the get down gets reviewed

part two of the first season of the get down, the spectacular netflix musical drama, was released earlier this month.  the visual imagery, lyrical participation by executive producer nas and several strong acting performances are just a few of the elements that create an entertaining and emotional perspective on the origins of hip-hop music. not everyone shares that opinion though.

the get down brothers
the get down brothers

spencer kornhaber authored a review of the series at that had this headline

The Get Down and the Show That Could’ve Been

the use of the the 3rd conditional (could have been) indicates unmet potential.

fun esl practice :) richyrocks english on youtube

the review starts

when it premiered last summer, [creator] baz luhrmann’s early-days-of-hip-hop netflix extravaganza the get down was as hyped as any streaming show has ever been…….but a lot less attention has been paid to the show’s second batch of episodes, which went online a week ago. this is fair: the show wasn’t, and isn’t, great.

hyped means publicized, promoted. as hyped as is a typical comparative form. the publicity for the get down was equal to or greater than any other streaming show ever. batch is similar to set or group. fair means just, legitimate. the popular song monster by eminem & rihanna repeats the lyric that’s not fair multiple times.

kornhaber is critical of the plot (story) for being too (excessively) dramatic.

high-stakes decisions are a key element of dramatic storytelling; they were also a daily reality for people surviving the economicallyravaged 1970s bronx…….. [but] when it feels every scene revolves around a forced existential dilemma, the results aren’t tense—they’re numbing.

high-stakes means there is a serious risk.  ravaged is damaged.  revolve around is like depends on. 1970s bronx is mentioned because that’s where the get down takes place (happens). numbing means it takes away all feeling. this linkin park track is another example.

despite the get down’s shortcomings (limitations, faults), the article concedes

it’s worth noting that on social media, the get down does seem to have attracted a devoted following.

worth noting means it’s important or interesting but not necessarily obvious.

justice smith as zeke in "the get down"     gravel

zeke (justice smith, left) got a voice like gravel (right)

kornhaber actually has quite a few nice things to say about the actors who play the get down brothers, the rap crew that gives the series its name. he calls justice smith, (who plays zeke, the author of all the get down brothers’ rhymes)

an incredible find………gravelly voiced and memorably lackadaisical in manner.

find is more commonly used as a verb but it can also be used as a noun like it is here.  gravelly means rough, harsh; it comes from gravelan industrial mix of little rocks used to cover surfaces. lackadaisical is casual, laid-back.

shaolin fantastic on the turntables at a show

shameik moore as shaolin fantastic

kornhaber says shameik moore, who plays shaolin fantastic, the dj and founder of the group is

[an] appealing presence….. [as] drug hustler shaolin fantastic—a character that moore makes jarringly sympathetic even as he does some detestable things.

appealing is attractive, charming. a hustler can be a person who gives a great effort, but here it is a person who finds different ways to make money on the streets.  jarringly is shockingly. detestable is horrible, odious.

boo boo all surly

boo-boo: a surly kid giving the finger 

and about t.j. brown jr., who plays the youngest get down brother boo-boo

[he] breaks through the noise of the series with beyond-his-years surliness.

break through means forcefully go throughsurliness and its adjective eqivalent surly describe people who are angry or in a bad mood. like the 7 duffs character at duff gardens in  simpsons s4 e13 who appears in this video. u can also hear bart and lisa’s aunt selma give a 1993 perspecitve on immigration.  what does she say?

in the final paragraph, kornhaber admits

it’s hard to root against a campaign like #RenewTheGetDown.

root means cheer, support.

have u seen the get down? are u rooting for a second season on netflix? share your feelings under leave a reply


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