The Get Down S01E02: Seek Those Who Fan Your Flames

The Get Down

David, HeatherAdam and Javier get all Burnt Sienna and Hollywood Cerise to try and discover the secret of the crayon, while dodging Annie’s amorous advances!

 

Seek Those Who Fan Your Flames

Soup Kitchen Duty

Grandmaster Flash assigns a task

Jackie Moreno

The Secret of the Crayon

Asking Fat Annie for a Leave of Absence

The Get Down, explained

Turning the Beat Around

Madness Lies Within

The Dojo in Flames

Mylene’s Surprise

Winners and Losers of Episode Two

One word description of the episode

 

You can reach us on twitter @netfreaksshow you can e-mail us at show@netfreaks.tv

5-Star Reviews are welcome at our iTunes or Stitcher pages.

Music: Extreme Parkour by Alex Grey

The Get Down S01E01: Where There is Ruin, There is Hope for a Treasure

The Get Down

David, HeatherAdam, Javier and Omar put on all the polyester they own, head down to the club and make their plea to get in Les Inferno as they kick off their coverage of Baz Luhrmann’s new series chronicling the birth of hip hop, The Get Down.

 

Where There is Ruin, There is Hope for a Treasure

Would we have been into disco, hip hop or punk in 1977?

Introduction with Daveed Diggs

Ezekiel’s Poetry

Mylene’s plan to hit it big

Shaolin Fantastic and the Pakoussa

Papa Fuerte

Kissing Fat Annie

Les Inferno

The showdown in the alley

Malibu, we hardly knew you

The Dance Contest

The Warlords get Savage

Zeke is not let down easy

Pastor Ramon is not happy

Grandmaster Flash and the Get Down

Ruling the World

First Impressions

Winners and Losers of Episode One

One word description of the episode

 

You can reach us on twitter @netfreaksshow you can e-mail us at show@netfreaks.tv

5-Star Reviews are welcome at our iTunes or Stitcher pages.

Music: Extreme Parkour by Alex Grey

‘The Get Down’ Review

The Get Down

Once “The Get Down” finds its wings, it soars.  8.5/10

Saturday Night Fever wasn’t released until December of 1977, meaning that during the events of Netflix’s latest new series the disco genre was still predominantly limited to the Black, Latino and gay communities in a few urban centers.  This looming explosion in world-wide popularity provides an ironic backdrop to the story that’s told in the first half of what will be a 11 episode arc to be completed in 2017.  Because even as the style is about to hit its peak and make John Travolta, the Bee Gees and Studio 54 household names, a less polished, more genuine musical art form is gestating in the South Bronx that will outlast its predecessor by 35 years and counting.

The heart of Baz Luhrmann’s “The Get Down” – he produced the entire series and directed the first episode – is the story of two teenagers with dreams of escaping New York’s roughest borough.  Through their eyes, we experience both the natural symbiosis and increasing friction between the nightlife of gaudy discotheques and the nascent underground subculture of hip hop.

Mylene Cruz (newcomer Herizen Guardiola) wants to be the next club diva, joining the likes of Donna Summer and the fictional Misty Holloway on the other side of the river, and leaving what seems to be the perpetually burning ruins of her neighborhood behind.  Standing in the way is her pastor father (Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito) who is willing to let his daughter use her angelic voice in the service of the Lord, but believes that dance music in 1977 is an instrument of the devil.

Ezekiel Figueroa (Justice Smith) has a natural talent for poetry, but, as a beautiful sequence early in the first episode explains, has been left orphaned by drug violence and lives with his aunt and handyman boyfriend, Leon.  He would be ready to let the systemic forces arrayed against him keep him down, if not for his love for Mylene and the hope that they can make a life outside of the Bronx.

These two desires, Mylene’s for fame and Ezekiel’s for her love, kick off the plot of the first episode where, to gain her favor, Ezekiel attempts to find a rare remix of her favorite record and by doing so, crosses path with a legendary graffiti artist and aspiring DJ, the wonderfully named Shaolin Fantastic (Shameik Moore).

As these teenagers attempt to prove the truth behind the title of the first episode “Where there is Ruin, there is Hope for a Treasure”, in the background larger forces are affecting theirs and the city’s future.  Predominant among them is Francisco “Papa Fuerte” Cruz, (Jimmy Smits) who is working behind the scenes to improve both the lives of his community and his own financial situation by delivering votes in the hotly contested New York mayoral primary between Abe Beame and Ed Koch.

The first episode is right out of the Australian director’s playbook.  Bright colors, outlandish fantasy-like sequences and exotic narrative choices bring back some of the joy of watching his work for the first time, but can at times, seem a little off-putting considering how otherworldly the Bronx of this period already looked.  Clocking in at over an hour and a half it also takes too long to get to the titular world of The Get Down and may put off some viewers who prefer their flash of the Grandmaster variety, rather than that of Moulin Rouge.

The series settles down after it’s pilot, almost to a fault, as the next few episodes only rarely display the quirkiness we saw non-stop in the first 90 minutes.  Still, the scenes are always shot beautifully, the story is compelling and the main characters and supporting cast so likable that it’s worth getting through the exposition to embark on this journey with them.

When The Get Down really begins to soar is, appropriately enough, at the beginning of its fifth episode “You Have Wings, Learn to Fly”.  Picking up from a cliffhanger, this and the sixth episode combine all the magic of the pilot with the narrative focus of the middle section.  Guardiola and Figueroa provide about as magical a 5 minutes of television as you’ll ever see, one wordsmithing his way out of a jam, and the other singing to the heavens.  This short sequence seems to inspire the cast and writers to bring these first six episodes to a more than satisfying conclusion.

The Get Down was an incredibly expensive proposition for Netflix, coming in at more than 10 million dollars per episode, and in the early going, there was a risk of it falling more in line with Marco Polo than Game of Thrones.  But this story, just like the upstart musical genre whose birth it is depicting, is showing sparks of brilliance that give great hope for the future.

We will be reviewing each episode of “The Get Down” on our podcast starting on Tuesday.

A Message from the Hosts

Tristan

On August 3rd, a colleague at the d20crit network, Tristan Derringher, suddenly and tragically passed away.  Tristan was not only a member of the network, but a close and dear friend of ours.

With this loss, Adam and Heather will be travelling this week to pay their respects and spend time with her husband Wil and their family.

If you would like to assist the Derringher family, donations are being accepted at https://www.gofundme.com/derringher

We will be returning to continue our Marco Polo coverage and begin our coverage of the Get Down.

Thank you for your understanding.

Marco Polo S02E05: Lullaby

MARCOPOLOLullaby

David, HeatherAdam, and Vincent get demoted, turn down the crown, participate in a pegging, have their doppelgangers return and have… a very questionable tryst in a bordello?  Join us as we cover one of the weirder episodes yet of Netflix’s Marco Polo.

 

Lullaby

The bombings by the Chinese Rebels

Byamba’s demotion

Khutulun has no interest in being Khan

Chabi and Kokachin’s secret gets out

Return of the real Blue Princess

Marco begins to suspect Ahmad

Hundred Eyes and the Handmaiden meet again (sort of)

Ahmad’s origin story

Was that his mom?

Winners and Losers

One word description

 

You can reach us on twitter @netfreaksshow you can e-mail us at show@netfreaks.tv

5-Star Reviews are welcome at our iTunes or Stitcher pages.

Music: Extreme Parkour by Alex Grey

Marco Polo S02E04: Let God’s Work Begin

MPLetGodsWork Begin

David, HeatherAdam, and Vincent hang out in a cave, fall into a delirium, and reminisce about the songs they were taught in the 90s.

 

Let God’s Work Begin

Meeting the Pope

The return of Niccolo

Nayan’s dilemma

The stable boy’s widow and child

Did Kokachin want Jingam to return safe?

Cousin Orus

Ahmad almost gives the game away

Kaidu and Kublai’s reconciliation interruptus

Kokachin and Byamba split up

Winners and Losers

One word description

 

You can reach us on twitter @netfreaksshow you can e-mail us at show@netfreaks.tv

5-Star Reviews are welcome at our iTunes or Stitcher pages.

Music: Extreme Parkour by Alex Grey

Marco Polo S02E03: Measure Against the Linchpin

MPMeasure

David, HeatherAdam, and Vincent sit down to a nice bowl of gore and wrestle a monster man in celebration of Episode 3 of Marco Polo Season 2!

 

Measure Against the Linchpin

The reaction to Kublai’s decision

Mei Lin and the Handmaiden

Chabi’s solution for Kokachin

Jingam enters the ring

Orus and Khutulun attack on the Prince

Marco, the Khan and the wolf

Winners and Losers

One word description

 

You can reach us on twitter @netfreaksshow you can e-mail us at show@netfreaks.tv

5-Star Reviews are welcome at our iTunes or Stitcher pages.

Music: Extreme Parkour by Alex Grey

Stranger Things

StrangerThings

David, Heather and Adam are joined by Mick Montgomery to discuss one of the most critically acclaimed series we’ve covered on NetFreaks, Stranger Things.

 

Stranger Things

Spoiler-Free

Our Favourite Stephen Spielberg movies

Our general impressions of the show and recommendations

Spoiler Time

Joyce and Hopper

Jonathan, Nancy and Steve

Eleven

Mike, Lucas and Dustin

The Finale

Should there be a Season Two?

Capturing the feel of the 80’s

…and as always we give away our Who Dat and Series MVP awards!

 

You can reach us on twitter @netfreaksshow you can e-mail us at show@netfreaks.tv

5-Star Reviews are welcome at our iTunes or Stitcher pages.

Music: Extreme Parkour by Alex Grey

Marco Polo S02E02: Hug

MARCOPOLOHug

David, HeatherAdam, and Vincent get up close and snuggly in Kublai’s warm embrace as they review the shocking second episode of Season 2!

 

Hug

Marco and Mei Lin’s journey home

The Blue Princess’ troubles

Ahmed is a little tied up right now

Kaidu’s Politicking

Prince Nayan

Lunch with the Khan

Kublai and the boy

One word description

 

You can reach us on twitter @netfreaksshow you can e-mail us at show@netfreaks.tv

5-Star Reviews are welcome at our iTunes or Stitcher pages.

Music: Extreme Parkour by Alex Grey

Orange is the New Black Retrospective – OITNB: Season Four

oitnb-season4

Kate, Kali and Lisa return for the final part of our retrospective on Orange is the New Black, covering the recently released Season Four!  It was an emotional roller coaster this season and one with a lot to talk about.

 

Orange is the New Black: Season Four

Soso boycotting Walmart

Healy running away

Lolly’s time on the street

Blanca and Diablo

Suzanne’s tragic backstory

Nikki and Sophia

Body in the garden

Piper and the Dominicans

White Power v everyone

Judy King’s privilege

Caputo and Linda

Humphrey is a sicko

Guards are taking over the prison

Poussey

Daya and the cliffhanger

…and as always we give away our Series MVP award!

 

You can reach us on twitter @netfreaksshow you can e-mail us at show@netfreaks.tv

5-Star Reviews are welcome at our iTunes or Stitcher pages.

Music: Extreme Parkour by Alex Grey

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