It was last weekend when Season 2 of the Spike Lee Joint She’s Gotta Have It dropped on Netflix, giving us the continuing saga of its lead character, Ms. Nola Darling. The sophomore season is filled with life-altering growth for Darling as she dives deeper into her art and struggles with success, what healthy relationships look like, and self-identity.
What I loved about the season, which is comprised of nine episodes this go round, is how much the characters around Nola are fleshed out. It was eye-opening to see some depth put to characters like Shemekka, Clorinda and hell, even Jamie, who finally was man enough to reach an impasse with his estranged wife. However, what Lee did with Mars Blackmon, the character he played in the film version, was nothing short of remarkable. He forced him to grow up and focus. To take life and himself seriously. In one scene, he even agreed to remove his precious Jordans (heh, you’ll know it when you see it).
He also gave some artistic freedom to the character, taking advantage of superstar Anthony Ramos‘s other skill: singing. During the sixth episode, after messing around with Mars saying he wanted to croon, he gave Ramos the spotlight. And what came out of his face was incredible. The song is called “Cry Today, Smile Tomorrow,” and if you’re not prepared, you will find thug tears staining your keyboard one verse through. It’s a beautiful four minutes. Check the ripped-from-YouTube version below.