but they're all interconnected by the central characters and their relationships to themselves and to their futures.
2. The aesthetic.
If you liked the style and look of movies like "The Great Gatsby," "Moulin Rouge," or "Romeo + Juliet," you'll want to watch "The Get Down." All three movies were directed by the director of this show, Baz Luhrmann, and the colorful, loud, rapid and magical feeling essential to his work is just as prominent here. The show is just gorgeous to look at.
3. The music.
"The Get Down" is essentially a hip-hop musical, since it centers around the creation of hip-hop and the dreams of a team of boys about to create a new style of music and a young soon-to-be disco star. The show is filled with original songs as their dreams begin to take shape. Also, not coincidentally, stars from Broadway's famous hip-hop musical, "Hamilton," appear throughout, so it's always exciting to spot them.
4. The characters.
Every character in "The Get Down" is worth writing about, since even the minor ones are given full stories and fleshed out characters, but my personal favorites are Mylene and Dizzee, mainly because they are so hopeful and have such bright dreams for their future. Other characters like Zeke, Shao, Yolanda and Regina are also fan favorites, but each character that appears on screen has some level of development and gives the show its bright, charismatic color.
5. The new look at coming of age stories.
Most recent coming of age stories center around the average suburban teen trying to make it through high school (like a certain recent Netflix release), but "The Get Down" is able to take the coming of age story and place it in the hands of young black and Latino artists in 1970s Bronx as a cultural and artistic revolution is taking place, giving that classic idea of teens finding their place in the world a new, creative look.
6. The history.
"The Get Down" is not simply a work of fiction. It is based in the real history of the creation of hip-hop and the Bronx of the 1970s. The show is filled with real footage from the 1970s used to set the scene and has characters react to actual historical events, like the blackout of 1977, which becomes a major plot point in the first part of the season.
7. The high energy.
Everything from the music to the story to the cinematography offers this bright and exciting energy that rarely dies down, so every moment feels like a dance and has a beat, leaving you still feeling it after you finish every episode.
8. The humor.
This show has some hilarious one-liners and quotable moments. I don't want to spoil any of them, but Zeke and Shao's fight and the entire crayon scenario are golden.
9. The writing.
The point of view character, Zeke, is a poet, so naturally all of the writing is as beautiful and over the top as possible. The dialogue is natural and funny most of the time, but then the writers will conjure up moments like Zeke saying he feels "calm almost like how God must be calm, you know, Mylene? Calm from loving," so writers especially should consider watching and learning this.
10. The costumes.
The 1970s setting brings some incredible outfits in the worst and best ways. Mylene's dresses are to die for.
11. The cast.
Many of the central characters are played by actors who were not so well-known before the show's release and who bring something really special to the show. It does feature some bigger names like Jimmy Smits and Jaden Smith, who are incredible, too, but the lesser known actors help emphasize the idea of kids trying to make it in the world.
12. The hopeful outlook.
This show has such a bright outlook, even in the worst situations, that so many current shows and characters in media lack. Through whatever hardships it has its characters go through, there's an overwhelmingly hopeful feeling to the show that is so refreshing.
13. The run-length.
The show only has eleven episodes at this point, so it's easy to start and finish. The first episode is film-length, but don't let it discourage you, because it's definitely worth it once you've started.