'Dave' Final Digest
At Burbs we love to discuss the latest in pop culture, music, and in this case, television. Along with The Last Dance and Westworld, the new FX series Dave is one of the only TV shows providing steady entertainment for everyone wasting away in quarantine. It’s safe to say the new show from FX was a hit, clocking over 5 million views per episode across all platforms by the season finale. Created by Dave Burd, better known as rapper Lil Dicky, the show is a whirlwind of comedy, music and pop culture loosely based on the rapper’s own rise to stardom. Basically, Dave is a mecca of TV and music culture, which is why our resident TV and music lovers are here to give their final thoughts following the finale.
Questions posed by Evan Northrup. Answers by Evan Linden, Jack Martin, Howie Butler, Ralph James, and Dylan Fadden.
We’ll start off with the usual 1-10 question. On a scale from 1-10, how would you rate this show? (1=Steaming garbo, 10=Martin’s three-point shot)
Linden: For me, Dave is well into the 8 to 9 range. If I had to land on a solid rating, I’d probably go with 8.5. It’s by far one of the best new shows this year and blew my expectations away; I went into the show expecting it to be a corny and watered-down knockoff of Atlanta, to be honest. I knew that Dave was a solid pensman musically, but that skill of his effortlessly carried over into screenwriting. I can tell that he and his team poured their all into the show, especially seeing as it was the “big break” for many of the actors involved.
Martian: For starters, I’m a big fan of the rating scale. I’m right there with Linden; 8.5. Simply put, Dave is great. Aside from The Last Dance, Dave has been the only show to premiere in 2020 that I’ve actively kept up with every week. I’ve been eager to see how the show would turn out following its announcement a few years ago and I’m glad that it lived up to the humorous storytelling on display in Dave’s discography.
Ralph: DAVE was far more innovative and creative than I’d anticipated it would be. It was much more than just a 220-minute dick joke; it touched on serious topics like being bipolar, anxiety, depression, relationships and family. I truly enjoyed my experience with this show and think of it as a distant cousin to what is perhaps the best show on television, ATLANTA. DAVE deserves a solid 8.2 in my book.
Dylan: 9.3. This is my first time doing this and as far as TV and Film go, I’m a casual. So, I’m not sure how critical I’m supposed to be with this rating, but I thoroughly enjoyed every episode of the first season which is why I rated it so high. I thought it was the perfect blend of being funny but also having a few dramatic moments (episodes 5 and 9). I also think a wide range of people will enjoy the show and it isn’t confined to a small niche of people. Dave is for everyone and I would HIGHLY recommend watching it while we’re still quarantined.
Which character, supporting or main, was your favorite?
Linden: GaTa was excellent; he absolutely killed the episode where he opened up about his mental health. Elz was also great; it was dope to see Taco back in the spotlight.
Martian: GaTa’s position as Dave’s right-hand man translates perfectly to television. While reading a few articles about the show prior to its release I saw that there’d be an episode centered on GaTa’s struggles with bipolar disorder; it was one of the best of the season.
Howie: I have two. Andrew Santino as Mike (Dave's ginger best friend) is super funny. I love his delivery whenever he makes Dave sound like an idiot/asshole. Second, it has to be Taylor Misiak as Ally, Dave's girlfriend.
Ralph: While Lil Dicky’s title-character Dave is one of the most refreshing main characters in a long time, I have to give this one to Andrew Santino’s character Mike. He’s quick, punchy and makes the most of his time on screen.
Dylan: Obviously, Dave himself did a phenomenal job as the main character but as far as supporting characters go, I think I have to give it to GaTa. I thought his character was extremely funny and when we got a deep dive into his personal life, it really did it for me. I think a lot of people were able to feel for him and see what makes GaTa, GaTa and I really appreciated that.
*It’s also important to note that GaTa ended up coming out and saying that bipolar disorder is something that he struggles with in real life, which only added to the impact of the episode.
Which cameo was your favorite?
Linden: Thugger’s cameo probably takes the cake for me. Trippie Redd as a borderline sociopath was also hilarious.
Martian: The YG cameo was funny because it perfectly painted what it must be like to wander into a studio environment like that as a stranger, but the Thugger one is my personal favorite. Dave not wanting to share the blunt because of Thug’s cold was a great moment in the show.
Howie: My favorite cameo was definitely YG. He was great and the whole Dave in the studio thing was hilarious.
Ralph: I could easily go the rapper route here and choose my guardian hip-hop angel, Thugger BABY, but my favorite cameo actually came on the behalf of Kourtney Kardashian. She was magnetic and charming, and it was nice to see her screen presence outside of reality TV.
Dylan: Easily Young Thug and Gunna. I loved the scene at the art gallery during episode 4 when Dave is smoking a blunt with the both of them. While smoking the blunt he proceeded to interrogate Young Thug about being recently sick, and eventually got up and left in fear of becoming sick himself. If I had 30 seconds to show someone else what Dave was, it would be this scene. To me, it was the perfect representation of what the show is all about.
What was your favorite moment from the show?
Linden: This is a cop out answer, but I felt like the finale really brought everything full circle and intriguingly set up a season two. That Breakfast Club freestyle was insane and the “Jail” track was lowkey genius. Disturbing, but in a genius way that only Lil Dicky is capable of.
Martian: When Dave is humping his lifelike sex doll in the bathroom and hides it in the shower so his girlfriend doesn’t catch him. I don’t know, I’m a freak. I also thought it was hilarious when Mike, played by Andrew Santino, lights up a bowl on the couch and invites GaTa to join him in getting lost during a live streamed Phish concert.
Howie: My favorite moment from the show is either… "I'm culturally hip. I wanna fuck girls that wear Pumas" from Mike, or, "Alright, Biebs Out. Just kidding. I don't actually say that; I'm pretty normal."
Ralph: Anytime Dicky was in the studio with Taco’s character. Particularly when he was auto-tuned; it was both hilarious and groovy simultaneously.
Dylan: On a softer note, I’m going to go with episode 9. This will not be a popular answer at all, but I thought this was another aspect of why the show was so good. We all know the show is hysterical, but having just a bit of drama really brought it together. It switched it up and gave the show a little something extra. I was not expecting this to happen at all and thought they did a fantastic job with it. Moving past this season, it also raises questions and gives us something to look forward to with Dave and Ally’s relationship.
Does Dave effectively separate itself from Atlanta?
Linden: I would say most definitely. They’re similar in a lot of ways, but Dave attacks the “I want to make it as a rapper” angle differently. It’s a nerdy, narcissistic white dude from the suburbs who raps about his deformed dick—the cards are stacked against him; he’s not supposed to make it, but somehow he does. All of Dave’s real cameos give it a unique edge, as well. I like how Dave coexists in the current rap universe, while Atlanta is more distant and fictional in that regard. Both shows are capable of tackling serious/relevant topics while delivering comedy and drama, but Atlanta definitely has more depth while Dave is a bit more light and easy. However, both show’s methods make sense for what they’re trying to accomplish. Hats off to Dave Burd and Donald Glover; two of the most unique minds in the industry.
Martian: For sure. There are definite similarities, such as a Justin Bieber-centered episode, but each show goes about their approach differently. Dave doesn’t go off of a strict narrative but there’s more cohesion in the storyline than Atlanta. I like that both shows are on the same network, FX, because it gives viewers two perspectives on navigating the world of hip-hop.
Howie: Um, no, not exactly. I saw it as a placeholder in Donald Glover's mind-numbingly busy schedule. I assume that's what it will remain to be - a substitute to the best show on television. It's great, don't get me wrong. It's just not Atlanta. It's not written, performed, shot, or edited as well, nor does it tackle controversial issues as well. I don't remember where I heard this but it stuck with me... There is more well thought-out cinematography and meaning behind one episode of Atlanta (Teddy Perkins) than all of Dave.
Ralph: I mean, I consider the two shows to be distant cousins with one another. No offense to DAVE, but it is no more than a stain on Paper Boi’s Gucci boxer briefs.
Dylan: I have never seen Atlanta, but now I kinda feel like I have to watch it after not being able to answer this question.
How did you feel about the finale?
Martian: Loved it. The “Jail” intro was insanity and I really thought it was going to be the entire episode. Thank god the show is on FX because there aren’t many networks that would let Dave bite a man’s penis off mid-blowjob and show him spitting the severed phallus out of his mouth.
Howie: I got goosebumps the second it ended. The finale was a top three episode for me. The way it ended was super open-ended and I have no idea where it's gonna pick up, but that whole episode you're just thinking to yourself, "What the fuck? Is he really gonna go for it????"
Ralph: It was... original. Twisting, turning, and unlike any other finale. Looking back on it though, the jail music video ran a little long and I don’t necessarily think it would benefit from a rewatch.
Dylan: To be completely honest, when I watched this episode, I had no idea it was the finale but besides that, I was pretty indifferent. I thought the jail music video was a little long and over the top, but hey, that’s Lil Dicky, right? Aside from that, I thought it was interesting to see the continual battle between himself and the label. It’ll be interesting to see how this battle progresses moving forward, but ultimately, I thought they left us in a great spot. I can’t wait for season two.