A Music Drama (Actually) about Music

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Netflix’s The Get Down is receiving quite a bit of attention for being the unicorn of music drama: for once, a show about a moment in musical history is actually about the music! Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the show is receiving accolades for following hip-hop’s rise in the Bronx with respect and care:

A coming-of-age drama anchored in the late ’70s Bronx hip-hop and disco scenes, The Get Down has a deep respect for the innovations it’s portraying—and the pioneers responsible for those breakthroughs. Instead of plundering the legacies of the icons who hover at the edges of a show whose central characters are fictional, Luhrmann brought on Nas, Grandmaster Flash, and Kurtis Blow as producers. The director’s long list of consultants features legendary rappers, dancers, and graffiti writers—plus Herc himself. The result is a work that, at least initially, blends history and original story quite well.


Liz Wood is a freelance editor, fiction writer, and current student in the NYU MFA program. More from this author →