Netflix’s ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ takes original movie to next level

“She’s Gotta Have It”, character Nola Darling
Photo credit: Getty Images


Congratulations to the hit T.V series “She’s Gotta Have It” on its season 2 renewal with Netflix. Spike Lee’s 1980’s classic film sure had a major twist transitioning into a hit series. Although the series was based on the ‘80s classic, there are some very important differences between the two.

Unlike the original version written from the views of a man, the series is told through the eyes of a sexually-liberated black woman; a film that was way before its time back in the 80s. According to the Los Angeles Times, pilot scenes were reshot to incorporate more male nudity to balance the female nudity. After watching both the original film as well as the series I noticed some amazing differences. Introducing Opal, Nola’s lesbian and fourth lover, in the original movie was infatuated with Nola and was displayed as a male hater, the stereotypes have been put to rest in the series. Spike Lee made Opal’s character more loving, caring, mature and the fourth lover to Nola Darling. In the original film, Nola Darling was raped by one of her suitors after her refusal to commit to a relationship. Lee went on to regret this scene after the film was released, according to published interviews with the filmmaker.  So, without hesitation Lee removed this scene from the series. Instead of rape he includes a man grabbing Nola in the streets, leaving Nola to feel more then inspired but extremely vulnerable toward the end of the series. This moment kick starts her journey to self-introspection, giving a big middle finger to society that blame women for harassment, the scene goes on to show Nola posting inspirational flyers all around New York City. Which is ironic because Nola never actually created art in the original film, versus scenes from the series show Nola physically creating art, from her street art to her body- positive portraits to the painting of herself and her friends.

Needless to say, the movie placed a spotlight on sex, and the series shed light on the inspiring work of Nola. From the stereotypical views, having multiple lovers in the 80’s was not acceptable and more shocking then anything. Fast-forward to today and it’s not a big deal; some would even claim it to be accepting, but overall Nola is not just a lover she is … human. The series showcase an aspect of introducing family and friends, from scenes showing Nola and friends going on outing to her movement to promote women empowerment, being present in each other’s lives, the series has displayed the importance of having the interaction. With not only your lover but your family, your neighbor and friends, let’s not forget the introduction of the children at the public elementary school were included in the series.  

The original film will always be a classic and with the great addition of a new generational perspective the Netflix series allows the audience to understand how black women live their lives today, politically, sexually, racially and socially.