Director Spike Lee burst on to the American film scene in 1986 with She’s Gotta Have It. The film, which launched Lee’s career, was notable for it’s revolutionary portrayal of female sexuality. After juggling three men, and experimenting with monogamy, the film’s central character Nola Darling ultimately learned she didn’t need a man to make her happy.
31 years later, Lee is reviving his seminal film as a Netflix series, but this time Darling (played by DeWanda Wise) seems even more empowered. She declares herself a “sex positive, polyamorous, pansexual” who has never been concerned with the idea monogamy. But, as she’ll remind you, “I’m not a freak, I’m not a sex addict, and I’m damn sure nobody’s property.” She’s also, like the original, an artist, but this time her rising career may play even more of a role in the plot.
The first season seems to focus on Darling and the three men she’s seeing, who are updated characters based on the original film: there’s Mars Blackmon (this time played by Hamilton alum Anthony Ramos), a goofy, care-free stoner type; Cleo Anthony plays Greer Childs, the muscular male model with spontaneous flair in the bedroom; and there’s Lyriq Bent as Jamie Overstreet, the successful grown up who has a thing for poetry. While this doesn’t seem to indicate that Lee will be fully exploring the promise of pansexuality, there is always the possibility of a season two.
Of course, Darling is also surrounded by a stable of friends played by Margot Bingham, Chyna Layne, and Elise Hudson. Tony-winner Heather Headley plays the role of the therapist that was originated by S. Epatha Merkerson in the original.
Though Lee’s 1986 film had some, lets say, issues, the trailer makes the basic story look just as relevant if not more so 31 years later.
The only thing that doesn’t look better in 2017? Nola’s new bedroom shrine is not nearly as cool.
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