What does Dave do?
Tonight was the 18th episode of the first season of CBS’s The Neighborhood. A situational comedy about a predominantly Black neighborhood where a White family moves as they assimilate to their new surroundings. The focus is two families, Butlers and Johnsons who enjoy a variety of different adventures that unfold hilariously.
So if it is a Sit-Com, why would a mystery be involved. Good question. For me it revolves around not knowing enough about one character in particular. So lets learn about the characters.
The Matriarchs Tina Butler and Gemma Johnson have been fast friends from the start. Their calm and common sense approach to life is a positive influence on everyone. They are interesting characters but usually serve as the anchor for their outrageous spouses.
Most of the storylines revolve around the burgeoning friendship between Calvin Butler and Dave Johnson. Both are good hearted but they approach life from very different perspectives. Dave is a very inviting guy with a positive attitude embracing the change of his new surroundings. Calvin is a wannabe know-it-all who is a born and raised on the block. Their interactions are usually the source of some lesson for the audience to laugh at and grow with.
Each family has only male children. Grover Johnson is a young boy trying to make friends in his new town. Malcolm Butler is trying to find his way after a minor league baseball injury. And Marty Butler works at Cal Tech’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Hopefully each of these characters’ arc is expanded on.
Gemma is the Headmaster of a charter school. This is the reason the Johnsons moved, from Kalamazoo Michigan to the Neighborhood which is in Southern California, was to bolster her career. Calvin and Tina work together at an Auto Body shop. I think they might own the shop as well but I am not entirely sure.
That leaves Dave. What does Dave do?
Somewhere as the new year started in 2019; I started to realize I didn’t know the characters outside of being neighbors. I started mentally accounting for each character and their occupations. And I came up short when it came to Dave.
In tonight’s episode; Western Michigan is playing USC in the NCAA basketball tournament, which is also televised on CBS. Both Calvin and Dave get tickets, though Dave’s are both better and much closer to the action. He gets five for the group but the wives and Grover are not going. Dave is supporting his hometown Broncos. While Calvin, Malcolm and Marty are squarely behind the Trojans. Dave is being supported by his buddy from the ‘Zoo Crew, Logan 2 “The Deuce”.
First taunting of evening is when the Butlers first meet Logan 2; Calvin jokes he must be with the Geek Squad because of his bias against Dave. Logan makes a joke saying he wishes he was smart enough to be, but he settled for being a SWAT team leader. I wonder; how much is a SWAT team needed in Kalamazoo, MI? Either way, I know more about this new character than one of the main characters.
Further taunting me; we find out during the episode that Dave was in the National Guard in Michigan. Including a tour duty in Iraq working with warlords. I will excuse the writers for not knowing that would work better in Afghanistan. But National Guard appointments are controlled by the state and are hard to transfer. I do not believe he is in the California National Guard. All this information still leaves me wondering, What does Dave do?
They use this information as part of the storyline. The writers show how little Calvin knows about Dave. But I think the writers are taunting me. Because try as I might, I don’t know about Dave. And I am actively looking in episodes to figure it out. And I am still left wondering……
What does Dave do?