Previously on The Get Down
If the idea of DJ turf wars and rapping your way out of a beating is far too silly of an idea to take seriously, you’re probably not still watching The Get Down. The homages to superheroes and kung fu movies and musicals have alluded you, as has the true enjoyment of this show. It’s okay.
But if you’re still with it, these episodes gave you more of what you came for. It dialed down the yawn and upped the beat.
Two weeks to The Get Down Brothers versus the Notorious 3 in a DJ Rumble. Shaolin gets back in the good graces of his sensei and despite a rather disturbing dream sequence (he licked Fat Annie, y’all), manages to get his head in the game. But no DJ is an island and he needs to trust his wings. Ra Ra’s comic book-addled mind comes up with the idea of a super superpower. Enter Books. He writes to all of their talents and we see the team come together. Boo’s got the moves and Ra is double time. Mylene’s record provides their secret weapon. It’s going down.
Set Me Free
Despite the inherent watchabilty of Jimmy Smits, the machinations of Cisco and Jackie to raise Mylene to stardom were canned and dull. These episodes turned the beat around (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Jackie went from OD-ing in a tub to selling snake oil to a salesman. He might have had redemption when Mylene and her friends saved him or he might have pulled through when performing for Cisco. Instead, he rises from the ashes by selling Christian Disco to Ramon. Mylene is not only in the good graces of her both her fathers, but also on the road to Solid Gold. Let’s hope she really does take Regina and Yolanda, with her.
I’m a Black Man in a White World
Ezekiel is in the middle of opportunity but what road will he take? Will it be college at the behest of Ms. Green and his family? Will it be aligning with shady Herbert Gunn and walk hand-in-hand with Mylene out of the Bronx? Or will he be Shaolin’s wordsmith and be a Get Down Brother for life?
Or maybe it’s more complicated. Like his music, Zeke’s life may not be just one thing. Like his music, maybe it’s a fusion of choices. These episodes do a great job of showing, rather than telling. We cut between Jackie sweet talking (and Mylene singing) his way into the pastor’s heart while Books sweet raps out of Cool Hurt’s fist. The strife between (disco) Mylene and (hip hop) Shaolin continue, culminating in Shaolin stripping her out of her own record to use for his own purposes. It takes Books to bring them, and rest of The Get Down Brothers, together.
- Looting – Historical context was better integrated into this episode. Cisco’s loot market was a nice backdrop to show his advantageous nature and the fallout from the blackout.
- Halos for everyone – Mylene had a near-constant halo. From the subway to church, the glow was strong
- Sidekicks are people too – I was happy they fleshed out the side characters a little more. We now know the names of Mylene’s amazing friends.
- Rumi and Thor – Looks like we have a little mutual artist admiration going on. Not the strongest storyline, but I’m glad it’s in here for representation
- Mylene’s mom – literally between two brothers. One holds her hand and the other…gets hands-y with her
- Mylene’s dad – has a past. What a past.
- Sex on the Roof – Shaolin throws a tantrum when he hears that Boo hears Books getting down with the enemy
- Napoleon – Episode 3 ended with The Brothers in Cool Hurt’s territory. Now Napoleon is found in theirs. Will Shaolin turn him in?
- The Music– This show is about music. It’s no surprise that what made these episodes work was the strong focus on the music. And the music itself, was great.
- Exposition Rap – Continues to perplex me why they started each episode with exposition in a Netflix series. I was happy the did away with it in episode five in favor of a really strong mid-episode song
These episodes were right up my alley. More focused, more (good) music, more wacky fun. The only thing better than a dance off is a DJ rumble.
The Get Down S1E4 and S1E5 = 8.5/10