New Flix on Netflix: “She’s Gotta Have It”

Chyna Davis , Staff Writer

Spike Lee has an immaculate comeback with his Netflix series, “She’s Gotta Have It.”

Lee, who created the original film, “She’s Gotta Have It” in 1986, decided to reinvent and modernize main character, Nola Darling, who wants people to see her from her point of view. Nola, played by actress Tracy Camilla Johns, livens the character’s characteristic of being a powerful, independent and artistic woman living in an ever-changing, gentrified part of Brooklyn.

Like the original movie, the series, which contains 10-episodes, is bold. Nola is known and defined by her sexuality. Though she changes after being sexually assaulted for ignoring and refusing gestures of a man cat-calling her as she walked home.

St. John’s students, Alyssa Morris and Sieta Leon share their perspective of the show.

“I love how no one’s character is over played,” Morris said. “We get a lot of different POVs.”

Nola shares her viewpoint of being a liberated woman, just like her sexual counterparts: Mars Blackmon, Greer Childs, Jamie Overstreet and Opal Gilstrap. The intimate scenes bring out nudity, symbolizing Nola’s vulnerability as a struggling artist awaiting a grant that will push her career further. They all share love for Nola, making the story line an interesting one.

“When watching it you’ll automatically have that one person you count on to fall in love with the main character,” Morris said. “However, the main character herself makes you a bit frustrated in her development as the episodes go on. ”

According to Rolling Stones interview with Lee, he says, “’Nola is still ahead of her time.’” His wife Tonya Lewis Lee, is the reason why the show was reinvented. Nola’s role was expanded, and it mirrors the catcalling incidences happening today.

Leon shares a similar perspective and touches upon the importance of Lee including the effect gentrification has on Brooklyn, years after his original film.

“I saw the movie beforehand so I already knew what it’s about,” Leon said.

In contrast to the original, Lee expanded Nola’s friend group and career choices. He uses music and plays tribute to artists and activists from the era of Prince, The Isley Brothers, and Frank Sinatra to guide Nola’s story.

“I really love how they expanded Nola’s story and incorporated some issues that single women face like assault and cat calling,” Leon said. “I also love how they’re showing the gentrification of Brooklyn and how it affects the community.”

The nostalgic series on Netflix is a portrayal of women like Nola that intend to explore factors like gentrification, sexuality and womanhood without being judged or labeled.