The Get Down was recommended to me months ago, but I never got around to watching it. Now that I’ve started, I regret not knowing about the show sooner. It’s a wonderfully crafted masterpiece about the makings of Hip Hop and where it all started: the streets. As a poet and a sometimes Hip Hop critic, this sitcom is right up my alley. I applaud Netflix for getting behind this show.
I relate to Ezekiel, the male protagonist, on so many levels. From the poetry to the hopeless romanticism to the splits between two worlds, I know where he’s coming from on a lot of his standpoints. For example, I was internally clapping when he finally embraced being a “wordsmith” despite his nerves.
Then, Mylene, who has been coined the show’s breakout star, had a come-up all her own as well. Like Zeke, she had to overcome personal barriers in order to unlock her potential. However, Mylene had extrinsic, not intrinsic, barriers. Zeke’s main issue was his nerves, while Mylene’s was her super strict churchgoing father. By episode 6, (which is where I’m at now ) , the two have not only found some resolve for their barriers, but they’ve also come together.
I, for one, am a fan of Zeke and Mylene’s little love affair. It has all the ups and downs of a childhood romance but has the makings to be something beautiful. I foresee future strains because of Mylene’s determination to get where she needs to go. Although she has love for Zeke, Mylene has dreams. Her personal struggle to balance the two is reminiscent of today’s career women.
I think it’s wonderful that Baz Lurhmann, the showrunner, is bringing light to this challenge that women face at all stages in the game. It serves its purpose in this society that is stressing the importance of women’s rights to live. Although I don’t always agree with Mylene, I’m sure the showrunner’s intent is not for us to “like” Mylene because she is challenging a deeply ingrained ideal within women. We crave careers, but we also crave love and Mylene makes us “feminists” or “womanists,” however you’ll have it, question this ideal.
I like that Mylene’s character is made to be dynamic and not static and not forced to any extreme because this highlights the complexity of women. This may all be interpretation, but it’s what I got from the first 6 episodes of “The Get Down.” While I make my way through, I hope to see more Zeke, more Mylene, more Zeke and Mylene, and more Hip Hop.