Cast, Plot, and Release Date

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and ending details for David Makes Man follow

Oprah Winfrey Network’s coming-of-age drama David Makes Man will return for a second season on June 22. The series was initially renewed back in December 2019, but the production for the high-impact drama was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Set 15 years in the future, the audience will be introduced to a 30-year-old David Young played by Kwame Patterson. Patterson’s Young is trying to leave the past behind and start anew as an emerging businessman with an opportunity to change his life and community.

Season 2 of the series will bring back the regulars, including Arlen Escarpeta, Akili McDowell, Alana Arenas, Travis Coles, and Cayden K. Williams.

A few new cast members will also be introduced, including Brittany S. Hall as Nicole, David’s casual romantic interest, Erica Luttrell as an adult version of Marissa, a marine biologist fighting against environmental changes, and Bobbi Baker as Gloria’s partner, Robin.

The show was created by Moonlight writer Tarell Alvin McCraney, who wowed the critics with a 100% rating for season 1 on Rotten Tomatoes. The series even won a Peabody Award, received a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for Best Drama, and was included on Time’s 10 Best TV Shows of 2019 list.

David’s Story

The first season of the lyrical drama centers on David (Akili McDowell), a troubled 14-year-old prodigy who sprints to the other side of the fence dividing his home in the South Florida projects from the more affluent neighborhood to attend his prestigious school every morning.

He is haunted by the death of his closest friend and mentor, Sky, who was a drug dealer. He also faces mounting pressures from a former drug-addict mother who relies on him to find a way out of poverty through higher education.

The series is loosely based on McCraney’s own life and “explores childhood trauma and the power of imagination to survive.” In an interview with Essence, the creator had a message for the viewers.

I want the audience to [experience] it fully. I’ve heard people say that they stopped what they were doing to sit with these characters literally, and there’s a reason for that. The show is built that way…so you can feel [this story].

McCraney also explored the stories of people around David in the series. David’s affluent best friend Seren (Nathaniel McIntyre) lives in an abusive household while his gender-queer neighbor, Mx Elijah (Travis Coles), takes in runaway LGBT teens and often takes care of him in the absence of his mother.

David Makes Man is as aesthetically pleasing as it is heartbreaking.

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