A new take on the original Spike Lee joint.
There aren’t many directors working today with a filmography as diverse as Spike Lee’s. Lee directed one of the all-time great films in American cinema before he was 35 (Do the Right Thing) and he teamed up with Michael Jordan for the iconic, “Is it the shoes?” ad campaign. Lee shot Public Enemy’s classic Fight the Power music video, filmed documentaries about Michael Jackson and Kobe Bryant, and directed Jerrod Carmichael’s 2014 stand-up comedy special. Lee even directed the story-mode in the NBA 2K16 video game. No matter the platform, Lee finds a way to excel, so it’s a big deal that he’s collaborating with Netflix on his first TV series, She’s Gotta Have It.
She’s Gotta Have It is based on Lee’s 1986 film of the same name. The story centers on a young Brooklynite named Nola Darling as she navigates her way through friendship, her career, and her three very different lovers. Lee directed She’s Gotta Have It before he rose to fame and in true indie fashion, he shot the film in just 12-days on a budget of $175,000. It speaks volumes that thirty years later and with nearly 80 directing credits under his belt, Lee has chosen to circle back to retell Nola Darling’s story.
Lee is the series’ creator, executive producer, and is directing all ten episodes. Auteur-driven TV is in vogue right now and Lee has the chance to leave his mark on the peak TV era alongside Sam Esmail, David Lynch, and Cary Fukunaga. Netflix and Lee make for an intriguing pairing. Lee is known for his political candor and Netflix is known for giving their partners creative freedom, which sounds like the recipe for some boundary-pushing artistic expression.
Here’s Netflix’s official She’s Gotta Have It synopsis,
The 10-episode series is a contemporary update of Spike Lee’s revolutionary debut independent film. She’s Gotta Have It centers on Nola Darling, a Brooklyn-based artist in her late twenties struggling to define herself and divide her time amongst her Friends, her Job and her Three Lovers: The Cultured Model, Greer Childs, The Protective Investment Banker, Jamie Overstreet and Da Original B-Boy Sneakerhead, Mars Blackmon.
After watching the trailer I’m reminded just how ahead of its time She’s Gotta Have was in 1986. Sadly, the new show’s themes about polyamory and sexually liberated women are still ahead of their time. In 2017, our culture is more open about sex than it has ever been. And yet women are still shamed for showing the same sexual proclivities as men. Nola carries herself with a sexual swagger that feels very of the moment and I wouldn’t be surprised if she became a symbol of empowerment that catches on in pop culture.
She’s Gotta Have It looks like a fun show that will also explore some weighty themes, which is exactly how I like my entertainment. If the series is half as appealing as the trailer, Netflix will have another hit on their hands.
She’s Gotta Have It makes its Netflix debut on November 23.