Last week I had The Flu from Hell.
Normally, I multitask at least three things at the same time and never sit in front of a telly more than half an hour before I feel like I should be “doing something more important.”
So being at the bottom of the bed for nearly a week was a real challenge for me, but my fever made sure that I had to stay inside. It was just me and Netflix and a bag of Kleenex.
To my surprise, I found a real diamond in the world of Netflix: a new 10-episode Spike Lee series called “She’s Gotta Have It” that is a reboot of Lee’s 1986 film. I’m not normally the one ranting about great TV series but this one really hit me.
Here are 10 reasons why everyone should watch it—sick days or not.
- It’s real. It is sad and funny at the same. It’s so much about this time and age that I felt like I could have written it.
- It’s about gentrification. The series is based in Brooklyn, New York, where the main character, Nola Darling, grew up but is now struggling to afford her rent. There’s a strong social critique toward gentrification. The global problem touches me closely—I live in London and have witnessed a whole area wiped out in front of my eyes.
- It’s about being an artist. Nola is a twentysomething artist. Her struggle to find her voice as an artist is 100 percent real and relatable. The question of what one wants to say with their art is at the core of every artist’s life at some point.
- It’s feminist. Nola defines herself as a “sex-positive polyamorous pansexual.” In other words, Nola has made a conscious choice to not settle for a relationship and instead chooses to enjoy her sexuality with different partners (including a woman). Heck yeah.
- It’s about being a black woman. The series looks closely at society’s weak spots: the mistreatment of women—and black women especially. Nola experiences assaults and is attacked—and her way to handle it is perfect.
- It’s funny and smart. A comedy series that doesn’t underestimate its viewer? A drama that has a black woman as the focus? A series that makes you cry and laugh and cringe and nod furiously—at the same time? Yes, “She’s Gotta Have It” is all of that.
- It’s made by Spike Lee. Need I say more? Okay, if you haven’t seen “Do the Right Thing,” that should go straight to your “must-see-movies” list. Since watching it at the age of 12, Spike Lee has been my favourite director.
- It’s about not being okay. The series is more real than all the “Sex and the City” episodes combined. Nola goes to therapy and talks about the pressures she has a woman. It shows life in its glorious mess that goes like a spiral round and round, not in a straight line upward.
- It’s about music. The music varies from Miles Davis to Nicki Minaj and is often related strongly to the scene with its lyrics or album cover art. The whole series is like a long soundtrack. In fact, there is a soundtrack for the series on Spotify!
- It’s visually stunning. New York City has never looked so pretty and full of flaws at the same time. Lee’s camera adores Nola Darling who often speaks at the front of the camera, straight to the viewer. There are also on-screen lyrics and other visual effects that are Lee’s brilliant trademarks.
Author: Sara Kärpänen
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social editor: Emily Bartran