By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.
The Get Down, Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming Netflix musical series, have many drawing comparisons to HBO’s Vinyl, FOX’s Empire and of course West Side Story. Insiders are saying that its saving grace is that it doesn’t look like is a Baz Luhrmann production! The director has always had a keen eye and a sharp ear for musical numbers, but, recently, his taste for spectacle has tended to overshadow the Luhrmann touch that made a small film like Strictly Ballroom so charming.
The grounding influence is possibly of co-creator Shawn Ryan (The Shield, Terriers), and this first look from The Get Down has none of the over-the-top C.G. or dizzying rapid cuts that has dogged some of Luhrmann’s later work. Although there are a few familiar faces in the trailers (Jaden Smith, Giancarlo Esposito, Jimmy Smits), the bulk of the screen time belongs to fresh-faced newcomers Justice Smith and Herizen Guardiola singing all-new music.
The Get Down focuses on a crew of South Bronx teenagers in 1970s New York who use music, dance, and graffiti to express their angst. Like Vinyl over on HBO, The Get Down will explore the emergence of hip-hop, punk, and disco on the streets of New York City. Luhrmann is credited as director on only three episodes of the 13-hour season, which premieres on Netflix sometime later this year.
The Get Down