Spike Lee Reinvents His Debut in Netflix’s Superb Comedy

Photo by David Lee/Netflix

November 23, 2017
by Chris Cabin

‘She’s Gotta Have It’ Review

Not unlike Twin Peaks: The Return, Spike Lee‘s new Netflix comedy series, She’s Gotta Have It, simultaneously represents a summation and an expansion of the legendary filmmaker’s style and thematic obsessions. And like David Lynch, Lee has returned to his origins to push his art forward, reinventing his groundbreaking 1986 debut of the same name. The crucial difference is that where Lynch has continued to venture into the unknown and otherworldly, Lee has fully embraced the here and now, indulging stylistic notions that reflect memes and hashtags as well as a revitalized focus on toxic masculinity, the rampant gentrification of New York City, and the gig economy.

It’s also a series that is unapologetically black and proud. In detailing the life of Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise), a young Fort Green artist who works a number of odd jobs to make ends meet, Lee conveys a potent love for black artists and intellectuals from all corners of the spectrum, and is not timid in his celebration. In one scene, a lyricist on the soundtrack lists famed black icons from the five boroughs, from the late, great Gregory Hines to hip-hop legends the Fat Boys, and Lee lets each name appear and fade on the screen. On a date, Nola’s most business-minded suitor, Jamie Overstreet (Lyriq Bent), gifts her a copy of Claudia Rankine‘s “Citizen” and later on, Darling speaks about the influence of painter Kerry James Washington and the photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier on her work with Opal Gilstrap (Ilfenesh Hadera), her friend and occasional lover.

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Courtesy of: Collider