Big changes are coming in “David Makes Man”.
OWN’s coming-of-age drama (Tuesday, 9 EDT / PDT), which follows David (Kwame Patterson) on his way through life in South Florida, returned last week after a 20-month hiatus with a difference for season 2: David “made” a man and is an adult, he is no longer the teenager (Akili McDowell) of the first season “.
“It was really cool to fast forward and see how it all played out,” said Michael B. Jordan, the show’s executive producer, in a recent interview. “Usually on shows (over several seasons) you have to wait to get some kind of real maturity and see some kind of real transition between the characters, but this gives us a chance to dive into the older versions of themselves. “.
David, his younger brother JG (now played by Arlen Escarpeta), his mother Gloria (Alana Arenas), and others in their Homestead Village cohort (or “The Ville”) have made the leap in time to the present. . David is now in his early 30s and works in strategic marketing; JG is a policeman; and Gloria has been sober for 15 years and is an adoptive mother of queer children.
Apparently David is in the middle of a midlife crisis: he appears as the man of the house even though he is just the boy he thinks he is.
“What do you do when you look around and realize that this is my role and that this role is out of date?” Creator Tarell Alvin McCraney says David wonders. McCraney says the idea that “I can be, and still can be, of great value” is not being discussed enough, especially for David. “They teach us to be twice as good, work twice as hard and arrive twice as early.”
The new season won’t be the last time viewers see young David as he returns to the psyche of the grown-up version of him and the late teenage years at Hurston Prep School are replayed in a flashback.
“We wanted to make sure people deeply remembered what David did when he was young and then he could go …” Oh wait, you’re still doing that, you’re still 15 years later … 15 years, “says McCraney.
McCraney, known for his thoughtful meditation on black masculinity and queerness in his 2016 screenplay for Oscar-winning “Moonlight,” and executive producer Dee Harris-Lawrence bring similar reflections to David Makes Man.
Harris-Lawrence says the writer’s room has become a safe place to naturally tell honest stories loaded with sexuality and identity.
McCraney says he wants to explore how the trauma “keeps showing up, how it’s going nowhere or how it can somehow calcify and make you think, believe (and) feel like you’re moving forward when … you’re not actually swimming. Just stay with it. float “.
David often struggles with code change, changing his behavior and language to suit school, at home, at The Ville, a game that doesn’t seem to get any easier in adulthood, despite being different from his routines and internal monologues of his time. he drives through every step.
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“We had some levels of code change; I think it’s a defense,” says Jordan. “Sometimes we do this to make other people feel comfortable, to tone things down, or to focus on one aspect,” he says.
In season 1, David began to address his internal trauma, caused in part by the murder of his father, the character Sky (Isaiah Johnson), that he witnessed.
“I think the women were very involved,” helping David deal with the trauma, says Harris-Lawrence. “He sees the journey of all the things that he normally does as he maneuvers through life that doesn’t work so well anymore. And the women exclaim that (he) doesn’t need them anymore.”
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Whether the grown-up David will make a breakthrough is nowhere in sight, but he grapples with what it means to be successful and be confident: In season 1 he was just trying to live, but in season two the question arises, what will it be? he does it when he can. Breathe in more room to flourish.
“We see flashbacks of how his current situation is affected by his past, (and) not everything is resolved; not everything is fixed,” says Jordan.