TV Club: The Get Down finally gets its criminal element right

When reviewing The Get Down, many critics (myself included) have focused on the show’s criminal element—its gangsters, its drug dealers, its button men—never congealing with its musical element, even though the two worlds would naturally intersect in late-’70s New York.

“One By One, Into The Dark” makes it clear that maybe it was the show’s personnel that was the issue. In the pilot episode, co-creator Baz Luhrmann handled the direction, devoting a considerable amount of screen time to Cadillac, Fat Annie, Little Wolf, and other assorted heavies who would go on to play such integral parts on the series. But for all his talent, Luhrmann’s most extensive experience with depicting gangsters onscreen is William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet—not exactly a beacon of gritty realism.

Not that the criminals on The Get Down exactly have to be realistic. But cartoonish or not, they should …

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