The Get Down is a wild, spectacular, and overwhelming show, like most projects directed by series creator Baz Luhrmann. There’s loud disco, loud Afros, gun battles, explosive ballads, Jimmy Smits overacting, Jaden Smith underacting, entire apartment complexes on fire, kids running away from home, and characters of all ages shouting about the future of pop music. It’s a lot to process just by Episode 3; I’m not sure anyone was built to withstand and enjoy 12 episodes of such a potent melodrama all at once. I’d have died, probably, by Episode 9. (Which sucks because then I never would’ve gotten to see Atlanta.)
As it stands, however, I survived to watch the second half of the series because Netflix released just the first six episodes in August 2016, opting to round out the season with a latter batch of episodes held until next month. The new episodes premiere April 7, and these eight intervening months have provided a welcome intermission. With a new trailer for Season 1, Part II out Thursday, the hiatus has ended, and we’re back on the B-side.
Dare I say that I have never been more grateful for a TV drama season break than I am for the hiatus that has made my love of Mylene’s showstoppers and the Get Down Brothers’ entrepreneurial hustle — and everyone’s stylish fondness for hairspray and leather — feel brand new in what is still technically the course of a single season of TV. As we left off with Episode 6, the lovebirds Books and Mylene make career headway downtown and thus ride the show’s focus into Manhattan, a new frontier for a show that otherwise celebrates their home borough, the Bronx. Once you’re riding the 6 train, life only gets more hopeful, bumpy, and dramatic.
Other series have come and gone. But disco is forever, baby.