If you haven't been watching Dave on Hulu, then you need to do yourself a favor and check it out. Steal a username and password from your ex if you have to, but the suburban middle-class rapper who rhymes about how un-hard he is is must-watch TV. Seriously, it's that good.
The series manages to blend comedy with drama in ways that few other programs have, and it even features some embarrassing details that have fans wondering if the show is based on a true story.
How much of 'Dave' is based on Lil Dicky's own true-life story?
WARNING: there are several references to specific plot/character development points for Dave in this article that may be considered spoilers for some. If you like going to into a program 100 percent in the dark, then consider yourself forewarned.
The show opens up with Lil Dicky (Dave Burd IRL) talking to his urologist worried about bumps on his genital area. He then goes into a very vivid description of his...member.
The monologue is one that's unforgettable, mostly because Dave goes into extreme detail about a specific birth defect that placed his urethra on the "underside" of his genitalia rather than the tip. He launches into the series of uncomfortable surgeries he underwent that resulted in his penis sustaining a bunch of scarring and a second pee-hole that he's forced to block and cover up when he urinates so it doesn't stream out like "a super soaker". His words, not mine.
In an interview with The Ringer, Dave says that "everything that you saw in that show [about my genitals], everything is totally real. Surgery. Right out of the womb...had to go in and fix my d***."
The startling honesty that the unconventional rapper/comedian begins the first episode with sets the standard for complete transparency and a trend of attacking the most shallow and uncomfortable fears each and every character has.
Dave tees off on his anxieties ruthlessly in the show, and he doesn't shy away from putting the self-consciousness that stems from the insecurities he's developed as a result of the surgeries he's had on his penis on blast. How these insecurities affect and influence all of his life decisions and his own character development are highlighted in different episodes, too.
Some are more transparent than others.
Like in one episode where he clearly feels more comfortable having sex with a fake silicon butt-and-legs-pleasure-doll while watching "milking" films, than his own girlfriend, is something that is so absurdly real and oddly poignant that you know it stems from a very personal and dark place.
Other scenes are not as on-the-nose and don't directly pertain to sex, but an overall failure to perform under pressure.
Like when Dave figuratively "kills" his childhood, appeasing-people-who-could-care-less-about-him-self by suffocating "Kid Dave" in some catered noodles. It's a shockingly dark scene that, again, hits a very real note. How many of us held back our own personal development as human beings because we've wanted others to like us, but were unfulfilled by the things we were doing?
Then there's the scene where Lil Dicky has performance anxiety before going up on stage at a fan's memorial service.
The dread on his face after having the opportunity to overcome a personal challenge that haunted him, only for Macklemore to show up to take the stage is an oft-overlooked, very real phenomenon you don't see confronted on TV shows.
Other characters, like Lil Dicky's real life hype man, GaTa, play a role and his real-life bipolar disorder is also tackled in an extremely honest and eye-opening way.
Seeing his freakout scene in the sneaker store, after watching GaTa crush it as the show's brightest comic relief, is hard to forget.
Like Dave Burd says, the show's most scintillating and brutal moments are actually the ones that weren't made up. The more mundane, struggling artist-trying-to-make it scenarios to help give the show a more cohesive plot, however, are. It is a scripted series at the end of the day.
Dave is unlike any other sitcom I've ever seen and to see the "niche" rapper constantly using his own insecurities as fuel for his art is fascinating to watch. The man isn't just a lyricist, he's got a ton of comedic potential that all stems from the same place: the shallowest, most embarrassing things that plague him on a daily basis. He and his crew have proven they aren't a "flash in the pan" or some kind of viral sensation — they're friggin' consummate artists and I can't wait to see more.