Counterpoint to “Why Netflix Just Lost My Subscription”

Skylan+Brooks%2C+Tremaine+Brown+Jr.%2C+Shameik+Moore%2C+Justice+Smith%2C+and+Jaden+Smith+in+%22The+Get+Down%22+-+Netflix

Skylan Brooks, Tremaine Brown Jr., Shameik Moore, Justice Smith, and Jaden Smith in “The Get Down” – Netflix

 

Recently, an editor of the “Maverick Pulse” Yamilex Arias wrote an article about how Netflix’s decision to cancel “The Get Down” after two seasons is problematic. Although she brings up a few valid points, the issue is far more complex than she makes it out to be. It is preferred to read her article here first.

“’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,’” wrote Arias.

Cast members of “Orange is the New Black” – JoJo Whilden / Netflix

Although “Orange is the New Black” and “Sense8″ are particularly diverse shows, neither “The Get Down” nor “Dear White People” are prime examples of diversity. The main casts of these shows are mostly black. This, of course, is not a bad thing.”The Get Down” tells the story of youth of the Bronx in New York City and their interest in hip-hop and disco music. The primary themes of “Dear White People” are social justice and the racial and cultural divide in the United States. It only makes sense for the casts of these two shows to be the way they are. However, these shows are not significantly more racially diverse than shows with primarily white casts, like “Mad Men” or “Game of Thrones.”

“’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,” wrote Arias.

Dylan Minnette and Katherine Langford in “13 Reasons Why” – Beth Dubber / Netflix

Although the setting is never specified, it can be assumed that ‘13 Reasons Why’ takes place somewhere similar to Northern California, as that is where the show was filmed and what the show looks like. The 2015 US Census Bureau estimates California’s Asian population to be 14.7%. The show doesn’t portray the perfect number of Asians, but it is close enough to being a standard for representation. Statistics vary, but about five percent of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, making one decently depicted lesbian character in this show nothing to complain about.

“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,” wrote Arias.

This thought is in no way unique to”The Get Down” and is, in fact, a storytelling trope, the Chastity Couple.

“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,” wrote Arias.

These two things are not mutually exclusive. If Netflix wished, it could have renewed both shows or neither show. It is no use blaming a completely unrelated show for the downfall of another.

“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,” wrote Arias.

Ellie Reed and Britt Robertson in “Girlboss” – Netflix

Netflix does not publicly provide viewership information of its shows. It is entirely possible for Girlboss to be more popular than The Get Down, given the little popularity the latter show had to begin with. Girlboss is also a half-hour comedy and has no chance at having even a tenth of the budget The Get Down had.

Speaking of which, the budget for The Get Down is a ludicrous $16 million per episode, according to a Deadline report. This show has a higher budget than the sixth season of Game of Thrones, a fantasy drama with an absurdly large ensemble cast and a record-breaking viewership. The sixth season budget was just over $10 million per episode, according to an Entertainment Weekly report, and it set a series record.

Peter Dinklage and Sophie Turner in “Game of Thrones” – HELENSLOAN / HBO

The aforementioned “Mad Men’s” budget was about $2.3 million per episode, according to the creator, Matthew Weiner, and that show was an award-winning drama series with a substantial ensemble cast, 60’s set pieces and costuming, and universal critical acclaim. When a show can be that accomplished with a modest budget, there is no excuse for”The Get Down’s” budgeting problems.

Elisabeth Moss and Jon Hamm in “Mad Men” – Frank Ockenfels 3 / AMC

“Still reeling about their loss, fans also began to speculate the lifespan of another recent Netflix release with a primarily all [people-of-color] cast, ‘Dear White People.’ I’m sure half of the people who have a Netflix account have never heard of it,” wrote Arias.

Logan Browning in “Dear White People” – Netflix

“Dear White People” caused quite a controversy on social media just from its name and teaser trailer and has also received far more critical acclaim than”The Get Down.” It is unlikely for Netflix to not renew the show for another season, and if Netflix did cancel the show, it would certainly not have been because of how black the cast was.

“’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 ‘Richie Rich,’ ‘The Ranch,’ ‘Bloodline,’ and many, many others most viewers haven’t even heard of,” wrote Arias.

Ben Mendelsohn and Kyle Chandler in “Bloodline” – Saeed Adyani / Netflix

“Richie Rich” was cancelled after two seasons, back when Netflix ordered the first two seasons of a show simultaneously. Although”Bloodline” had a $7 million to $8.5 million budget, it had awards love, something that”The Get Down” would have had no chance at getting. Even so, “Bloodline” also got cancelled prematurely, after three seasons instead of the five or six seasons proposed by the creator.

With all of this in consideration, it would have been absolutely foolish for Netflix to have renewed “The Get Down.” In the end, the show was unremarkable with the social issues it presented, and it was far too costly and unmemorable to justify renewing it for a second season.