The Other Two Season Two | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, June 6th, 2023  

The Other Two (Season Two)

HBO Max, August 26, 2021

Aug 24, 2021 Photography by Zach Dilgard/HBO Web Exclusive
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The elevator pitch for The Other Two doesn’t sound like anything you would want to press play on. Two millennials siblings with flailing careers as an out-of-work actor and a stationary dancer navigate the overnight success of their YouTube sensation 13-year-old brother while their irrepressibly peppy mom helicopters over the three of them. Except that the half-hour comedy, created by former Saturday Night Live writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, and drawn from their own experiences, is genuinely funny.

Season One of the series premiered three years ago on Comedy Central and Season Two has moved to HBO Max, airing two episodes a week, back-to-back. We left the first season with Cary (Drew Tarver) desperately trying to get any kind of work and only gaining recognition as the gay older brother of the guileless and likable superstar, ChaseDreams (Case Walker). His sister, the bitter and caustic Brooke (Heléne York) is a resentful realtor whose creativity is entirely stifled. Deeply supportive of each other, both Brooke and Cary are very sweet to their little brother, even while the irony of his success and the lack of theirs is repeatedly shoved in their faces. They get this quality from their mother Pat (Molly Shannon), whose support of her children is truly tireless.

The second season sees Cary on-camera with a ton of hosting work, albeit only gay segments, while his sports enthusiast agent seems to always be at a game, conducting all his meetings from the bleachers. Brooke, who was Chase’s manager for a hot minute at the end of the last season, is now technically out of work as Chase has decided to quit entertainment to go to NYU. She frantically scrolls TikTok looking for the next big marketable entity to manage—which is pretty much what everyone in the music industry is doing at the present time, and is one of the show’s many sly winks at pop culture. She runs around town in a silver metallic trench coat with hair and make-up straight off Top of the Pops in the ‘80s, tracking down “Beyonce child gay drag” alerts from Google. As she informs the parents of said baby drag queen, “I’m a music manager. That’s why my hair all kind of folded to the left and I have just the one earring in the right ear.”

Brooke swaps this get up for “manager costumes” when she ends up managing her mom, who, as ChaseDreams’ parent, was tapped to host her own daytime talk show. As it turns out, Pat is excellent at the job. She’s a natural at the upbeat position, with a devoted fan base and a never ending stockpile of motivating slogans. Brooke is equally great at being Pat’s manager, a job she takes on unwillingly only after she can’t get Alessia Cara to return her DMs. Brooke is efficient and a whiz at marketing, organization and multi-tasking, all of which she does with a palpable rage.

When Chase decides college isn’t for him and wants to return to singing, Brooke gets to be a music manager again, except that Chase is a terrible singer. But, he’s so famous that he doesn’t actually need to sing, “like Rihanna.” Chase gets involved in a number of ridiculous career moves, like building up to a video drop—a 15-second one that reveals he’s dyed his hair blond. Amping up the silliness of the music business is Wanda Sykes as Chase’s label executive, Shuli, who can barely contain her laughter at her own character.

There is a lot of poking fun at celebrity culture and its truly absurd activities and attitudes, as well as pop culture staples on The Other Two, with Cary and Brooke as its foils. Cameos from real-life celebrities and recognized media brands bring an air of authenticity, as it were, to the exceptionally outlandish situations, in an Entourage-like kind of way.

Brooke is the real focal point of the second season and she’s more than up for the task. Cary’s gay-centric storylines are not as funny or as engaging as her frantic manager life. She even brings the humor to his gay scenarios, instantly knowing the best gay bar no matter what intersection you’re on in the city and exactly the kind of image to post on Grindr and how to use it to crowd-source opinions on life decisions. To quote Schneider and Kelly when they were on KCRW’s Press Play, Brooke is “strong but wrong.”

You need to keep your wits about you to pick up on all the witticisms of The Other Two, and it’s worth a re-watch to pick up on all the little quips that are littered throughout the series. They’re even better the second time around.(

Author rating: 7/10

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