Sunday, April 23, 2017

TV Show Review: The Get Down (Part 2)

The second part of this Netflix original picks up where the Get Down brothers left off. The Get Down crew had a major success winning a rap battle and now they perform nightly at their own club. Ezekiel 'Books' Figuero (Justice Smith) is straddling two worlds as he works on his college essay before going out to perform a show. Mylene Cruz (Herizen F. Guardiola) has had success with her first hit but now must manage a crude record producer and the demands of her father Pastor Ramon Cruz (Giancarlo Esposito). Shaolin Fantastic (Shameik Moore) tries to pull Books back into the music business while also trying to maintain his drug dealing business by selling at their shows.

The villainous Cadillac (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) still insists that this musical movement is fiction yet begrudges the Get Down brothers success. Ra-Ra (Skylan Brooks) falls for a girl in the Zulu brotherhood, though the members don't support what that the Get Down's rap show is a front for the drug dealing. Dizzee (Jaden Smith) writes to his lover Thor in prison as he draws the story of the Get Down. History catches up with Papa Fuerte (Jimmy Smits) as he hopes to develop a part of the Bronx but the law is also threatening to catch up.

There was a feeling of dread that comes over the initial parts of this season as the success is sprinkled with danger. Boo-Boo (Tremaine Brown Jr.) wants to impress a girl so he joins the drug game of selling weed spiked with angel dust but when Cadillac initiates a nefarious plan to spike the dust to poison, the Get Down brother's club is littered with sick bodies, including Dizzee. Boo-Boo can't stay ahead of the law forever. Ezekiel also struggles to keep a pristine look when Shaolin crashes his college interview and draws a gun on several of the white college jerks.

Mylene's rise to fame hits a barrier when her father tries to control her image but the record producer demands a sexier image. Mylene goes with showbiz as opposed to her father's wishes, which leads to Pastor Cruz's descent, his wife's revelation of Mylene's true father, and his eventual suicide at the altar of his new church. The Get Down brothers have to gather the various leaders of this new music movement and hold one large concert to stop Cadillac and his evil Aunt from stealing their music and making them stick to a bad contract. All of this feels a bit jumbled together and wraps up a little too quickly.

I didn't enjoy the second part as much of the first as it seemed to be teetering on the edge of drama but skirted any real consequences. There was still that frenetic joy but the switching of storylines didn't quite work and most of this felt a bit repetitive of the first part. The historical nature didn't seem to have as much an affect though the music was a joy to listen to. If you are interested in the birth of hip-hop or would enjoy a musical exploration of New York in the eighties, this might just be the show for you. It wasn't too long so didn't kill too much television time with a quick watch, and had interesting enough characters to carry it through the episodes.  

No comments:

Post a Comment