Haters gonna hate.
But Baz Luhrmann may have finally found a subject to match his whimsy: hip-hop. Netflix original The Get Down and its supersized first episode nods to all its elements, which play to Luhrmann's strengths with rhythm, music, color and out-sized emotion.
Part 1, which consists of six episodes, is available to stream now. As is the soundtrack.
Like Netflix hit of the summer Stranger Things, this show pays studious homage to what came before. It's like watching a melange of The Last Dragon, Fame, and The Warriors with some Hoodlum, Peter Pan, Blaxploitation and the best comic books thrown in for good measure.
Mind you, it's traditional Luhrmann overkill (Moulin Rouge, Gatsby). But in this case, it's appropriate. Like any DJ learning his craft, the uneven parts are just so many skips and starts. Because this is the story of the birth of hip-hop, an art that was made from spare parts. Things were breaking all over the place in the Bronx in 1977 -- desire, dreams, disco, discord -- and this group picked them up and ran with them.
Justice Smith is heartbreaking good as nascent MC Ezekiel "Books" Figuero, especially when he's throwing his poetry around. Heavenly singer Mylene (Herizen Guardiola), who he's desperate to have as his girl, reminds of young Irene Cara and not only for having the same dream of fame.
The cast is filled with talented and recognizable names. Jimmy Smits plays Mylene's uncle, local politician Francisco Cruz, who has his own dreams of the Bronx becoming a place where black and brown people own homes with white picket fences. Giancarlo Esposito plays Mylene's pastor father, who is vehemently against her singing secular music. Jaden Smith is a treat as Dizzee, one of a trio of brothers. This is how people came together -- Puerto Rican and black -- to tell their story.
Legendary names get dropped. Especially when Shaolin Fantastic (played with swagger and verve by Shameik Moore of Dope) gives our new crew a history lesson.
"I'm about to introduce you guys to the three kingdoms," Shao says. "We got the west is the land of DJ Kool Herc ... Over here are his rivals, Bambaata and the Zulus."
And here? It's "always and forever" the kingdom of Grandmaster Flash (who is also an executive producer, along with rapper Nas; the show also had graffiti consultants). To which one of the newly named "Fantastic Four Plus One" asks: "What about our kingdom?"
And so it begins.
The Olympics Closing Ceremony: Wave goodbye to Rio. No, not with your medal. 6 p.m. NBC
Fear the Walking Dead: The show returns to finish what it started: its second season. 8 p.m. AMC
Tyler Perry's Too Close to Home: The indefatigable creator premieres the network's first unscripted show, about three down-on-their-luck sisters in Happy, Ala. 8 p.m. TLC
The View: 20 Years in the Making: From this show came many others. 9 p.m. ABC
Better Late Than Never: Terry Bradshaw, Houston's George Foreman, Henry Winkler and William Shatner trip through Asia in the season premiere. Comic Jeff Dye -- as if this quartet needs a wing man -- is along for the ride. 9 p.m. NBC
Halt and Catch Fire: The action has left Texas for Silicon Valley as the third season premieres. 8 p.m. AMC
Gomorrah: This European series that follows the Camorra crime family will air in back-to-back episodes over six weeks. 9 p.m. SundanceTV
America's Got Talent: It's a live results show! 8 p.m. NBC
RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars: It's a 90-minute season premiere filled with all you've come to expect, along with Dallas' own Alyssa Edwards. North Texan Todrick Hall, just cast as Lola in Kinky Boots on Broadway, is a judge. 7 p.m. Logo and VH1
Queen of the South: It always feels like the end, doesn't it? 9 p.m. USA
Girl Meets World: Corey and Shawn are still doing their thing, this time with teenage daughters along for the ride. 7:30 p.m. Disney
Summer of Dreams: Deborah Gibson -- because that's how she rolls now -- plays a 1980s pop star. Hey, go for what you know. 8 p.m. Hallmark
This week in home entertainment
Dallasite Lane Garrison co-starred in the searing remake of Roots, which is out on DVD this week along with a plethora of counter-programming options. The miniseries was aired over four nights earlier this year. Levar Burton, who played main character Kunta Kinte in the original version, served as an executive producer on the series that was simulcast on several networks.
Also out this week: Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season; Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season Three; Castle: The Complete Eighth Season; DC's Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete First Season; Elementary: The Fourth Season; The Huntsman: Winter's War; Lucifer: The Complete First Season; Maggie's Plan; The Man Who Knew Infinity; Narcos: The Complete First Season; The Nice Guys; Ratchet and Clank; Scandal: The Complete Fifth Season; The Strain: The Complete Second Season; Superstore: Season 1; The Walking Dead: The Complete Sixth Season; and Wild Kratts: Wild Reptiles.