FX Hit Comedy Dave Builds on Track Laid Down by First Season | TV/Streaming


“Dave” is a fictionalized version of the life of Dave Burd aka Lil Dicky, a rapper who blew up for the YouTube generation. With a self-deprecating sense of humor that recalls a less destructive version of Marshall Mathers, he released an album hesitantly called Professional Rapper in 2015, and has worked with Snoop Dogg, T-Pain, Ariana Grande, Kevin Hart, Benny Blanco, and many more. The version of Lil Dicky on “Dave” is more comedically exaggerated—his biggest hit is titled “My Dick Sucks”—but the show definitely riffs on Burd’s real life, including supporting turns from his hype man GaTa and his producer Benny Blanco. The show has a relatively small cast, centering most of its set-ups around Burd and how he impacts his inner circle, which includes GaTa, his manager Mike (Andrew Santino), ex-girlfriend Ally (Taylor Misiak), DJ Elz (Travis “Taco” Bennett), and friend Emma (Christine Ko).

The second season opens with Dave and his team overseas, trying to break into the lucrative K-Pop scene with a song called “I Took a Shit in Korea.” Right from the beginning of the season, Burd and his writers are clearly interrogating Lil Dicky’s largely selfish behavior, reflected in how he treats friends, collaborators, and even an entire culture. He’s that guy who thinks he knows everything about the cruel underbelly of K-Pop, but has no idea what he’s talking about, and when his translator ends up getting taken by authorities, it’s unsurprising that Burd is more concerned about the fact that he had his laptop than the guy’s personal safety. The second season of “Dave” has broken him up with Ally, and that seems to have sent him into even more selfish behavior, but the writing feels more sharply critical of that at the same time.

Take the insane third episode, which features more bare man butts than I’ve seen on television maybe ever. Blanco and Burd run around the former’s house, naked, getting up to trouble that includes shoving things in their butts. It’s juvenile, physical humor but then the show takes a step back from it when GaTa and Elz show up and the conversation turns to how bromances are different between Black people. Burd’s general lack of interest in the cultures that he’s arguably appropriating reaches its peak in an extended guest appearance by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who asks to meet Lil Dicky after he hears his name in a song and ends up basically interviewing the rapper about what the hell he’s doing with his career and life. Watching Burd go from excited fanboy to stressed over being asked serious questions that he never asks himself is very entertaining.

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