I just watched the series finale of Bupkis starring Pete Davidson on Peacock and I'm perplexed.
Davidson won over the audience with his jokes, saying he arrived in NYC on Saturday after completing a stint in rehab. The Saturday Night Live star joked about his drug use, saying doing drugs as a 30-year-old – he hits the milestone in November – would no longer be cute.
In Bupkis, Davidson plays himself. Like his hit movie The King of Staten Island, about Davidson's life growing up on New York's Staten Island. He's obsessed with his upbringing, for good reason.
On 9/11, his father Scott Davidson, a New York City firefighter, lost his life trying to save people after the Twin Towers went down. The TV series and movie mine the deep emotional and psychogical scars that were left on the Davidson family - his mother, sister and himself. Davidson was just seven when it happened.
Episode 2 flashes back to shortly after 9/11 at a family wedding. Pete catches his Uncle Tommy (Bobby Cannavale) snorting coke in the bathroom and receives the advice, "Do as I say, not as I do."
Joe Pesci as Grandpa Joe in "Bupkis": "Hey, no doobies in the car!"
As a grown-up, Pete hangs with his bros like the guys in Entourage. They do everything together. His grandfatheer Joe (played impeccably by Joe Pesci) doesn't approve and tells him to lose his enabler friends. Whether with them or alone, Pete manages to find trouble and eventually wrecks his car en route to his sister's graduation under the influence of ketamine.
While Bupkis is fictional, it sticks pretty close to Davidson's real life. On March 4, he collided into a fire hydrant and a house in Beverly Hills with girlfriend Chase Sui Wonders in the vehicle (she also plays his GF on the show). Neither were hurt. On June 16. Davidson was charged with a reckless driving misdemeanor. He received a sentence of 50 hours community service and 12 hours of traffic school. Davidson entered a rehab facilty in Pennsylvania shortly thereafter to deal with drug and mental-health issues. He's been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and PTSD.
Davidson's issues are well sketched out in Bupkis. He's always smoking a joint of a vape, often in inappropriate places. At a meeting, his agent is flummoxed. "I'm a bit concerned because you're doing nitrous night now," he exclaims. The next shot shows Davidson huffing from a tank. He's routinely late for acting gigs and is rude on the set.
The other side of Pete is this sweet, 29-year-old manchild who deeply loves his mother Amy (Edie Falco in a comical reprise of her touigh-as-nails Carmela Soprano role), sister Casey (Oona Roche) and Grandpa Joe. He wants to do right by then but keeps messing up. Everyone knows about Pete's public image of serial celebrity dating, the quick marriage to Arianna Grande and other mini-controversies that pop up. He's a trainwreck-style magnet for the tabloids and obsesses over every phot of him that shows up in the media.
Davidson clearly has problems and reminds the world all about them just in case they forgot. He's pretty much an open book.
Hopefully, Davidson does get the proper help he needs and stops focusing on suicide as an answer to his father's horrible death and other problems he has. We'e rooting for you, Pete. Just no more car crashes.
FYI: Bupkis has been renewed for a second season.
MORE GREAT LINES IN "BUPKIS"
• Grandpa Joe: "Hey, no doobies in the car! I won't be able to breathe. Fuckin' guys. Dammit!"
• Pete to Chase: "Don't people know they can get ayahuasca in Queens?"
• Pete to his mother: "My cigarettes are not cigarettes. We talked about this."
• Pete cops a bag of brown powder in Canada: "What is this, Nesquick?"
• Pete: "I don't want to fall into the K Hole."
• Counselor at rehab: "You cheekin', Pete?