'Sally4Ever': David does not deserve hate for loyally loving Sally for 10 years
The internet has come to hate Sally's dull milquetoast lover given his annoying personality, although Emma tends to outdo him in that regard. Should we feel sympathy for David?
Julia Davis' cruel sense of humor has not spared any characters in the recent HBO cringe-comedy 'Sally4Ever,' but it has been extremely ruthless to David. Sally's boyfriend of 10 years, played by Alex Macqueen, is so convincingly repulsive that even his tragedy turns out to be 'matter-of-fact-joke.' With two episodes aired so far on HBO, we have not found sympathy for David because of his sheer ridiculousness and fans have not relented hating the milquetoast bald man, who actually blow-dries his penis, for god know what joy.
Currently watching HBO #sally4ever and wondering how Sally has not murdered David yet.— Elizabeth Martin (@lizmartinwriter) November 13, 2018
However, he is not the character who deserves all the hate. Pitiable, of course, annoying too, but beyond Davis' intense dark humor, he is just a desperate middle-aged man madly in love with Sally, unlike Emma who brings forth a whirlwind romance to spiral lust into an obsession.
We first see David performing George Michael’s 'Faith,' with his a cappella group as Sally cringes on seeing how happy he is to be with her. Following that, David's peculiar habit of moisturizing his feet or loudly sipping a cup of tea is magnified enough to be ludicrous. Not blaming Sally, anyone would be turned off to have a partner like David, but after Emma's introduction, and how unempathetically predatory she is, should render David's disgusting habits to feel human enough.
However, it does not, because of the premise Sally was unhappy with him and his horrific marriage proposal in which he wails, weeps and begs, telling Sally; “I’m so ill, please! You’re not getting any younger. You’re not going to meet anyone else,” forcing her to say yes. This establishes him as a character you are better without.
Minus his peculiar habits, he was with Sally for ten long years, and in today's world, who can do loyalty better? Sally is caught in a dead-end marketing executive job with a campaign to “put the sexy back in eggs” and David adds to her monotony. Sally wants to break free from "settling down" she sneaks out of the bed at night, after the whiny proposal has taken place, and heads to a club, where she makes out with Emma, a bohemian singer and an actress.
She comes back home drunk and coated with glitter and when David notices it in the morning, Sally conjures lies saying she was trying out bridal makeup at night and pretends to be excited for the wedding, which she knows will not happen.
By general introduction, David is a wedding photographer who cannot wait to have his own wedding when Sally will wear his mother's wedding dress, which is, stained by a glandular fluid. He gets turned on, thinking about it, which is a bit weird, but then again that particular stain falls pale in comparison to when Sally's bloodied tampon lands on David's mum's white dress as Emma extracts it with her teeth.
The passionate and the steamiest lesbian sex ever witnessed on TV cross-cuts to David vigorously flossing his teeth, moisturizing his bald head and blow-drying his penis. Grotesque as it is, the sexually frustrated David is doing all that because he is excited to get married to Sally. It is Sally who bluntly tells him that she stopped enjoying sex with him seven years ago.
However, it is not like he does not try to spice things up between them, but the only problem is that he does not go about it in the right way. Acting like a masked-burglar and thrusting himself to Sally will, of course, freak her out and not seduce her. If only dimwit David had someone to teach him how to show affection without freaking out the love of his life.
Soon enough, he finds himself kicked out of his own house as Emma moves in, she is as equally (if not more) annoying as David. (In the recent episode, Emma did not let Sally sleep after their intercourse and made Sally late for work by trying to have sex with her in the kitchen). Sally and Emma casually ask David if they can have his house at a really awkward dinner (“Just to ask you, really, if it’s O.K. we have it.")
This is only followed by an even more awkward movie-time as Emma tries to sexually fondle with Sally right in front of David. Poor David gets a call from his mother saying his father passed away. No stranger to wailing and crying, he breaks down and Emma unsympathetically asks if she should pause the movie when David breaks the news to them.
As Sally gets in a car with David to accompany him to his mother's house, Emma invites herself because she believes David is doing all this to get Sally's attention. Emma, in a mission to make her bereavement more prominent than David's, lies that one of her friends was “buffered by this bendy bus … just spread across the road like a stripe”.
Sally is caught between these two characters, but she chooses Emma over David, because she finds a certain liberation in her from her confined upbringing. But when David tells Sally his mother does not know about their break up and it's best she doesn't because she's just turned a widow, Emma plays her game of seduction as Sally sneaks out of David's bed at night.
David's mother, who sees Sally and Emma having sex, particularly scissoring, gets traumatized and loses her ability to talk. Before figuring out she was just in shock, fans actually thought David's mother was dead and he orphaned in a day's time. Thankfully she's alive, but David still hasn't figured out what has made his mother dumbfounded in shock.
Granted this is hilarious and makes you extremely uncomfortable - a peculiarity of Davis' dark humor - had this not been presented by the 'queen of dark comedy' herself, you would likely be crying for him and taking his side instead of praising Sally for sticking around with David for 10 years.
In a recent interview, Davis expressed she hopes the viewers will feel sorry for David. Talking about the scene where Sally returns from her fling with Emma, Davis said; "I find that quite a sad moment because I believe there is love there.” Citing she has “sympathy” for the character, she added; “I would hope people might root for David at some point in the series as well. I think there’s something lovable about him.”