Netflix Review: Season 2 of Netflix’s “She’s Gotta Have It” Unfolds with Beautiful and Urgent Greatness
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It’s vibrant. It’s lively. It’s poetic. And it embraces art in all mediums.
Back in 2017, renowned filmmaker Spike Lee brought his signature talents to Netflix with the TV series She’s Gotta Have It, which of course is based on his own 1986 film of the same name. It’s safe to say it was a great move, because the show is fantastic.
It stars DeWanda Wise (she’s great here) as Nola, a flourishing (and struggling) artist who sparks up romantic relationships with three different men at the same time, including:
• The hilarious hip-hop and NBA-loving drifter, Mars (played by Anthony Ramos, fun fact - he’s from the original cast of the Broadway sensation Hamilton).
• The wealthy businessman (who happens to be married), Jamie (Lyriq Bent).
• The almost unbearably narcissistic photographer, Greer (Cleo Anthony).
The 10-episode season (each episode runs between 30-40 minutes) bursts with creativity and soul and passion, rendering itself as a spunky exploration of race, culture, diversity, art, identity, sex, relationships, and of course Spike Lee’s favorite home of New York City.
Picking up 18 months later, Season 2 continues in that same exact spirit. But things are even messier and even deeper this time around, which makes it all the more entertaining, funny, and powerful to watch.
“If I’m lying I’m flying, and Nola Darling hasn’t spread wings yet.”
The script is chalked with sharp dialogue and punchy commentary, and it’s keenly observant when it comes to human connections (as well as disconnects) in this modern generation. At times it breaks the fourth wall in ways that are clever, pointed, and poignant all at once. And as you’d expect from A Spike Lee Joint, this show has a socially conscious and political edge. Tensions simmer on interpersonal levels and on neighborhood levels and on global levels, especially as the story takes aim at gentrification while diving into themes of class disparities. In the late stretch of the season, there’s a breathtaking excursion to Puerto Rico that serves as a spiritual awakening — it’s one of the highlights of the season.
The show is beautifully shot. It’s vibrant. It’s lively. It’s poetic. And it embraces art in all mediums. The set designs are exquisitely displayed, and the posters and paintings on the walls tell their own stories. Spike Lee curates a soulful playlist for the show, from Stevie Wonder to Frank Ocean. There’s even an entire episode that serves as an ode to the legendary Prince. Anthony Ramos’ character also gives a moving and show-stopping vocal performance. The man is the absolute standout of the series. Not only is he the funniest and most likable character, but he also has the most depth, dimension, and heart.
“Love is a m*therfucker.”
“She’s Gotta Have It” Season 2 unfolds like an expressively resilient dance through life’s ups and downs, struggles and injustices. It’s as captivating and as thoughtful as ever. It’s also very Spike Lee, through and through. Do yourself a favor and watch it.