The idea of building a series around Lil Dicky seemed absurd when it first found its way to FX. However, three seasons into the series and Dave Burd remains as interesting as ever. While more straightforward than other comedies, Dave continues to dig into the persona of its star. Based on the three episodes provided to critics, the adventures of Lil Dicky and GaTa remain as emotionally poignant as ever.

Now on tour, Lil Dicky and GaTa experience begins to feel the effects of fame firsthand. Lil Dicky has genuine hits, and the audience calls to him. GaTa remains a hype man but builds his own following as a musician as well. While Lil Dicky wonders about his relationships and love, GaTa wants to cash in on years adjacent to the industry. They have to confront their pasts, their present, and even their own team as they build to the next level in the industry.

DAVE “Texas” Episode 1 (Airs Wednesday, April 5) — Pictured: Dave Burd as Dave. CR: Byron Cohen/FX

Once again, Burd and GaTa deliver next level performances. Burd remains joyously light on his feet. He shows a self-deprecating side that few lead actors are willing to match. Aiming the punchlines at himself helps Burd create anxiety that’s extremely relatable. Meanwhile, GaTa continues to craft subtle emotional showcases. His nuance from scene to scene helps build some of the best moments of the season. Sadly, GaTa remains arguably the most underrated actors on television.

The rest of the ensemble grows as well. Christine Ko gets more moments to shine. She brings out passion in her performance. Ko does not get a spotlight moment early in the season, but she lays breadcrumbs for something big on the horizon. Travis Bennett gets a bit more shine, and he takes advantage of it. There’s a melancholy hanging over him from episode one, and it’s poised to blow up given the ways he’s been stepped over. Andrew Santino remains funny as ever, and should continue to thrive as true comedic relief.

DAVE “Texas” Episode 1 (Airs Wednesday, April 5) — Pictured: (l-r) Christine Ko as Emma, Travis Bennett as Elz. CR: FX

The first few episodes also showcase some of the best direction in the series to date. While episode one eases us back into the series, we immediately follow that up a music video shoot that brings Uncut Gems energy. The third episode becomes a wild goose chase through Atlanta with celebrity cameos strewn throughout. Across the three episodes made available to critics, the visuals and storytelling ambition continue to evolve.

Dave continues to surprise and grow with every episode. The series has always been funny. Yet its ability to create genuine heartbreak has always been its strength. With two brilliant performances propping it up, Dave remains one of the underrated gems in the television landscape today.

Alan’s Rating: 9/10

What do you think of Dave? Let us know in the comments below! Dave airs on FX and plays the next day on Hulu.

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