Get the low down on ‘The Get Down’

More stories from Nina Taranenko


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The Get Down offical Netflix poster

Imagine subway trains defaced with colorful graffiti, disco records playing, and everyone wearing bright, primary colors. “The Get Down,” a Netflix original series, transports viewers back to that scene of the late 70s.

“The Get Down” is a musical drama web series that premiered on Netflix on Aug. 16. Set in the summer of ‘77 in South Bronx, the shows focuses on black, Hispanic, and mixed teens and adults dealing with racism, classism, and love.

Music is a key part of the show, as it is set when disco was at its prime and hip-hop was just beginning. “The Fantastic Four plus One,” one of the show’s main groups, is made up of five boys: Shao, Zeke, Dizzee, Ra-Ra and Boo-Boo. They are trying to make it big with the help of Grandmaster Flash by mixing together disco and poetry to make what is now known as hip-hop.

“The Soul Madonnas” are a trio of girls consisting of Mylene, Yolanda and Regina. Mylene aims to make it big in the music industry but must contend with her religious father. “The Soul Madonnas” attempt to accomplish their dream of leaving the Bronx by creating a soulful Christian song with a pop-disco beat.

The show tackles major issues, such as government corruption during the time when the Bronx was in shambles, and uses videos of the past to create an authentic feel. The producers successfully represent the time period through clothes, hair, and music, especially.

Fashion took risks during this time period: bright colors, everything made of denim, flared jeans, and platform shoes. “The Get Down” recreates those fashion risks through its authentic costume design.

Both young girls and boys are seen wearing high-waisted jean cut-off shorts, paired with colorful platforms or converse and tube socks. When seen at Les Inferno, the local disco, club goers wear bright suits, paisley prints, and metallic revealing dresses.

Music is a mixture of original pieces sung by the cast itself and pieces from modern times inspired by the 70s. “Set Me Free,” sung by “The Soul Madonnas,” is the unofficial anthem. Original pieces take Zeke’s poetry and Shao’s dj skills to create early on hip-hop.

A big stand out for viewers is the racially-diverse cast and representation for people of color. The only whites viewers see are those of the upper class or friends of Dizzee. Many teens can finally watch a show where they are represented in a better light, not stereotyped.

“The Get Down,” though only six episodes as of now, is able to depict the Bronx in that time period beautifully, while making a cultural impact.