I had no expectations for the Netflix version of ‘She’s Gotta Have It.’ We have ‘Insecure’ now. We have ‘Dear White People’. We have ‘Master of None.’ We have ‘Atlanta’. All good to great in different ways, all cover being young and/or black, and/or single, and/or living in New York City. That’s one.
Two: for all the shows listed above, part of my (selfish) enjoyment is being a generation removed from the ‘voice’ of the show. Spike is of the generation before me, so right or wrong, I had concerns about someone two generations removed writing about the current scene.
Very happy to say I couldn’t be more wrong. The Netflix version of ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ is very much its own thing: funny and serious and topical and told through the ‘Spike Lee New York City’ lens.
Add Dewanda Wise to the list of talented, beautiful dark skinned actresses who are taking advantage of the shots they’re given. The 2017 version of Nola Darling is still a proud Brooklynite with three male suitors; the series fleshes out her artistry and her interest in each of her suitors very well.
I know how problematic Spike has felt about certain elements of his first film. Pretty much every adaptation here works for the better. Mars Blackmon in 2017 is a half Puerto Rican hip hop head? (Genius.) Opal feels less like a lesbian predator and more like, possibly, Nola’s true love? (Brilliant.) The post-Thanksgiving sexual assault is now a script flipping, female gaze on male sexuality? (Outstanding).
It was a perfect binge for the holiday weekend. Well worth checking out when you have time.