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Is anyone else watching this show? I was dancing like no one was watching with the pilot episode.

Justice Smith is such a treasure and find and I am loving him and how he portrays this role. Shameik, I loved recognizing him from the indie film Dope.

I swear some scenes or upcoming scenes are predictable and I bust out laughing so much.

I just love the old school music sooooooo much. If you're watching, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have mixed feelings about the show. Just watching the first episode, I really appreciate the high production values that obviously went into the show. Often times, films and TV shows that have a predominantly POC cast tend to be lower budget but with this series it is evident that no expense was spared and that comes through.


Justice Smith is okay, you can believe him as a rapper and he seems to have a personal backstory and he is not lacking in charisma but in his scenes with Herizen Guardiola, he kind of gets lost to me, I get a stronger sense of her character than I do his but I am open to see what lies ahead for his character and the transformation he undergoes and after seeing a truly uncharismatic leading man (*coughs* Marco Polo), I'm more prone to think in this case it's not the actor but the writing, perhaps the direction too.


Having grown up in the 80s, not that far from the Bronx, there are things that came off a bit inauthentic to me. From dialogue (there are definitely words that were in the 1st episode that were not in existence until the late 80s), one original song sounded like it was strangely from the 90s (that period where R&B and rap & R&B had 70s influence), Jaden Smith's lack of accent didn't bother me but as a person of Caribbean heritage, I'm sorry but that record store shopkeeper's accent was fake AF (LOL)! 


You can tell which parts had the benefit of consultation from people who were actually there and which did not. The scenes with Grandmaster Flash, must've had his direct influence because if you see documentaries on the early days of hip hop, it looked like that scene at 'The Get Down'. I did like the exposition on how Grandmaster Flash spins, cuts and scratches his records on the turntables. Yes, it was obviously exposition for an audience that might not know much about what a DJ does but it was a nice, clear explanation laid out in layman's terms.  

It's weird that Ezekiel and his friends would've never seen anyone even practicing break-dancing moves in their neighborhood before seeing it at The Get Down (it looked brand new to them) while they knew the names of every gang in the South Bronx. Where were those dudes gonna practice their moves if not on the street? Ezekiel and his friends do not seem sheltered, they would've seen break-dancing somewhere before even if they didn't know what it was.  Break dancing in '77 but no pop-locking?? I hope that's only because it was the first episode but popping and breaking go hand in hand, in fact, popping came first. One only need watch an episode of What's Happening to find that out.


I'm being nitpicky, I know.


Jimmy Smits is fantastic in this! Right from the beginning, his shady character is exposed but his motivations to build something good for his community are clear as is his sense of love and loyalty to his family.  I'm also interested in seeing the dynamic between he and his brother (Giancarlo Esposito)

Yolanda Ross who played the teacher is another character I hope to see more of because a show needs a strong composed character who can be sort of a guiding light to some of the younger characters in particular but I was also intrigued by her character and wanted to know more about her.


The beginning with Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) rapping was a nice touch, even when they flashed forward to him again when he was reflecting on a love lost.  You could see where Justice's Ezekiel might have ended up as the wizened rapper that Daveed Diggs was portraying onstage.


The actor who plays Ra-Ra, Shylan Brooks comes off as a authentic. I believe that kid could be from the Bronx or Harlem. I've seen that kid (LOL). He has a good chemistry in his scenes and especially the actor who plays his younger brother.


There are a few other technical issues I had with it but they are so small that it's not worth getting into it.  Also, I hope there will be other directors doing episodes besides Baz Luhrman. His vision of the South Bronx veers toward dreamscape, kinda reminds me of his version of Romeo & Juliet.  I'd be intrested in seeing episodes directed by someone like a Debi Allen, who was more likely to be more familiar with what the Bronx looked and felt like in the late 70s.  Same with some aspects of the dialogue.


I'll keep watching though.


Edited by DramatistDreamer
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YAY! Another person, I like everything you wrote.

Post more so I can see what you think. idk I might be one of the few that absolutely LOVED ep. 1.... it just got me into the mood.

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Episode 2 was much more focused than Episode 1. I'm surprised at the number of people who criticize the use of newsreel footage and the way it's spliced into scenes. I kind of look at it as digital collage, rather than neatly edited newsreels placed in scenes. I think the footage is deliberately messy to evoke the chaotic times that NYC underwent in the late 70s.


One thing that I appreciated in the 1st episode that now bothers me is the over-explication by Grandmaster Flash of what a DJ does and a DJ's modus operandi.  Even though that scene @ The Get Down in the first episode was clunky- Shaolin explaining how a DJ cuts and scratches a record in a loud ass party- it seemed a necessary primer for people who are unfamiliar with DJ culture, putting the manuevers in layman's terms.  In episode 2, it now reads as being too Ted Talks meets Red Bull Academy, and it grates on me more than a little, I've been trying to figure out why :lol:. I think maybe because I've grown up around DJs and aspects of hip-hop/reggae culture, so it seems like extra to me.  I have seen (mostly) guys who 'apprentice' to DJs and there's a lot less talk. It's more like 'Watch what I do, try to do it on your own while adding your own spin (no 'biting') and if you get it wrong, I'ma correct you'.  All that talk by Grandmaster Flash seemed like he was giving one of those lectures at a DJ shortcourse that hipsters take for a weekend experience. But hey, maybe Grandmaster Flash has always been that chatty and demonstrative.


Episode 2 though, as I said seemed much better written, a lot more soulful. I wasn't surprised that Mylene seized her moment behind the pulpit of her father's church, I was a little surprised when she took off that choir robe to reveal that white dress:lol: but it made for a great television moment.


I'm still sort of torn between the perceived lack of grittiness within the show's portrayal of the Bronx and the fact that it's Baz Luhrman's Bronx and he has obviously opted for Bronx that is more mythic and dreamscape than gritty. As someone who grew up not far from the Bronx and still remembers what state the borough was in as a little brown girl during the early 80s, and an young adult even into the 90s, I'm trying to reconcile this latest screen vision.

Edited by DramatistDreamer
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