How Dave Became One Of The Best Comedies On Television

Dave FXX

Finding the right balance between jokes and seriousness is the key to a good comedy. Much to my surprise, Dave conquered this balancing act in 2020.

On one hand, Dave, which returns for a second season tonight on FXX, is a comedy series full of immaturity, juvenile hijinks, and penis jokes. What else would you expect from the series creator and star of the show, Dave Burd aka Lil Dicky? Burd stars as a fictionalized version of himself as he attempts to become a successful rapper. His name has the word “dick” in it so yes, Burd talks about his penis… a lot.

The bathroom humor doesn’t stop there. In the ninth episode, “Ally’s Toast,” Lil Dicky battles an urge to poop while hiking with his girlfriend, Ally. Burd is left with no choice but to unleash hell in the pond. I’m not above toilet humor, and this was a hilarious scene.

However, Dave can be a thoughtful show full of emotional nuance and maturity. “Hype Man,” the show’s fifth episode, revolves around Lil Dicky’s hype man, GaTa, and his struggles with bipolar disorder. The respect and sensitivity in “Hype Man” for its portrayal of mental illness is something you wouldn’t expect from a show that showed us a milking table. (There are no cows involved with this table.)

The ability to balance wild humor with sensitive issues is why Dave became one of the best shows of 2020. The series continued to improve after “Hype Man,” and ended the season on a high note with the show’s last two episodes, “Ally’s Toast,” and, “Jail.”

Lil Dicky is in on the joke and the criticism of his persona, which is one of the main reasons why the show works so well. Burd acknowledges that he’s privileged. He’s self-aware but presents and expresses his healthy arrogance in an entertaining way.

Dave doesn’t put Lil Dicky on this pedestal where the audience worships his talent (and he is very talented). In the show, Lil Dicky’s too smart for his own good, which is why he seemingly runs into trouble at every turn. His neurosis and arrogance help elevate the likability of supporting characters GaTa, his manager Mike, ex-girlfriend Ally, his DJ Elz, and friend Emma. These characters bring Lil Dicky back to reality, and these interactions provide some of the show’s best moments.

Season 2 will pick up a few months after the Season 1 finale, where Lil Dicky finally gained notoriety as a rapper and secured a record deal. On the surface, Lil Dicky’s life has improved as evidenced by a beautiful house in the hills and celebrity interactions with Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Benny Blanco, Doja Cat, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. However, he’s struggling to make an album while trying to get over his breakup with Ally.

Dave might make dick jokes, but it’s capable of so much more if you give it the chance.

Do you watch Dave? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

Quality, Not Quantity: How Hulu Became The Top Streaming Service In 2020

Hulu Netflix shows

What’s the best streaming service in 2020? I’m guessing that 80% of the answers would be Netflix. Frankly, I’m not surprised. In terms of the amount of content provided, Netflix is king. No one can match up with their giant library of movies and shows to go along with their original programming. However, if we’re judging quality instead of quantity, Hulu wears the crown.

Hulu is having a moment in 2020. Thanks to high-quality original and produced shows, Hulu’s original programming has been tremendous. Every week, a new critically acclaimed show debuts on the service. If some of these shows were seen by a wider audience on Netflix, Amazon, or Disney+, they’d be gigantic hits.

Speaking of Disney, Hulu received a giant boost to their programming with the addition of the FX. “FX on Hulu” includes FX produced shows that were originally scheduled to air on the network, but after the Disney acquisition, those shows premiered streamed on Hulu. In sports, it’s like when a smaller market team gets a star player. Pretend that the Toronto Raptors are Hulu and Kawhi Leonard is FX. That partnership ended with a championship in 2019.

Hulu has produced some of my favorite programs of the year. Devs, the sci-fi murder mystery from Alex Garland, was as beautiful as it was addicting. Normal People, which was co-produced with BBC Three, moved me to tears and depicted one of the most accurate portrayals of millennial first love. Dave*, the surprise show of 2020 from the rapper, Lil Dicky, was fun, charming, and surprisingly full of depth as it balanced penis jokes with mental health depictions. Other noteworthy shows from Hulu that debuted in 2020 are Mrs. America, High Fidelity, Little Fires Everywhere, and The Great. All of the aforementioned shows have a score of 70 or greater on Metacritic besides Dave, which has a score of 64.

*Dave airs weekly on FX. However, Dave has benefited from streaming on Hulu, becoming FX’s highest-ranked comedy series ever.

Before the past year or so, when I personally thought of Hulu, two things came to mind: The Handmaid’s Tale and ads. “The show with the red capes and white caps?” Yes, that show. What The Handmaid’s Tale has on its side is history since it’s the only drama series from a streaming service to win Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series. Plus, the show stars Elisabeth Moss, who could very well be the pound-for-pound best television actress of the 21st century thanks to roles on The West Wing, Mad Men, Top of the Lake, and The Handmaid’s Tale.

Despite the success and popularity of The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu is known as the streaming service with ads, which unfortunately scares people from subscribing. Hulu has a live tv service, but setting that aside, there are two options: Hulu with ads at $5.99 per month and Hulu with no ads for $11.99. I’m not here to tell you to choose one over the other. I personally subscribe to Hulu with ads and it really doesn’t distract from my viewing experience. For someone with a small bladder, the ads serve as built-in bathroom breaks during my binge sessions. However, I could see the ads being a minor disruption for those used to other services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Disney+. Don’t let the minor disruption hinder you from accessing some of television’s best shows.

If you can look past a dystopian show about procreation and a streaming service with ads, then you’ll see that Hulu’s quality, not quantity, shine, making it the top streaming service in 2020.

What’s your top streaming service in 2020? Leave your thoughts in the comments.