Netflix has canceled the ambitious Baz Luhrman production “The Get Down”. While it’s rare for Netflix to cancel shows that receive good feedback the cost of “The Get Down” was just to much. Reports say it cost $16 million a episode which is by no means chump change.
I’m not here to get into the behind the scenes cost and politics of the Get Down, I’m here to bring up the missed opportunity caused by the cancellation of the Get Down. Hip Hop and the beginning of Hip Hop has never received its proper due in pop culture and the Get Down set out to change that.
Incorporating all five elements of hip hop(Djing, Mcing, break dancing, graffiti writing, and knowledge) and incorporating it into the main characters of the Get Down Brothers. Zeek aka Books, Shaolin Fantastic,Dizzee, Boo-Boo, and Raa-Raa their adventures across 1970s NYC while learning a new genre bought them into hip hop legends such as Grandmaster Flash, DJ Kool Herc, and Afrika Bambaataa. That's where I think The Get Down had the most potential.
The last episode mentions Sugar Hill Gang “Rappers Delight” being released in September 1979 a year from the timeframe of the last episode. Had there been more certainty regarding another season who’s to say the Get Down brothers wouldn't have been in the room for the initial performance of rappers delight?
Depending on how many seasons the show could have had the crew could have been in the surroundings of pivotal moments in hip hop, they could have been our “eyes” and tour guide through the early years of hip hop.
Episodes started in the mid 90s during a Books concert and the story picks up in 1977 during Books teenage years. That's a 20 year span the show could have covered jumping a few years between seasons. The crew trying to get signed to Sugar Hill records, or other early labels, meeting a young Bronx rapper named Krs-One, being a catalyst for breakdancing taking off, hearing about a new record label def jam, seeing things change when Run Dmc and Aerosmith collaborate, the crew being a pivotal part in the golden era of hip hop in 1988, disbanding by the 90s.
To me having these characters growing as individuals and a team along with hip hop against the real backdrop of hip hop's rise was the most untapped potential of the show. The first half of the season was wayyy better than the second one but they had sooo much more to explore. We’ll never know what the creators had in store for future seasons but while it would have been over the top I’m sure the stories would have improved and seeing hip hop's birth, the culture, and the seeds that would influence the world would have gave a new generation the history they need on this great culture.