Spike Lee returns to Netflix for the second time with “She’s Gotta Have It” Season 2 encountering both critics and supporters of the show’s content.
Similarly to Lee’s debut 1986 film “She’s Gotta Have it”, the now modern tv show version once again features an insatiable lead character by the name of Nola Darling.
In season 1 (of the tv show), Nola Darling, who is played by Dewanda Wise, willingly juggled her polyamorous lifestyle with multiple relationships.
Although this lifestyle served as the focal point for both the 1986 film and Season 1 of the modern tv show, Season 2 is quite the contrary. Season 2 starts with an outright elimination of all 3 of her male relationships while holding on to her deeper connection and same sex relationship with Opal.
The shift in the storyline for season 2 is mostly surprising because the viewer is used to Nola reserving Opal for her “self care breaks” (from men) as opposed to witnessing her full commitment. The storyline blossoms into a relationship where it would quickly go up in flames. The couple ends up breaking up in regards to Nola’s lack of parenting boundaries with Opal’s daughter. In the end, Opal ends up doing what she feels is best for her daughter and severing the relationship in a heated argument in the middle of Coney Island.
Nola spends the rest of season 2 concentrating on her art with the absence of any sexual relationships. As depressed and heartbroken Nola feels, she somehow is able to put her artwork in the forefront discovering her own lane and what she considers to be a happy place for her creations.
At one point, Nola does become enamored (temporarily) with a fellow British artist named Olumide while participating in a prestigious art retreat in Martha’s Vineyard. Even with a slight infactuation, Nola’s interest in Olu still doesn’t take her away from her prime focus: her art. Instead, Nola is more worried about maintaining the authenticity of her art (which is being scouted by a large company for advertising) and doing what makes her happy creatively.
Gentrification, the process of renovating an older neighborhood into the tastes of middle class, is one of the heaviest topics tackled in “She’s Gotta Have It” Season 2. Nola finds herself very vocal about the future of Brooklyn while also having to witness the wrongful arrest of one of her friends for vandalism.
Another gripping issue tackled in Season 2 was Nola’s connections to the natural disaster stricken country, Puerto Rico. Nola’s trip with her best friend Shamecca and two Puerto Rican companions assisted in her spiritual journey for finding her true purpose. Nola would later find her purpose relies in speaking for the voiceless after her friend’s mother encourages her to “serve her ancestors”. Nola’s newly found aspiration for voicing messages through her art, was undoubtedly fulfilled in Season 2’s final episode.
Nola’s season long journey in finding herself through her art is complete as she puts on her solo debut art show. Nola’s show which is themed “I Am Your Mirror”, depicts relatable representations of herself within her art as well as her passion for social and polical change.
Overall, Spike Lee’s direction of season 2 embodies the importance of self-care paired with creative expression. There are no hard feelings between Nola and any of her previous lovers while her art was elevated and taken to the next level (after removing all outside distractions). You can’t help but to wonder ….what’s next for Nola Darling !