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Dave Season 3 Review: New Season Takes This Brilliant Show on the Road

The Cast of FXX's Dave
Photo Credit: FXX

Dave is back for Season 3 on FXX and FX on Hulu, and Wednesday or Thursday nights (depending on how you watch) just got a lot better for it. Riding the success of their VMA performance in last year’s finale, Lil Dicky (Dave Burd), GaTa (Gata), and company find themselves on tour, and while everyone he encounters seems to want something from him, all Dave is looking for is love.

The Dave Season 3 premiere, “Texas,” features some very interesting turns and absurdities that bring about an uneasy feeling which surprisingly has nothing to do with Dave’s unusual choice of undergarment. The early theme for the season centers around Dave craving a genuine romantic connection, which is something he’s finding hard to come by on the road. After Emma (Christine Ko, Only Murders in the Building) wisely suggests maybe he should stop hooking up with fans, he meets Campbell (Jocelyn Hudon, The Strain) who appears to be receptive to his charm and largely unfamiliar with him, which he appreciates.

The episode serves as an honest conversation about the pitfalls of celebrity and navigating the disingenuous nature of people, while simultaneously remaining true to its fundamental beliefs that there is no such thing as one too many dick jokes.

Dave Season 3 Episode 2, “Harrison Ave,” follows Dave and Emma as they shoot a music video in his childhood home about his first crush. He wants it to serve as his romantic origin story, but the already hectic circumstances grow more complicated when the girl (Jane Levy, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) the song is about shows up on set. Featured songs have always been a part of the narrative of the show, not simply there to cross promote his music career, and here it serves as an interesting dissection of what perceived traumas helped shape his perceptions of relationships later on, as well as shine a light on his inability to see things from anyone’s perspective but his own.

Releasing the first two episodes of the season together provides a reminder of the brilliant dichotomy that exists with bizarre and borderline gross-out humor represented within a very genuine and layered emotional story. It also allowed Burd and everyone involved with the show to demonstrate how they are continually evolving and challenging themselves. “Harrison Ave” features several long takes, which is certainly a trendy thing to do, but not something that a show like Dave would need to accomplish to impress its audience. To their credit though, Director Kitao Sakurai and Editor Jeff Hall, along with the cast, really pull it off, and it adds to the sense of chaos that they are looking to display during the video shoot.

For every obvious joke or bit of social commentary delivered by Dave, there are just as many subtle ones, often utilizing the consistent chemistry between he and GaTa, Mike (Andrew Santino, Beef), Elz (Travis Bennett, You People), and Emma. It works because the series has proven that while Dave is certainly the main character, each member of his core group will have their time to be the focal point and earn an authentic payoff to benefit the series as a whole.

Another consistent through-line is showing Dave’s continued behavior patterns – primarily that he’s neurotic and gets in his own way more often than anyone else. He’s quick to be self-deprecating, but he’s also a control freak who can rub people the wrong way in search of the impossibility of perfection. He has this repeated pattern where he’ll seem dismissive of his friends who are really in his corner, before an epiphany moves him to make things right through a sincere apology or grand gesture (often both). It’s a cycle that his ex-girlfriend Ally (Taylor Misiak, Players) eventually separated herself from, which is why Dave finds himself in search of a new connection now.

Burd has created one of the most successful comedy series on television, something his character at this point probably couldn’t fathom. However, as Dave’s career and fame as Lil Dicky has risen to new heights each season, the story has been able to evolve along with it, leaving the door open for exciting possibilities. It remains to be seen how much Dave is growing from each experience, but comedically it’s hard to find a more enjoyable mix of overtly obscene yet thought provoking circumstances playing out in short episodes. Outside of his sex life, that is.

Dave Season 3 is now streaming on FX on Hulu and airing on FXX.


Ben Murchison
Ben Murchison
Ben Murchison is a regular contributor for TV and Movies. He’s that guy that spends an hour in an IMDb black hole of research about every film and show he watches. Strongly believes Buffy the Vampire Slayer to be the best show to ever exist, and that Peaky Blinders needs more than 6 episodes per series. East Carolina grad, follow on Twitter and IG @bdmurchison.

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