There's no rule in the handbook of TV show fandom that says you have to love every character on any given show. However, it certainly helps if the title character of a series is likable or, at the very least, palatable for the most part.
So when Dave premiered on FXX and introduced the world to a fictionalized version of Lil Dicky, aka Dave Burd, it was hard for viewers to admit that the character in the series is sometimes kind of the worst.
The show is a semi-autobiographical version of the rapper and actor's life, and his rise as a singer in the music business. Parts of the show are obviously fictionalized for the sake of entertainment and drama. And, of course, there are elements of humor involved that are hard to ignore.
Lil Dicky also plays himself in the show, which makes it hard to understand why he would write himself to be selfish, self-centered, and downright entitled at times.
Maybe it's Lil Dicky's way of being self-deprecating or pointing out his own flaws as a sort of therapeutic way to showcase his life to the world. Or, the fictional Lil Dicky is just a narcissist who is more of an acquired taste than a loveable up-and-coming rapper that viewers are supposed to cling to right away.
Why is Lil Dicky's 'Dave' character so unlikable?
There's no clear reason why Lil Dicky in Dave seems to be so unlikable for the majority of Season 1 and Season 2. There are, however, tons of examples of his pretty terrible behavior when it comes to those around him.
In the show, Lil Dicky's friends are also his entourage and he expects them to be focused on his burgeoning music career 100 percent of the time. While they should certainly be there for him as he needs them, the sentiment is rarely, if ever, reciprocated.
Remember in Season 1 when GaTa is having difficulty managing his bipolar disorder? He explains later in the episode why his moods had been all over the place due to too much medication and, at that point, Lil Dicky grudgingly admits that he can't stay mad at him.
Up until that point, he had been frustrated with GaTa for his behavior, which was one of many moments in which Lil Dicky wanted all of the attention on him.
Another hard-to-digest part of Season 1 was when Lil Dicky was asked to perform at a child's funeral. The topic alone was difficult and, of course, odd, since he's a rapper and the request was totally out of left field.
But when he explains his annoyance at being asked to perform, his main issue is how the parents of the child "lacked self-awareness" in asking him. He takes no notice of their difficult situation as the parents of a child who's passed away. His lack of interpersonal skills is often astounding.
There's another point in Season 1, towards the end, when Lil Dicky needs to support his girlfriend Ally as she prepares to give a speech at her sister's wedding. Instead of supporting her, Lil Dicky is more focused on an opportunity that arises for his rap career.
Season 2 of 'Dave' starts off with Lil Dicky in full form.
Going into Season 2, Lil Dicky has somehow gotten even worse. Granted, most of the series is about his rise through the music business and the hardships that come with it, so his character is almost always on edge.
But there's a scene at the top of Season 2 where Lil Dicky has to prepare to help present at the Korean Music Awards and is impatient and downright mean to his team backstage.
Then, later in the episode, when his Korean American intern is arrested, Lil Dicky only shows concern when he realizes his assistant was arrested with his backpack, which contains his laptop. It's a new low for Lil Dicky, but at this point, it's hard to expect anything more from him. The bar has gotten lower and lower for the fictional version of the singer.
Lil Dicky in Dave is also insensitive to Korean culture in the same episode, where he is trying to make a music video for a song about — what else — waking up in Korea. He even admits to wanting to use a K-pop singer's stardom to help launch his own career worldwide. It’s hard to watch, to say the least.
To be fair, part of the character of Lil Dicky in Dave could very well be meant to be a caricature of the real-life Dave Burd.
It's hard to believe the TV version of Lil Dicky would mirror the real man, as he is painted in such a selfish and insensitive light. But for now, viewers can continue to look for the breadcrumbs of moments where Lil Dicky is far more palatable and maybe, just maybe, redeemable.