May 17, 2020 at 2:44 am #1203485772
Watched the complete first season tonight and holy shit, I kind of think that the sky is the limit, above the line for nominations anyway. Too soon for below, but I have more faith in this than Ramy getting series, writing, directing and actor, like auteur comedies Atlanta, Flight of the Conchords, Louie and Master of None did to varying degrees with their debuts.
First of all, look, I get the resistance to the show as a contender by all pundits, as well as everyone here. It is a show about Lil Dicky. There is a chance that it can never get past that. Some people will never watch it at all just because of that. Critics only got half the season and the first few episodes are just dick jokes. I happened to find them hilarious after the awkward pilot, but they are of course not for everyone. But from the fifth episode on, the show becomes much more dramatic and layered as it fleshes out the ensemble. The reviews for the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Awarded American Vandal would not have been what they were if critics only got half the season. Lil Dicky’s main music video director is the director of American Vandal; he did various episodes of Dave, including the finale and the “Hype Man” turning point for the show. Also, we do not really have a leg to stand on about something not being a contender after PEN15 because we did not realize that it was even remotely on the radar and it ended up going on quite the awards run.
What this show has going for it is that it is an industry show and people really like it. We know that the industry disproportionately loves shows about the industry. People like Damon Lindelof, Emily V. Gordon and Olivia Wilde are posting about how much they love the show, so there is clearly some industry buzz that we are not picking up on. This could just end up being like the chatter that we would hear about Catastrophe and The Leftovers, but I still do not get the sense that anyone in industry has seen Ramy. The showrunner is Jeff Schaffer, who doubles as showrunner of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Greg Mottola of Superbad and The Newsroom is the producing director. Kevin Hart and Scooter Braun are executive producers. So you already have a good industry cross section right there. Then there is how the whole music industry is in on it, not just from the celebrity cameos in the show, but also from how seemingly unrelated musicians like Sia and Madonna are posting about how they love the show.
Thanks to Hulu, this is FX’s most-watched comedy ever, demonstrating not only broader appeal than might be expected for a show about a “Lil Dicky”, but also realized potential. To contrast it with the aforementioned other show built around a dick joke, that one was about unknown teenagers and this one has parties with Justin Bieber and Kourtney Kardashian. So visibility might not be as much of an issue as we might think, but more important for the comedy field this year in particular is that people actually like this show. Putting aside whether many are actually watching the likes of The Kominsky Method and Run, I do not get the sense that people who have actually watch those shows are prone to vote for them. It has an 8.4 rating for the series, but a 9.7 for the finale. None of the other comedies in contention have ever scored that high; that kind of score has been reserved for the high-water marks of the great epic dramas. People who stuck with Dave are definitely all in.
This gets at why I decided a while back to be so confident in The Morning Show. There is not the sense of “meh” about it from its fans like its aging competitors. I am not going to slot in Lil Dicky himself for lead actor just yet, but I can see it happening. This is not some revelatory performance, but it is a fully competent one and they did actually award Donald Glover for doing as much in the first season, pre-Teddy Perkins. More than though, why I consider Dave Burd an acting contender is because they nominated Aziz Ansari right out the gate. He was great in the second season and even some later parts of the first, but his overall performance in the first season was an affront to acting. Maybe not in another year, but there might be space in this one.May 17, 2020 at 10:57 am #1203486357
Oohh lovely, thanks. Looks like I have another show to watch during this quarantine!May 17, 2020 at 11:58 am #1203486423
This show has gone from a show I never heard of to one that I’m hyped to start. And for anyone in the UK, the whole first season is on BBCiPlayerMay 17, 2020 at 12:12 pm #1203486444
I was first introduced to Lil Dicky through some friends in college and we loved him completely, so I was excited to see him not only getting his own TV show but on FX nonetheless and with a lot of industry power behind the scenes. The first half of the season was good, though it was certainly a lot. The third episode in particular is jarring and off-putting for viewers of a certain age or mindset, I would imagine. Then there comes the midseason stretch of episodes that bring the other supporting characters to the forefront and the show really starts to evolve and fit into a much more grounded reality. At the end of the first season, I was impressed that the show was able to pull off a delicate balance of the trademark Lil Dicky humor and actual human emotion. Dave Burd is very funny but he had the chance to flex some dramatic muscle and it was ultimately successful enough that I bought into his character’s naïveté and desperate desire for acceptance and encouragement. The ensemble is really good too, and while I don’t think this is one of the best comedy series of the season, I can see the opportunity for growth in season two. Emmy chances? As Riley laid out above, there are things going in this show’s favor but it also has massive hurdles to clear. I imagine that a lot of viewers will have the same viewpoint I laid out (on their podcast, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon basically said as much), so it is all about who and how many people take the risk to watch. I would submit either “Hype Man” or “Ally’s Toast” for writing (my two favorite episodes of the season probably) and “Jail” for directing (the flashiest choice with a known director). Burd would be an inspired nominee. Not sure I see it going beyond that. I don’t know what FX’s campaign priorities are, but I have to imagine they’ll at some point need to pick between “Dave” or “What We Do In The Shadows” for comedy, so it is certainly possible. I would advise everyone to give it a try. It isn’t necessarily a revelation, but it is a very welcome surprise.May 17, 2020 at 4:25 pm #1203486800
I don’t see it getting nominations due to first few deal a lot with his dick.
however, the finale song deserves consideration for best song. The show kept getting better and better as it went along.May 17, 2020 at 6:14 pm #1203486968
Binged this show a week ago in like two days. Watch it.
You question what this show is at first since it takes a moment to get used to the more absurd elements, but once you settle in, it truly builds to a satisfyingly bingeable season with a lot of laughs.May 17, 2020 at 11:08 pm #1203487201
Just binged the entire season of “Dave” today and holy shit is this show great.May 18, 2020 at 11:05 am #1203488082
I watched this show a few weeks into quarantine and there was a lot to like. Specifically, the supporting cast. I’d heard of Lil Dicky but never actually knew who he was or what his shtick was about. So, going into the show it took me a few episodes to realize that this guy was the same person as Lil Dicky who I’d heard about. And maybe there is some inherent bias built even, even though I’d never actually heard anything by Lil Dicky before, but mostly I find him and his performance pretty obnoxious. Comparing it to Donald Glover’s season one performance on ATL is kind of insulting to me but I’m sure he doesn’t mind. Ultimately, the strongest episodes are episodes that focus more attention on the supporting characters with “Hype Man” being the real stand out of the season. There’s also a lot of stuff that feels like it’s trying to tell me it is funny or poignant rather than accomplishing it. I’d be pretty amazed if garnered much awards appeal but as mentioned PEN15 did okay and I actually disliked that show as opposed to Dave, which is a good show with a lead that is easy to get sick of.May 18, 2020 at 2:24 pm #1203488471
FX tells us that this actually is a big campaign priority for them.May 20, 2020 at 10:55 pm #1203493053
Episode 5, “Hype Man”……. wtf? this show has no business being this good.May 21, 2020 at 8:36 am #1203493460
I saw this a few weeks ago and came here and didn’t find a thread. Thought nobody was watching. Happy to hear others think the same, the show is GOOD. And yeah, Hype Man was a terrific episode and it better get some Emmy nods, specially writing. If PEN15 (another great show) got in, I think this episode can get a writing nomination.
FX better do what they can to get it to the Emmys because they deserve it. But these are the people who weren’t able to get Danny DeVito nominated for Philadelphia and they got at least 10 shots before it was really too late. They also went nowhere with Aya Cash and Kether Donahue for You’re the Worst (or the show in general). If somebody were to ask me, I would say they’ve only had relevant nominations for Louie (too long ago), Atlanta and Better Things (possibly done) on the comedy side. Ever.
Wouldn’t have a problem with at least Series, Actor and Writing. I suppose some people will try to push Gata, which I don’t mind, but he really only has that episode. Which is perfect, but maybe not enough for an unknown actor. If it’s good next year, and if they can shoot something for next year thanks to Covid, maybe they can get more nominations like other second year shows do after only a couple of nominations for the debut season.
But this is FX, so my hopes are WAY down. If it were a drama, it would be another story.May 21, 2020 at 11:51 pm #1203494822
Shoutout to Riley, a week or two ago, I’d never even heard of Dave, but he put it on my radar and damn, did I love this show. The most i’ve consistently laughed at the first season of a comedy since I don’t know when. Would love to see this show sneak into Series, Lead Actor and Writing. The songs are great too.
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