TV Insider Podcast: Tarell Alvin McCraney on Creating OWN's 'David Makes Man'

Jim Halterman
Maarten de Boer/@iheartmaarten

With the plethora of great programming on television, you may still find yourself skipping across the gazillion channels or the rows and rows of content on your streaming platform. But we've got you this week and would like to steer you towards a new, excellent drama on OWN, David Makes Man.

The series premiered last week and focuses on 14-year old David (Akili McDowell), a prodigy student getting access to a bigger world at school (courtesy of Phylicia Rashad, who plays one of David's caring teachers and talked about the show on a previous podcast episode) but his home life in the South Florida projects could steer him in other, less promising directions.

Besides dealing with school and life at home, David is also mourning the loss of his closest friend and, as you'll see from the first episode, has a vivid mind that draws us in in a compelling way that reveals more about this young man than maybe he is able to articulate.

In short, this is good television (see our Matt Roush's praise-filled review below), and as each episode rolls out every Wednesday, viewers will go on this journey with David, a journey filled with highs and lows.

Roush Review: 'David Makes Man' Is an Authentic, Powerful Coming-of-Age Tale

Roush Review: 'David Makes Man' Is an Authentic, Powerful Coming-of-Age Tale

This is the closest OWN comes to achieving the sort of literary art Oprah Winfrey admires.

On this week's episode of the TV Insider Podcast , our Jim Halterman talks with series creator Tarell Alvin McCraney — who shared a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar with Barry Jenkins for adapting his play into the acclaimed film Moonlight in 2016 — about shaping the series and some of the specific choices he made.

Among those choices was one scene where David and his school friend Seren (Nathaniel Logan McIntyre) are sitting outside the principal's office, and through words written on the screen, they convey their anger, frustration and confusion in ways that aren't verbal. McCraney also talked about how Rashad came to the project and what he hopes viewers take from it.

You can listen to the podcast here or download (and subscribe!) anywhere you get your podcasts. Enjoy!

David Makes Man, Wednesdays, 10/9c, OWN. 

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