Netflix and Chill: She’s Gotta Have It

Written by C.Diva

***a spoiler free review***

She’s Gotta Have It Review: “This Black Girl Can Get It!”

This series, remade from the 1986 Spike Lee film of the same name, is a fun peek into the free-spirited existence of a young black artist living and loving in Brooklyn. I had actually never heard of the film before, which goes to show my lack of knowledge about Black 80s cinema, but Black Twitter made sure to fill me in on what worked and what didn’t over the weekend after Thanksgiving, when it was released. Regardless of the hype, I tuned into She’s Gotta Have It and finished the ten thirty-minute episodes after binge watching over the span of a weekend.

Now, let me say, I’ve started HBO’s Insecure (and am a HUGE fan of Issa Rae) and also tried to watch Netflix’s Dear White People. I couldn’t get past the first 3 episodes of either show, not that either was bad, but I just didn’t relate to the main characters and what they were going through. What I enjoyed about SGTHI is that a) Nola Darling is bisexual or at least her sexuality is fluid b) she has a strong relationship with her community, her parents and different types of friends and c) her taste in men is as varied as the headscarves she wears. She is also an artist, and, although she is not necessarily struggling in the sense of how we usually see artists in NYC struggling on film, her financial issues are an important part of the narrative at points in the show.

DeWanda Wise, “She’s Gotta Have It” – photo: Netflix

Not only is SGTHI a lot of fun to watch, the music and the artistry of the cinematography are amazing. Spike Lee personally curated the tunes for each of the ten episodes, and we get so many great throwback hip hop and R&B songs that really remind viewers of the original film setting. While the show is firmly rooted in 2017 (the episode about the 2016 election brought tears to my eyes), the music is nostalgic and featured so prominently in the show that album covers are often used as transition slides between scenes. The camera, on the other hand, is constantly showing viewers the gritty beauty of New York, and each episode begins with credits rolling through snapshots of Brooklyn from the last 75 years, paying homage to a neighborhood threatened by gentrification and police presence, a fact which the show doesn’t let audiences forget.

Should I binge it?

Yeah, sure, why not?? The episodes are short enough that you can binge it in 5 hours, if you try hard enough.


Can I watch it with my kids?

NOOOOO, unless you aren’t as squeamish as I am at listening to Nola Darling’s sex noises with your kids.

Is it a drama or a comedy?

A bit of both, and while the ending seemed a bit contrived, I really enjoyed the characters, the setting, the music and the varied themes across the episodes. It’s worth it even if the plot does feel a bit stagnant towards the end.