Trailer For Dave Season 3 (FX)
One of the most significant and beautiful episodes of the first season of "Dave", and one of those that showed the great potential of the series and its ability to mature, was the penultimate one - "Ellie's Blessing". Dave (Dave Bird) and Ellie (Taylor Misiak) were traveling to her sister's wedding in Napa, and while Ellie struggled to write the best wedding greeting to impress her family, Dave, instead of being there for her and supporting her, was busy improving his terms for a record label contract. It was an explicit testament to Dave's career ambition and perfectionism, and even though this behavior led to the breakup, he stuck to them. That was his priorities in life.
The way the chapter described it was clever and so touching. He started with Dave recording a song for himself at home while he was getting ready to go out, and then when Ellie comes to spur him on he lets her improvise lines into the microphone as well. An intimate and funny couple moment that at the end of the episode turned on its head, when Dave came home alone, listening to himself on the recording saying "it was fun as long as it went on". His delay in going out at first turned out to be a delay that defined this whole aspect of his life.
"Dave," which Bard created with Jeff Schaefer ("Calm Down"), proved to be not just a story about an entertaining Jewish rapper looking for his breakthrough, but one who knows how to sketch meaningful stories, who has things to say about life. She had also done so shortly before when she dealt with Gaeta's bipolar disorder, and later, in season two, when she presented the tensions that arise in Dave's friendship with those closest to him.
The hero always suffers from the same blindness. Dave Bird and Taylor Misiak, "Dave" Season 3 (Photo: FX)
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In many ways, the third season is something of an extended version of the episode "Ellie's Blessing." That's also why, in my opinion, it's the best in the series so far. It's spreading out more arms than ever before. Both literally because for much of the time Dave and his entourage are on the road as part of a tour, and – in what seems to be another inspiration from Donald Glover and "Atlanta" – because the series experiments this time with genres such as horror (the fifth episode, in which friends find themselves stuck in the strange foreign family home of his "biggest fan" during a storm) and suspense (the last of the season, in which a dangerous stalker refuses to leave Dave's house). Nevertheless, the season is cohesive and unified thanks to its motif, which is also the name of the tour and the name of the final episode, which premiered Monday: "Looking for Love."
Dave's longing for true love is met with fans who are only interested in him for fame, or those who even magnify and fake an entire occurrence to play on his desire for someone real. The search for love leads him and us to his origins, recreating the first heartbreak he experienced in his early youth. This episode, the second of the season, is particularly wonderful, hinting at Dave's inherent blindness when it comes to the women with him. He films a music video for a song describing his relationship and friendship with Britney, who lives nearby. But then, when the real Brittany emerges (Jane Levy, "Suburbs of Hell," "Zoe's Playlist"), it turns out that from her side things are just as complicated.
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It's a kind of origin story of Dave's love life, and he always suffers from the same blindness. Previously with Ellie and now with the photographer/dream woman he met in Wisconsin during the tour - Robin (Chloe Bennett, "Agents of SHIELD"). These are women who insist on being three-dimensional, the heroines of their own lives. Not a mythical figure immortalized in a poem, not supporting characters in another's life, not those who would agree to be pushed aside by his ambitions.
"Weird, but you are," Robin told Dave when she met him. That's the heart of the series, this honesty, and it's sharper than ever given the publicity and success Dave gets this season. It's no coincidence that these stem from a huge lie that has been threatening him from the moment she steered: faking his death. Everything about Dave's breakout involves fabrication, perhaps as a kind of bigger statement about show business, but he's still an honest guy himself. This dissonance between his personality and the way he broke out is a big part of the power of season three.
It's a clever extension of the extremes that have accompanied the series since its inception. Those who are already present by name, and then also in the last sentence spoken this season: "What do you call, Dave or Dickie?" The series is named by its first name - the simplest, most human, grounded. These are exactly the spaces in which the series operates and flourishes. Between invention and truth, in every sense. Between the many guest appearances of stars in their own roles (Don Cheadle, Rachel McAdams, Brad Pitt and many others) and the friends who accompany him all the time. A constant interweaving of what is real and what is artificial. And in the case of the third season, as the finale illustrates, there is an intertwining between different types of love that sometimes contradict each other.
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It is amazing to describe the magic of falling in love and alternatively the longing for it. Chloe Bennett, "Dave" Season 3 (Photo: FX)
That's why the preoccupation with romance is, to me, the perfect reflection of what "Dave" does so well, the thing that gives it the greatest authenticity. More than any other element, it is he who manages to create a certain separation between the different parts of his personality in a way that unites the whole. This usually comes through clever and sober speeches by the women who throw truths at Dave's face in his personal life, and in a way that also guides him in his professional life. That's why the emotional message Dave writes at the end of the season plays on both of those paths.
But even after all the interlacing and connecting ends, in a series like this one, which deals with the life of an ambitious man who manages to fulfill his dreams, Dave's search for love is the most relatable thing for viewers. It is amazing to describe the magic of falling in love and alternatively the longing for it, which in itself makes this season captivating and even reminiscient. And maybe in the end, like a Jewish mother, we just want Dave to reset himself, find himself someone good and sit down.
All "Dave" episodes are available in bite and audio. The first two seasons are available on Disney Plus and the third is coming later.
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