She’s Gotta Have It shows how director Spike Lee may've lost a step since winning an Academy Award and Phumlani S Langa is not feeling most of his latest work.
She’s Gotta Have It
Available on Netflix SA
2 stars out of 5
I’m a sucker for a Spike Lee joint and will give most of the man’s work a chance. But it feels like I’m just making concessions for him as I wade through his latest projects.
It’s been like this since 2013’s Oldboy, which he really should not have tried to remake, to BlacKkKlansman and now, She’s Gotta Have It. All are certified blemishes in his catalogue.
Drama series She’s Gotta Have It, based on his film of the same name, was cancelled by Netflix this month after two seasons.
Social media was divided – some loved the show, others thought it was terrible. In my opinion, it has its moments.
I liked, for instance, the episode in which main character Nola Darling – a struggling visual artist who is embroiled in more than one romantic entanglement – heads to Puerto Rico for a little R&R.
They cleverly injected the history of this island and its people, which was cool.
Rapper Fat Joe plays a strip club owner with a good heart and he really goes beyond what I thought he was capable of. Everyone in this can act, but the story is so flat.
What I also enjoyed is the emphasis they place on the music, with most scenes ending with the artist’s album cover flashing for a second.
But, overall, She’s Gotta Have It borders on preachy, and anytime I’m watching a Spike Lee and it starts feeling like Tyler Perry, I get confused.
In the end, perhaps cancelling this show was for the best.
The numbers are not looking good for Lee. Yes, you’re a fully fledged A-list director now, but your work before the statue was better.