Netflix has released an extended sneak peek at She's Gotta Have It, the upcoming series created, produced, written and directed by Spike Lee.
Lee is the latest famous director to get in on the rise of streaming platforms like Amazon and Netflix. With these platforms attracting more exclusive content and audiences willing to stay home and watch movies that would've formerly made it to theaters on their small screen, Lee is taking the opportunity to utilize the medium for his own benefit. The Do the Right Thing director sold the streaming rights to Amazon for his original satirical dramedy Chi-Raq in 2015, and his first partnership with Netflix sees him returning to the roots of his filmography. She's Gotta Have It is a modern-day update of Lee's 1986 directorial debut, a ten-episode half hour show about the life and times of an African-American woman and her three separate lovers.
The first trailer for She's Gotta Have It premiered last week at the BET Awards, but it was just a brief stylized tease in the vein of an announcement trailer. Netflix has released the first full footage from the show today, showing Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise in place of Tracy Camilla Johns) interacting with all three of her lovers in different contexts. Darling gets cozy with Cleo Anthony's Greer Childs about sex addiction, welcomes Lyriq Bent's Jamie Overstreet with open arms as he brings her gifts, and flirts with Anthony Ramos' Mars Blackmon (originally played by Lee himself) over a beautiful New York night.
There's not a lot to go off in this teaser, which is oddly segmented and edited together with seemingly no skill whatsoever. For a director as stylized as Lee, it's a shockingly bland piece of promotion that doesn't really give you a sense of the tone. The trailer isn't long enough to get a sense for performances or chemistry between the actors, and it ends rather abruptly. It feels like someone put the dailies together from a day of shooting on set and decided to release it as official promotional material.
Lee, a filmmaker for over thirty years, shot the original She's Gotta Have It over the span of two weeks and with a budget of under $200,000. To this day, it's still one of his most beloved films, and Lee has said he got the idea to adapt it into a television format from his wife and producing partner Tonya Lewis Lee. The announcement trailer gave us a sense of Lee's style and what an expanded budget could do for the show, but this teaser could make one worried that the charm of the original may have been lost in translation.
It'll be seen whether She's Gotta Have It lives up to the classic original when all ten episodes become available on Netflix on November 23.