The arc of FXX’s “Dave,” the highest-rated comedy on the network, has been interesting to watch. When it premiered in March 2020, critics largely dismissed it at first, but came around as the program developed into something richer, funnier, and smarter over the course of its first season. It even ended up making a few ‘best of the year’ lists, including ours. The show is back on June 16th and the good news is that not only does it avoid the sophomore slump that often afflicts artists like Lil Dicky, but it actually seems like it’s growing in ways that Dave Burd himself would barely recognize. The show is still about the weird side of fame—what it does to friendships, relationships, and business dynamics—but it feels more aware of the flaws of the first half of that first season, one that was criticized for the way it almost elevated Burd’s selfish stupidity. Burd and his team here haven’t made Dave more likable—in fact, the opposite may be true—but he’s increasingly surrounded by people who call him on his shit, which makes for sharper humor that feels like it’s taking risks with more confidence, even as Lil Dicky himself lacks exactly that.
“Dave” is a fictionalized version of the life of Dave Burd aka Lil Dicky, a rapper who blew up for the YouTube generation. With a self-deprecating sense of humor that recalls a less destructive version of Marshall Mathers, he released an album hesitantly called Professional Rapper in 2015,