Lyrical, lovely, and oozing charm, Lee's beautifully written and shot drama would be a welcome diversion even if it didn't focus on a rare narrative subject: a self-actualized black woman. Despite the capsule descriptions of She's Gotta Have It that insist on boiling down Nola's story to the fact that she's keeping company with more than one man at a time, Nola's relationships with her multiple men isn't the focus of the show. Though there are plenty of scenes of her with her lovers flirting, canoodling, bickering, or just having fun together, we also see Nola working (she paints beautiful, realistic portraits of herself and others), spending time with her friends, enjoying the city, and experiencing the realistic harassment and come-ons an attractive young woman typically experiences on city streets.
Nola quickly emerges as a character to be reckoned with, and one who's lovable and relatable as well. "I consider myself abnormal," she tells us in one of her third wall-breaking monologues. "But who wants to be like everybody else?" Confidently fending off criticism from fellow characters, she asserts "I'm not a freak, I'm not a sex addict, and I'm damn sure nobody's property." It's a rousing declaration, and one Nola follows up by making powerful and beautiful art, including a series of protest posters she hangs up on the sides of buildings near the end of the first episodes. Not every woman can be a model-gorgeous artist who lives in an improbably huge city apartment and has gorgeous men fawning all over her. But most viewers would probably want to be as confident as Nola -- or at least to take strength in watching her.