Review: She’s Gotta Have It


She’s Gotta Have It is a comedy-drama TV series created by Spike Lee, which is based on his 1986 film of the same name.

Director Spike Lee burst onto the American film scene in 1986 with She’s Gotta Have It. The film launched Lee’s career and was notable for it’s revolutionary portrayal of female sexuality. After juggling three men, and experimenting with monogamy, the film’s central character Nola Darling, a young black woman juggling three men and giving monogamy a try soon learns that she doesn’t need a man to make herself happy.

The She’s Gotta Have It series portrays the female sexuality as more empowered than before. Nola Darling (played by DeWanda Wise) identifies as a sex positive, polyamorous, pansexual woman who is not a freak, not a sex addict, and not anyone’s property. Outside of her love life, Nola Darling is an artist who is trying to find her voice through her art.

The first season focuses on Darling and the three men she is dating who are updated characters based on the original film. There is Mars Blackmon (Anthony Ramos) who is a goofy, care-free stoner type who works at a bike shop. Then, there is Greer Childs (Cleo Anthony), the vain, muscular male model/photographer who is brings a lot of spontaneity in the bedroom; and there’s Jamie Overstreet (Lyriq Bent), the successful businessman who has a thing for poetry. There is another lover in Nola’s life, but it’s not who you’d expect.

The series comprises of 10 episodes that follow the lives of Darla, her friends and her lovers.

Nola’s candor is the most endearing part of who she is. She’s so complex and yet so simple. At times she’s so hedonistic and selfish she does not realize her antics aren’t necessarily appreciated just because she finds no harm in them. Ms. Darling lives her life with no regard she even dates one of her friends exes and she invited all of her men over for dinner. She’s very unorthodox.

It’s interesting how Nola Darling in the film differs from Nola in the series. In the film, Nola is still no strings attached, but very emotionally invested in her lovers which was obvious when she told Jamie Overstreet that she loved him and she even expressed that she would like to have children. However, in the series Nola is more detached and overtly shows her opposition towards commitment. Throughout the series she shudders at the thought of dating, commitment and having a family.

I like that it showed the viewpoint and life of a black woman in America. It addressed all types of issues such as, assault against women, catcalling, body shaming, body image and more. The biggest theme was black feminism and female empowerment. Nola was unapologetic and confident in the way that she lived her life which was empowering. She does not live her life for anyone, but herself and she isn’t anyone’s property.

I also really liked the film and music references that were made throughout the series. Nola was always quoting movies and such especially when she would change the subject while she was talking to one of the men she was dating.

It started off kinda corny and over the top with the theatrics. At time it seemed as if Nola’s Afro Centricity was over the top and forced, but Overall the series was great and relevant to today’s society. She’s Gotta Have It embraced hip hop culture, art, poetry, sexuality, societal issues and more all in one.

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