Spike Lee’s ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ comes back strong for season 2
LAPACAZO SANDOVAL | 5/30/2019, 2:41 p.m.
Spike Lee is a man of vision and he didn’t really need an Oscar for “BlackKKlansman” to prove it, but it was a nice win nonetheless. At 62 years old (young), Lee is still very capable of delivering surprises.
As he is always moving forward you can depend on Lee to start important conversations. He’s currently shooting a new series for Netflix, “Da 5 Bloods,” and you can follow his journey through social media.
The second year of Netflix’s “She’s Gotta Have It” is even more relevant than ever. The always interesting protagonist Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise) returns to her beloved Fort Greene, Brooklyn, breaking hearts and making art. Nola has moved on from her three male lovers to concentrate on her relationship with Opal (Ilfenesh Hadera), the lesbian single mother to whom she previously couldn’t commit.
At first, the happy couple is very, very happy; nothing goes smooth for long, but that’s why we love Nola, right?
Season two explores sexuality and positive gender dynamics. It also takes a deep dive into relationships and what it takes to make them work. The other storylines that resonate are what it means to be Black in the age of gentrification, Trump and cultural appropriation. Lee also gives important attention to the Puerto Ricans in the city and on the island, as the story begins after Hurricane Maria, which hit the island hard.
In walking away from a relationship with Greer (Cleo Anthony) and Jamie (Lyriq Bryant), they pretty much are MIA in season two. This season Nola dives into her art and her lesbian relationship with a deeper peek into what makes her tick.
He’s back, the one-and-the-only Mars (Anthony Ramos), the cutest bike-riding Puerto Rican in New York City and maybe the world. Here we learn much more about Mars especially during a trip to Puerto Rico, where we meet his mother, and in this meeting, we have a twist in the storyline.
Wise devours the screen every time she appears. She is a star, no question and she’s getting better and making us fall in love with Nola. And why do we love her? She’s uncompromising (a Taurus woman) and that can sometimes make you want to bang your head on the wall. But along with the gritty determination is an underlying vulnerability that makes her character seem authentic.
There are many visual jewels in season two, including a festival that Spike Lee organized to celebrate the life of Prince. Season two isn’t perfect but in re-watching the season, twice, its missteps might be the most interesting of all. Lee and his creative team try to give so much “Lee” and so much “Blackness” and so much “Brooklyn” that at times it’s overwhelming, much like the city itself and much like life.