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Series / She's Gotta Have It

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The 2017 remake of Spike Lee's 1986 film of the same name, this series is a Netflix Original, following the same basic plot: Nola Darling is a very free-spirited Black female artist in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, with very complicated relationships. Mostly these involve three different men: Jamie, Mars and Greer, whom she has casual sexual relationships with. The series expands on her life and relationships though, making this all grow even more complicated. Along with the film's characters, a number of new ones are added to the plot too, and entirely new storylines beyond the film content.

It ran for two seasons before being canceled.


  • Abortion Fallout Drama: Clorinda tells Mars she had gotten pregnant by him in the past, having an abortion without telling him. He's upset and leaves after hearing this.
  • Adaptational Diversity: Two of the main cast (Greer and Mars) are made biracial here, which isn't the case in the original film. Opal and Clorinda seem to be biracial (like the actresses) as well, though it's not stated, and some minor biracial characters were introduced too. A couple minor White characters are introduced additionally. Nola is pansexual now as well. In the original film the cast was entirely Black, and she's straight.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Nola is pansexual here, while in the original film she's straight.
  • Adaptation Expansion: As a series, the plot expands much further from the original film's, though it has the same core. Nola's parents enter the scene, and it adds a relationship with Opal that didn't exist in the film. Her friends also get much more attention and their own plots too. New plots also get introduced which the film couldn't cover in its runtime.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Greer in the film was a stuffy, yuppieish, Sharp-Dressed Man with a strong disdain toward other Black men. The series character is a far more laidback man who favors casual wear and has no such opinion. Jamie is now the one usually in suits, with a high-paying office job, and kind of stuffy, switching this a bit with Greer.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Nola and Opal were just friends in the film, although Opal's into more than that. Here, she's a past lover of Nola's, and they're Friends with Benefits then briefly date again.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Opal's daughter Sky is very well-spoken, sounding like a little adult although she's only seven or so. She lampshades it, even using the word for herself. Nola finds her charming and is amused when she chides her mom over eating meat, as she's a vegan.
  • Amicable Exes: Nola and Opal have a rather nasty break up, but are friendly again later.
  • Baby Don't Got Back: Shemekka, one of Nola's friends, is an exotic dancer who's insecure about her flat butt. She starts getting illegal silicone injections in her butt over a couple episodes to make it bigger. Naturally, at her debut at a club, everything goes wrong when she slips and falls on the stage right on her butt — and her butt bursts, drenching the audience in silicone. This later turns toward drama as the injections have caused her to get an infection in her bloodstream, and she gets hospitalized. She recovers, and helps in a sting to bring down the suppliers with the police after finally accepting her body.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Dean tells Mars his grandfather died in a concentration camp. Mars expresses shocked sympathy, but then Dean explains he'd fallen out of a guard tower after getting drunk.
  • Berserk Button: Nola hates being called a slut, especially as men aren't for being promiscuous, which infuriates her even more.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Nola usually calls Stokes, her dad, by his given name. He doesn't mind, and she explains this being an eccentric artist trait.
  • Canon Foreigner: A number of new characters are introduced, including Nola's parents, who weren't in the film. Jamie also is now married with a son.
  • Child of Two Worlds:
    • Greer is a biracial man here, unlike in the film, the son of an African-American man and a White Frenchwoman. He'd also grown up at least partly in France. As a result, he dislikes American culture regarding race, since in France there is less expectation that a person has to fit into one box. He also doesn't like being categorized as just "Black" as that feels like denying his mother to him.
    • Mars is half Puerto Rican and half Black, along with his sister. While it isn't focused on too much, both speak Spanish and embrace being Black plus Puerto Ricans.
  • Creator Cameo: Spike Lee, who had created the original film it's based on and is executive producer here, briefly shows up as a waiter in one episode.
  • Deceptive Legacy: Mars' mom confesses to him that his father isn't really his birth father. His real birth father had a troubled relationship with her, and left when Mars was about one. She let him think his father was also his birth father to avoid difficulties. When Mars asks, his mom admits she has no idea of where his birth father's gone.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Nola has the most, as the protagonist, though all of the main cast get their fair share of sex scenes (often not only with her either). A few of the minor characters get them too. It's that kind of series.
  • Fanservice Extra: Nola provides the most fanservice in the series, naturally, as the main character who's quite promiscuous. Some minor characters though are also shown getting at it briefly, such as Cheryl and Reed (plus many women Greer's been with in a brief sex montage).
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Nola lives in a large, very nice apartment even as a struggling artist. Mars lampshades it by asking just how she affords the place. It's downplayed somewhat as Nola is behind in paying the rent often, and once almost gets kicked out by her landlady.
  • Friends with Benefits: Nola has relationships like this with Jamie, Mars, Greer and Opal, insisting that she doesn't want anything more (even when they do). It's difficult to sustain at times.
  • Glamorous Single Mother: Opal and Shemekka both have daughters here, and aren't involved with their fathers (Opal's a lesbian who just got a donation from him). They both seem to do very well. However, though their fathers don't appear, it does seem they pay support and are involved, which probably helps.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Everyone feels pretty free to let loose when climaxing.
  • Intimate Artistry: Nola sketches Opal naked once while they're in bed together.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Opal and Nola. They have long hair, jewelry and like feminine clothing, but it isn't exaggerated. Nola however is pansexual, with Opal being the only woman she's seen with.
  • Little Black Dress: Nola gets a sexy, very expensive one in an episode to help feel better about herself. It doesn't work out though, as she gets more attention than she'd like.
  • Love Confession: While having sex, Nola and Opal passionately profess their love for each other.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Dean, who's White, mentions his mother refuses to accept his Black wife or their mixed race daughter. He says she's dead to him as a result.
  • The Mistress: Jamie is married in this version, with Nola and he having a long-term connection, though for her at least it's just Friends with Benefits (while he wants more). After she finds out, Jamie's wife cusses her out to Nola's face angrily (by then, they're already divorcing).
  • Mr. Fanservice: Greer openly boasts about his good looks, which many, many women agree with. He has not only the most sex scenes but also significant Workout Fanservice showing him shirtless while exercising, more than either other male main character.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Nola is beautiful and is an unashamed polyamorous woman who really loves sex, so naturally she's shown having a lot of it, appearing topless in many scenes.
  • No Fourth Wall: Nola speaks directly to the audience quite often, as do minor characters at times, like in the original film.
  • N-Word Privileges: Discussed at one point very seriously, as Jamie's son releases a song on Youtube that has the word in the title. He thinks it's okay because he has Black ancestry. Jamie makes it clear that in his opinion, that isn't appropriate even for Black people to say.
  • One-Drop Rule: Greer, who's biracial (with a black father and white mother), mentions to Nola once how he hates this, preferring France (his mom's a Frenchwoman) because there it isn't assumed someone's just black like is the case in the US. Doing that feels like denying his mother to him, causing his dislike of it.
  • One Head Taller: Greer and Opal are both about this much taller than Nola, as becomes more visible when they stand by each other or kiss.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Skylar, Opal's daughter, is called "Sky" mostly by her mother and other people.
  • Polyamory: Nola has non-exclusive relationships with Jamie, Mars, Greer and Opal. She also even calls herself polyamorous while speaking with her therapist. Later she briefly tries to have an exclusive, committed relationship with Opal. This doesn't last very long though.
  • Proud Beauty: Greer is a Rare Male Example, as he often speaks of his own good looks with pride and boasts of how many women like him.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Dean is White but acts and dresses stereotypically Black. He also has a wife who's Black.
  • Race Lift:
    • Greer and Mars are both biracial here. Greer's mother is French and White. Mars is half Puerto Rican.
    • Opal and Clorinda seem to be mixed race too, like the actresses.
  • Rape as Backstory: Raqueletta Moss says that as a teenager she had been raped multiple times by men to Nola, while comforting her after she's assaulted.
  • Really Gets Around:
    • Nola as in the film loves to have sex and so has it frequently.
    • Greer also has slept with many women, as shown in a brief sex montage. In a bar he gets greeted by many women he slept with.
  • Setting Update: The series starts out in 2016, thirty years on from the original film. Gentrification in Fort Greene is a recurring theme, while modern events like the election of Donald Trump or Black Lives Matter are featured too.
  • Sex Montage: These occur multiple times, mostly showing Nola while having sex with various people, but also Greer once when relating his conquests.
  • Sex Starts, Story Stops: The series has plenty of sex scenes, of varying explicitness, which aren't strictly necessary. However, probably few will complain.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Nola is traumatized when a man assaults her on the street, and spends a long time with her therapist recovering.
  • Slut-Shaming: Nola puts up street art denouncing the things she's been called and asserting her right to have sex with whomever she wishes, which is then defaced by someone else labeling her a slut, which upsets her deeply.
  • Third-Person Person: Raqueletta Moss mostly refers to herself in the third person using her full name. It's Played for Drama here, explained as a coping mechanism to deal with having been raped by addressing herself like she's someone else.
  • Token White: There's a couple White characters in the otherwise all Black/biracial cast who recur on the show:
    • Nola's friend Rachel, who occasionally appears though not nearly as often as her Black female friends.
    • Bianca, her annoying neighbor who is a minor antagonist.
    • Dean, a very Black-acting White guy who's unintentionally obnoxious.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Nola is shown eating out Opal from the back in a long shot while she's kneeling naked right before her. Unlike in many cases it shows her bare buttocks too, as the series frequently shows nudity (both of them are seen topless during, before and after this sequence).
  • Wall Bang Her:
    • Jamie's wife Cheryl is seen having sex with her boyfriend up against a window at one point when they separate.
    • Nola has sex with Olu up against the wall on the headboard of his bed.