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‘Dave’ Season 2 review – The Hollywood Reporter




Most of the big TV shows start off pretty fantastically or evolve so gradually and naturally into greatness that you can’t point to a single episode as the pivot from “promising” to “fully realized.”

Last year I told anyone who wanted to listen that the FXX Dave didn’t quite start out brutally, but the first few episodes were plagued, intentionally or unintentionally, with remote immaturity – and the fifth episode, “Hype Man,” was a pivotal episode. This half hour, centered around the GaTa hype and her battle with bipolar disorder, was a grown-up goal statement, ushering in a slew of episodes as good as anything on TV in 2020.


The bottom line

Penis jokes and white privilege? No wonder it’s a success!

Broadcasting date : 10 p.m. Wednesday June 16 (FXX)

Discard: Dave Burd, Taylor Misiak, GaTa, Andrew Santino, Travis “Taco” Bennett, Christine Ko

Creators: Dave Burd, Jeff Schaffer

“Hype Man” is a great TV episode, as is “Ally’s Toast” and “Jail” in particular, but the thing I thought about afterward was whether it was less than a huge one. leap forward and more simply than an episode of Rosetta Stone, one that lets you read the episodes both after and before through its relative seriousness – as if to say, “It’s OK to approach this show like more. than an assault on penile jokes. “

I thought a lot about Rosetta Stone’s idea while watching the first five episodes of the new Dave season, with the awareness that I wasn’t individually blown away by a single episode like I was with “Hype Man”. Instead, I’ve been collectively impressed with how the new season maintains its creative momentum. No, Dave is not quite at the level of Atlanta, but some of the tonal variations taken by creators Dave Burd and Jeff Schaffer are just as ambitious, though they are frequently buried in the aforementioned onslaught of penile jokes.

The second season picks up about four months after where we left it off. Dave / Lil Dicky (Burd) remains estranged from Ally (Taylor Misiak), although he is only beginning to understand the impact she was having on his creative process (and audiences will feel the same for Misiak, whose return after some the absence of the episodes is a reason for celebration).

You see, Dave struggles to create, despite being comfortably settled in a Hollywood Hills mansion provided by his label. And if he’s not able to make music, that leaves his entourage – mainly manager Mike (Andrew Santino, interesting spiral) and GaTa (GaTa) – on their toes. Meanwhile, Elz (Travis “Taco” Bennett) is on tour somewhere (but eventually returns) and Emma (Christine Ko) is… Honestly, I’m not quite sure what Emma is doing, though. it appears periodically. If I had to ring Dave for one particular element is that the show still doesn’t have a clue of what to do with this character, even though Ko is an utterly admirable piece of the set whenever she is. allowed to participate.

The premiere takes place (if not filmed) in Seoul, with Lil Dicky attempting to record a video with Korean rapper / pop star CL for a song he didn’t write to bow to a fandom of a kind he likes. t really listen. This is a very good representation of the constant tightrope that Dave walks between the main character doing the jokes and the main character being the joke, a line I don’t suspect the show’s seemingly huge fanbase still recognizes. The appropriation and question of where Lil Dicky sees and doesn’t see his place in the musical and racial landscape were key elements of the first season, and I think this is something that Lee Sung Jin clearly illustrates and cleverly in the first, playing on Western misunderstandings of the global K-Pop phenomenon more than joking about the global phenomenon.

If the new season has a theme, it’s how integral white privilege is not only to Lil Dicky’s success, but also to his ability to have his semi-comedic brother character in the first place. The third episode, featuring the return of Dave’s friend and real-life super-producer Benny Blanco, takes it to the extreme, as Dave and Benny’s childish and job-avoiding gags degenerate into hijinks. eerily homosocial graphics I’m pretty sure you’ve never seen Basic Cable before. The jokes here are about, on the one hand, the ridiculousness of how Dave and Benny find wasted time. But they’re much more about the latitude these two suburban Jewish kids might have that wouldn’t be available to GaTa, still torn between devotion to Dave and his own hip-hop aspirations.

Dave may be Lil Dicky because of his race and relative economic comfort – in the first season he was still dipping into his bar mitzvah funds to support himself – and when he turns out to be formidable on the mic, it is a bonus. In the same way, Dave like a show can wallow in low eyebrows because Burd has a YouTube / online fanbase who really doesn’t want or need anything more than variations on jokes about his genitals, and if the show wants to hit incredibly sad or serious rhythms here and there, that’s the bonus. These new episodes are at least as comfortable with characters slipping into paranoia and depression – pretty much everyone here is lying to themselves or avoiding facing something important – as various visual gags involving toys. sexual.

And don’t get me wrong, spectacular as GaTa is – he continues to be the show’s total revelation – in an episode in which he sets out on a nighttime odyssey in search of his car and a cell phone charger. , it’s probably not bad for Dave if your takeaway from those early episodes is, “Dude, I’d watch a whole show about GaTa’s childish wonder at VR porn.” Will audiences leave a co-starred episode titled after Hollywood journalist Columnist (and NBA All-Time Scoring Leader) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar speaking about Kareem’s current career as a leading commentator on racial portrayal in the media, or in the very broad way of the end of it episode?

I guess what I’m saying is Dave is a show you can watch for jokes about misshapen penises, cystic acne, and a bar mitzvah party where Dave gives impressionable kids some very questionable (albeit basically solid) advice, and maybe you’ll notice accidentally reflections on male insecurity and the hollow need for fame. I suspect it’s the first one to do Dave popular and the latter that makes it such a surprisingly nuanced show, but I don’t know if that matters.

Don’t let childish marketing fool you. Or let childish marketing fool you. Just give Dave A try.

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