ByJack Carr, writer at
You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon, and you are my daughter.
Jack Carr

They say we're in a golden age of television, that TV has surpassed cinema - and if the trailer for their new series is anything to go by, the good people at Netflix are on a mission to prove it.

Good omens

The Get Down is the brainchild of Baz Luhrmann, the eccentric, highly visual Australian director behind Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet and, most recently, The Great Gatsby. Luhrmann's films aren't for everyone, but in my opinion he's never made a bad movie, so his transition into TV already had me salivating...

And that was before I saw the trailer for The Get Down.


Luhrmann's fascination with various subcultures has always found its way into his work. Funk, disco and the birth of hip-hop collide in the NYC of 1970-something, and the teens of the Bronx find themselves on the cusp of a cultural revolution.

The trailer isn't just exciting and packed full of great music - and holy shit, the soundtrack is just one deep bassline short of sending me into the city right now in search of a pair of flares and a Giorgio Moroder 12" - but emotionally resonant too.

When Mylene Cruz (newcomer Herizen Guardiola) says "I want to get out of the Bronx", you believe her. You believe, with a voice like that, she can do just about anything she puts her mind to. But Luhrmann's camera captures the city in such a way that it's hard to imagine anyone could really want to leave the Bronx, because damn, it looks beautiful.

The trailer reaches a climax when Mylene's song is layered over Ezekiel's rap (these two are the "star cross'd lovers" of this series, as if you hadn't already guessed). It's an artful crescendo which once again demonstrates Luhrmann's superb, perhaps unparalleled musical ear. These two voices, contrasting but equally soulful, are the very heart of The Get Down.

Justice Who?

The director has assembled a cast of relative unknowns, including Justice Smith as Ezekiel (you might have spotted him in Paper Towns, but not much else), Shameik Moore (star of 2015's acclaimed and criminally underrated Dope) as Shaolin Fantastic - that is the name of his character, legit - and Jaden Smith (the Jaden Smith) as Marcus "Dizzee" Kipling.

I want to be called Marcus "Dizzee" Kipling.

There's not much else to say about The Get Down. Even with the likes of Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Narcos and Better Call Saul returning for round two, Luhrmann's passion project looks to have an incredible shot at being the most essential, unexpected, most downright funktastic TV series of the year.

The Get Down swaggers into Netflix on Friday, August 12. In the meantime, I'm off into the city to pick up those flares. See you real soon.


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