By Daniel Paiz
Hip-Hop is kind of in another golden era, at least when it comes to how many forms of media are utilizing it as a storytelling device. Lil Dicky’s comedy drama is reaping very good timing right now. “Dave” is a show that both has hints of “Ballers” and “Entourage”, while also striking a chord with another fantastic FXX series, “Atlanta”. If you haven’t watched season 1, you really might want to, both because this article pertains to season 2 and because it’s a fun season. The biggest takeaways from season 1 really boil down to two things: Dave and Ally breaking up, and Dave coming to terms with how he’s his biggest roadblock to musical success.
What’s even more impressive is that season two manages to make that tackling of his ego last for ten episodes. There is absolutely a whole lot of other stuff going on, including character development for everyone from Dave’s parents to GaTa. Honestly, a spinoff show for GaTa would be a whole lot of fun, especially if it was a prequel kind of thing; imagine finding out everything that makes the super loyal hype man of Lil Dicky today. Mental health is something peppered in throughout this entire series, so it’ll also be interesting to see what comes next with that element as well.
The season finale opening blew my mind, I always wondered why we never heard GaTa’s name…but perhaps that’s contained only to this episode. **SPOILER ALERT** the rest of this article discusses the season two finale and season two, so if you haven’t watched or plan to at some point, continue reading at your own risk.
So what does that ending mean?
Releasing an album with absolutely no label support or marketing means Lil Dicky might as well have done everything independent. He absolutely messed up with delaying recording. But, the label shouldn’t one-up him and drop all of their contract-mandated responsibilities because a bigger artist dropped a project. There’s nothing to show any kind of contract negotiation, so the label isn’t living up to their end. However, that feels so small as the episode progresses.
Two times in 20 episodes we’ve heard GaTa’s name…just two, and both are in this finale. For all of the supposed “progress” we’ve seen Lil Dicky make, he’s still failing with regards to who supports him the most. The writing in this episode almost leads the viewer to believe that we’re going to see Lil Dicky make it, and GaTa start to really spiral. But that’s just it; we’re given the rope-a-dope. Yet again Dicky has to confront and work through his narcissistic focus on his dreams and remember to value who’s helped him get there.
GaTa finally grabs the spotlight he’s been asking for and, frankly working for. The episode’s ending is a closer viewers might have hoped for, but not necessarily expected after this second season. It’s basically what I thought should happen but seemed to get further and further away as the season progressed. The tough part about this is, it’s left one of two routes for season three.
Predictions for season 3 and final thoughts
It would be absolutely entertaining to see what’s next for Lil Dicky, GaTa, and the rest of the crew. However, that felt like a series finale. It could be another rope-a-dope to think nothing is coming. Sure, with Mike sounding like he’s done, Ally moving forward with her life, and Elz and Emma starting to hit their strides professionally, it’s a good ending point. But, it could be a launching pad for a larger-scale show and a bigger storytelling tool as well. Digging into the music industry further while managing relationships of all varieties would be fun.
What likely happens though is continued character development of our core characters, as they navigate what’s next in life for everyone. There could even be more episodes devoted to GaTa and his path forward. One can hope, at least.
What I think Dave does a good job of in season two is addressing issues both societal and personal. Season one does that as well, but it’s also focused on character development and getting us to grow fond of who’s onscreen. Season two thrives on personal development because Ally and Dave are split up. Sure, Dave relies on Mike, GaTa, Emma, Elz, even Benny Blanco. But because he doesn’t have the emotional crutch that he used Ally for, he finally (albeit, very slowly) works on himself. There are few moments where he realizes how he’s messed up his relationships with others, but he has them. Season three could be that continued growth.
At the societal level there’s further discussion about cultural appropriation. There’s the K-pop episode featuring actual K-pop star CL. The episode where he somehow manages to injure the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Let’s not also forget his feedback for the music video he’s in, and his original VMA’s performance idea. All of these were myopic and destructive ideas in one way or another. This next season ideally has Dave not failing as hard as he did in season two; if he keeps repeating the same mistakes, his career might be over before it’s fully realized.