Why Netflix Just Lost My Subscription


Yamilex Arias, Editor


If you haven’t heard of Netflix’s show “The Get Down,” it wouldn’t come as a surprise to many fans of the show. While some of Netflix’s other ventures like “Stranger Things” and “13 Reasons Why” have risen to popularity, the same can’t be said for the 1970’s hip hop musical drama centered around four young boys and their DJ trying to make it out of the Bronx through music.

It’s also why millions of people most likely wouldn’t understand the outrage from dedicated fans waited anxiously as the fate of the show was deliberated over the past few months.

On May 24, Netflix announced that it would not be renewed for a second season, and here’s why that’s a problem.

“The Get Down” was one of the only shows on the service that had a truly diverse cast. The only other shows that were on par with this were “Orange is the New Black,” “Dear White People,” and Sense8.” They all embodied the idea of a cast full of people with different ethnicities, races, sexualities, etc. whereas “13 Reasons Why,” which was praised for it’s inclusion, essentially only had two Asian characters, one of them being lesbian, which doesn’t even compare to truly being a standard for “representation” that some on social media praised.

Representation is actually exploring characters who are different or are experiencing a change. For many, having a story about rising from the place you live in, the place that everyone tells you will always hold you down, and seeing someone who looks like you, who wears the same skin or has the same struggles, find success within it, gives them hope and shouldn’t be cast aside. Perhaps not everyone is concerned with these issues but being able to see something like that in a character has helped countless amounts of people come to terms with themselves and realize that not being part of the norm is alright and acceptable; “The Get Down” is an episode by episode narrative of that.

To people who claim that there aren’t shows with LGBTQ+ characters or shows with people of color (POC), “The Get Down” is a perfect interwoven tale of those two issues. A relationship between a black teenager, Dizzie, also known as Rumi 411, and a white teenager, Thor, whose real name isn’t disclosed, is displayed throughout the first season as Dizzie learns about his sexuality and his attraction to someone he admires. He and Thor embark on a relationship where they exchange ideas creatively, understand and inspire one another and where Dizzie begins to know what it feels like to finally feel like he’s not strange anymore.

What makes this even more important is what time period this takes place in, at a time where homosexuality wasn’t outright accepted. Dizzie and Thor never really reach a place of sexual interactions, but that doesn’t discredit their connection. No relationship should be defined by two people having intercourse, but instead in the way that those two individuals forged a bond and that was what made the Get Down unique. Fans never saw anything more than a kiss occur between the two, but they saw growth within two people and witnessed something different from what other television shows do nowadays.

Despite this great message and kind of empowerment this show provides for audiences, the outcry for its cancellation has brought to light previous controversy with “13 Reasons Why.” The show basically revolves around Clay Jensen receiving cassette tapes that a former classmate, Hannah Baker, left, blaming a number of her classmates for her decision. Since the show premiered, many have gone out to say that it does not accurately portray mental illness, that it doesn’t deserve the praise it gets because of its constant romanticization of suicide and its implication of it as a way to cope with problems.

I previously wrote a piece on why a show like that matters (you can read it here) because it’s messages are important; however, at the same time, the show is over. Can Netflix really say that they’re trying to continue to spread the message of friendship and kindness for a second season and not just make a profit? There is no need for it to renew a second season for a show that had very little to none expansion possibilities plot wise when a perfectly good show is waiting to be continued.

“The Get Down” is being left in the midst of character arcs that have just begun to take shape with actors like Shameik Moore, Justice Smith, Jaden Smith, Giancarlo Esposito, Skylan Brooks, Jimmy Smits, amongst others. They’re established actors portraying a story worth telling. To fans on social media what added salt to the wound was that Netflix’s stance and reasoning was that it wasn’t popular enough, but other shows like “Girlboss” apparently are.

Netflix did not advertise the second part of the first season of “The Get Down” even a fraction of the amount it did for “13 Reasons Why.” It also didn’t even place it as a banner the day new episodes were made available like it does all of its other shows, making fans lash out at Netflix for canceling a show it did not even push to be successful.

Still reeling about their loss fans also began to speculate the lifespan of another recent Netflix release with a primarily all POC cast, Dear White People.” I’m sure half of the people who have a Netflix account have never heard of it. That seems to be the problem with the service. It extensively advertises its shows with no diversity and mainly Caucasian casts but leaves representative shows in the dust.

With a completely biased opinion, I can say that the show is full of stunning visuals. Each scene is beautifully captured, each musical number originally composed and choreographed down to the smallest flip of a hair. “The Get Down” was Netflix’s most expensive show to create but even that’s not an excuse when the company has thrown millions of dollars at creating a myriad of other shows like “Ritchie Rich,” “The Ranch,” “Bloodline,” and many, many others  most viewers haven’t even heard of.

“The Get Down” was essentially the only show that was worth saving and Netflix never even gave it a chance.