She's Gotta Have It | Nola Vs. Nola

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

So I finally finished watching Netflix's Series of "She Gotta Have It", well actually I finished it a while ago and decided to watch it again. If you haven't seen it I would recommend you indulge but only after you watch the original She Gotta Have It (1986).  

I watch the film a long time ago probably before I was of age to grasp the message but I've seen many times and it is one of my favorite Spike Lee movies.  I love that majority of the movie is in black and white except for Jamie's birthday gift to Nola which was the only scene in color.  I honestly don't think the movies would have registered the same way in full color. 

Photo Courtesy Everett Collection

Photo Courtesy Everett Collection

I love the series thus far and I am thrilled it got picked up for a second season.  I enjoyed the musical scores and the placement of the album cover throughout. While it may be distracting to some, I was ecstatic to update my music library.  Also, I hollered in agreement with every anti-trump, anti-gentrification, anti-misogyny, feminist monologue, and dialogue. 

Given I had some exceptions when I heard that the movies would be turned into a series.   The only hard negative I have so far is that I wished they would have explored more into the realities of black polygamous relationships. Nola quotes "I am a sex-positive, polyamorous pansexual".  When I compare the original film and the series Nola (1986) didn't hide Jamie, Mars, and Grier from each other, they all knew they had a separate relationship with Nola and they stayed regardless of their destain for her choice. She was straightforward in her actions, firm and true to herself.

While Nola (2017) wasn't as forthcoming, yes she spoke boldly in her monologues, her actions did not portray the same message. She contradicted herself, a lot!  Each guy suspected Nola was dating other men, but she didn't confirm or denied instead she floated around and deflected with sugarcoated responses. Nola (2017) was avoiding commitment altogether. 

Nola (1986) and Nola (2017) are two different women in my opinion and it didn't sit well with me. But I get it, Nola 2017, is more relatable, maybe not in the sense of dating three men at the same time (for me at least) but a young black woman coming into her own and getting her shit together. Thanks to the series you can watch and learn from her trials and triumphs and find pieces of yourself in the modern version of Nola Darling as compared to Nola 1986 where there isn't much backstory so you are forced accept her as is. 

Photo Courtesy Netflix 

Photo Courtesy Netflix 

Just like any book turned movie scenes will be missing an or not fully captured. But I get that also, you gotta stretch it out and create a storyline for seasons to come.  But I question if the rape scene with Jamie and Nola(1986) was completely replaced by the sexual assault scene in the series.  Regardless it serves itself as a catalyst into the important topic of sexual assault/harassment. Maybe the writers decided the rape scene would be insensitive and gory and played it safe, maybe they are saving it. What do I know? I'm anticipating the turn of events that will take place next season. Will Nola ditch all three men, and date Opal? Will new suitors come into her life? Or will we get more of the same run around between Jamie, Grier, and Mars. 

Overall, the show is great in my opinion and I will probably watch it again for the third time. I would like to share two articles, one an interview with Spike Lee about the creation of the series and an academic article I randomly found.

Let me know your thought on the series or the original film in the comments. Also, what are you watching on Netflix currently?

 

Vulture - Spike Lee on She's Gotta Have It (Interview)

Happy Birthday Nola Essay Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Spike Lee's She Gotta Have It.

Foote, Thelma Wills. “Happy Birthday, Nola Darling! An Essay Commemorating the Twentieth Anniversary of Spike Lee's ‘She's Gotta Have It.’” Women's Studies Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 1/2, 2007, pp. 212–233. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/27649662.