Netflix UK TV review: The Get Down Part 2 (Episode 1 and 2)
Jaden Smith being Jaden Smith9
Chris Bryant | On 09, Apr 2017
“My life is a dichotomy and both my lives are true.”
Baz Luhrmann’s inventive tale of hip-hop, the streets, and 70’s New York continues in Part 2 of The Get Down. Having charted their discovery and involvement in a new style of music, the first two episodes of this second chapter ensure that while The Brothers enjoy their fame in this craze, they still have real life to deal with.
Proving it still has the style and speed that made Part 1 unmissable, The Get Down quickly reminds the audience that the show does a lot more than rap in a brightly coloured jacket. Grasping the culture of The Bronx at the time, The Get Down is very much still in the former part of the rags-to-riches story. Shaolin Fantastic (Shameik Moore) may be a world-class DJ, but he is still the link to the stories of the street the show tells. Forced to use his hustling talents for drug dealers and pimps, it drives a divide between the group within the first hour of the show’s return.
Playing heavily on the jealousies and greed that arises from poverty, money becomes a huge part of the show overnight. As Myleene’s rise juxtaposes that of The Brothers, the screen is filled with people hoping to get rich off her – if only they could force her to sell her sexuality a little more. Herizen F Guardiola’s performance as the church-bound starlet continues to shine, the perfect balance of ambition and oppression, while also providing a fantastic performance that ensures that even when the series’ protagonist questions her, the audience never do.
While their musical struggles continue, the show quickly reminds viewers that everything in these characters’ lives is a struggle. Alongside battling the choice between rap and college, Ezekiel (Justice Smith) is also forced to confront his growing sexuality, his resistance to Shaolin’s choices, and his treatment of Mylenne’s success. The Get Down is painting a fantastic portrait not only of the creation of a phenomenon, but of the kind of people who created it, and the conditions that forced them to.
The Get Down: Part 1 and 2 are available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.