"David is one of those shows that precedes the pithy genre descriptor that will eventually define it," says Joshua Alston of the OWN series that's now available on HBO Max. "Perhaps that’s because the show was created by Pulitzer- and Oscar-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, who’s best known for helping Barry Jenkins transform one of his acclaimed stage plays into 2017 Best Picture winner Moonlight. McCraney’s strength lies in the cultural specificity he brings to his stories of young Black boys with the weight of the world on their shoulders, and David Makes Man is an execution of McCraney’s vision more potent than the movie or the plays that define his career. In fact, an early quibble I had with the show was how topically and thematically similar it is to Moonlight, which for many was a first glimpse into McCraney’s semi-autobiographical work. All the same elements are here: Black bodies saturated with cool-colored light; muggy Miami and its rough-and-tumble housing projects; financial insecurity born of addiction issues; and father figures as faithful to their selected sons as they are unfaithful to the law. And yet, while McCraney is working with the same color palette, David Makes Man’s 10 episodes represent the largest canvas he’s ever had to work with. As storytelling mediums go, television is an especially ravenous beast, gobbling up every clever notion the writer’s ever had. That’s what makes David such a testament to McCraney’s talent and his clarity of vision. Television history is littered with examples of estimable novelists and playwrights who stare into the medium’s gaping maw and are left struggling to feed it. Not the case here, as McCraney’s partnership with showrunner Dee Harris-Lawrence has yielded a drama that often feels like it’s running out of places to store its surplus of ideas. (Oblique references to Game Of Thrones and the Portuguese man o’ war can exist in the same conversation.) It’s also the all-too-rare example of meticulous world-building outside of genre fiction, so while David occasionally feels overstuffed, it never feels like it’s wasting precious fuel."