The name Nola Darling just screams fantasy – almost like a fairy-tale in a bleak and bias society. Miss Darling, portrayed by DeWanda Wise, is a sexually liberated Brooklyn artist who is struggling to make ends meet and is also trying to juggle three lovers. Who said every woman’s fantasy is to date just one man as opposed to the traditional approach to dating? Heck, Nola’s got a man for every need and even her girl’s got a girlfriend. The beautiful Nola Darling is sort of my hero! I will tell you why I will be glued to my screen for season 2 of the Netflix series, “She’s Gotta Have It.” And in the words of the iconic writer/director, “it’s a Spike Lee joint.”
The first time I saw “She’s Gotta Have It,” based on the 80’s film by Spike Lee, it didn’t quite sit well with me. The introduction was just a little too Spike Lee-ish for me with the incorporation of too many of his famous “talk to the camera” monologues, unnecessary photos and not enough “getting to the storyline,” which gave off a cheesy feel in my opinion. But don’t let that discourage you from continuing on with the series.
I love Spike Lee, especially growing up in the 90’s watching “Do The Right Thing,” “Crooklyn”,” and “Jungle Fever.” Those are all classics! The fact that the producer, director, writer and actor is known for exploring many political issues in the urban community, which he does so well in the Netflix series, is what makes him a powerful writer. He touched on gender relations, misogyny in the streets, crime, self-acceptance and so on. But anyone who is a Spike Lee fan knows he can over do it.
Well back to Miss Darling. She is strong and I once heard a writer say her “feminism is bold.” She tells us that she is a sex-positive, polyamorous pansexual, but don’t get it twisted and call her out her name. She will not allow anyone to call her a freak, sex-addict and what I love the most…anybody’s property! I love her character because she is the woman who lives inside of me, begging to come out.
Nola takes no shorts from the men that she dates. Some would view her character, according to Wise in a public interview, as just trying to figure herself out. She is exploring who she is as a sexual-being, a friend, a daughter and an artist. As a matter of fact, she doesn’t quite know what she wants in a relationship and has commitment issues.
But how many women are brave enough to explore the unknown or date three men at once? It’s always interesting to watch a women treat a man the way she has always been treated. It’s sort of empowering, especially in an era where it’s hard to find one man. Nola has all of them eating out of the palm of her hand. One thing that describes Nola, in my opinion, is confident and free. There’s something about Nola that makes her attractive, independent and exciting!
Nola as an artist is powerful, down to her style and charisma. She expresses herself and her points of view through her artwork, which reminds me of myself – a struggling artist and writer living in an era when art is undervalued and artists are underpaid. She is not afraid to express her sexuality in her art either. She often paints nudes and sexual expression. The funniest art piece was the one she created for the last episode, “#NolasChoice (3 DA HARD WAY.) But I won’t ruin the surprise for you if you haven’t tuned in.
“My name isn’t baby gurl.” “My name isn’t ay yo ma.” These are the quotes written on her street art. The series infuses some of the struggles of black woman everyday walking the streets. Nola was assaulted by a man who had been harassing her. And to counter-attack, she responded with an anonymous protest art, “My name isn’t baby gurl,” “My name isn’t aye yo ma.” It really made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.
Society makes you believe that a woman who dresses sexy – Nola had a scene in her sexy black dress — or who is sexually liberated deserves unwanted attention or to be attacked or treated like a “hoe,” but Nola still has standards for herself and still doesn’t allow the pressure of society to break her. She checks every man that treats her other than what she is, which is a lady. Thank you, Nola!
I can’t wait to see season 2!