“Dave” is about a fictional version of Dave Burd’s real alter ego Lil Dicky, who blends his neuroses and lewd sense of humor into successful rap songs. He’s the Eminem of the YouTube Generation, a guy who constantly pops up on TikTok feeds with his goofy songs, several of which are about his penis. On the show, Lil Dicky is now a star, and the third season gets him and his team on the road, taking place on a tour bus, in clubs, and with fans. It’s clearly a season about what a man built on a pile of neurotic anxiety is supposed to do, knowing that everyone wants a piece of him. In the premiere, Dave is looking for love, entranced by a girl he meets outside a club who claims to have no idea who he is. He ends up back at a house party at her place and discovers that the kids of the generation below him might be even weirder. It’s an odd start to the season, the least effective of the three episodes sent, but still a funny chapter that ends in the kind of total chaos that can only happen on “Dave.”
The second episode is fantastic, chronicling the filming of a video for a new Lil Dicky single that he hopes will help him reach a female demographic—it’s mostly dudes drawn to the man whose hit album is called Penith. It leads Lil Dicky back to his childhood home, where he tries to direct a video for a song that chronicles his first true love, a girl he obsessed over as a pre-teen. When the actual girl, played by the always-wonderful Jane Levy, shows up on set, he incorporates her into the video, but she has a different memory about what happened. Lewd, weird, and moving, this episode—which includes some spectacular one-shots through the chaotic music video set—is one of the best of the series to date.
And I’d say the same thing about the third chapter, which incorporates how white rappers like Lil Dicky can feel like guests in the house of hip-hop culture and how damn confusing social media can be. Lil Dicky and his posse end up in Atlanta, going to a strip club with Rick Ross, but Dave is distracted by a Killer Mike tweet that he thinks may possibly have been a slam on him. The episode is action-packed, including a six-figure chain stolen at gunpoint and phenomenal development for the great co-star GaTa. It all culminates in a great scene with Ross, Mike, and Usher.