Ladies, prepare to make She’s Gotta Have It a part of your Thanksgiving Weekend! The TV adaptation of Spike Lee’s seminal 1986 film centers around Nola Darling, a polyamorous woman with three boyfriends, who refuses to answer to anyone, especially the men who want to lock her down, about the unusual choices she makes in her love life.
However, with the series reboot comes adapting to the times, and Spike Lee tapped into the #BlackGirlMagic machine to make sure that Nola Darling 2017 resonates with a millennial generation of women who are all about discourse and moving the zeitgeist in a progressive direction.
“I think She’s Gotta Have It 2017 is a love letter to Black girls because we make it through some shit,” says series star, DeWanda Wise. “And to make it through both the large traumas, the obvious traumas, and those smaller daily insidious—just a barrage of things that you don’t even think about that hit you somewhere, and have the power and capacity to change your behavior—I love that Nola in our season works through that sh-t and finds multiple tools to work through.”
In the first episode of the Netflix update, viewers are introduced to Nola’s three lovers, #GreerChilds, #MarsBlackmon, and #JamieOverstreet, plus Nola’s crew of girlfriends, including her ex-roommate, #ClorindaBradford, but there’s more to the latter that will unfold. The backdrop is a heavily gentrified Brooklyn and the themes include combating street harassment, surviving in a city where affordable housing almost doesn’t exist, and what autonomy, consent and ownership looks like when a woman is in control of her sexuality.
“[Nola Darling] really is this icon of being able to just be who you are,” says Eisa Davis, who is part of the predominately black women-led writing team. “She still feels like a blank slate because of her age and where she is in life. She’s still trying to figure things out, put things together, so I think that’s something we get to do as the audience is putting things together and figuring out, ‘What is Nola to me?’ and get to play out some of the things we may not have played out in our own life by watching her on screen.”
Binge watch She’s Gotta have It starting on Thanksgiving Day (November 23), on Netflix.
—Starrene Rhett Rocque