SUNDAY TIMES - Series review: 'The Get Down' S2 tells the history of hip hop in crazy living colour
Sunday Times Entertainment By Yolisa Mkele, 2017-04-13 00:00:00.0

Series review: 'The Get Down' S2 tells the history of hip hop in crazy living colour

'The Get Down' is available on Netflix.
Image: Bazmark Films

History lessons don't always have to be boring. Sometimes a touch of graphic novel-style animation layered over a pretty standard plot line is all you need to make history entertaining.

At least that's the approach that the second part of The Get Down has gone with.

Set in the urban hellscape that is the Bronx in New York, the show begins with Mylene and the Get Down Brothers all tanning in the warmth of their nascent fame.

As is the way with these things, there is trouble in paradise. Mylene is struggling to balance the competing interests of her controlling father, who is looking to use her to further his ambitions with the church, and her record label that wants her to embrace the role of pop strumpet.

Amid all this we're reminded that she's still fresh out of high school and thus struggling to find her own identity.

On the side of the Get Down Brothers, Ezekiel's internship is pottering along nicely and he looks on track to go to Yale. The problem is that going to Yale requires him to put up with a large amount of casual racism and puts the future of the group in jeopardy.

Fat Annie in the meantime has sunk her criminal claws even deeper into Shaolin Fantastic, who's also butting heads with her son Cadillac more often.

The show is exactly what you'd expect from Baz Lurhmann: colourful, loud and dramatic. Yet Jaden Smith seems as though he's never encountered an emotion before - thus all the scenes requiring him to show it turn into an exhibition of detached confusion.

Because it's a Lurhman production it also means that, at times, it's all a little too much. Too much acting, too much singing, too much weird comic book animation and hip hop self stimulation. That said, it is a fun story and a great way to find out about the roots and formation of one of the biggest, most influential music genres.

WATCH the trailer for the second season of the Netflix series, The Get Down

• Seasons 1 and 2 of ‘The Get Down’ are available on Netflix.

This article was originally published in The Times.