Metro Weekly

HBO Max’s giddy, relatable “The Other Two” is essential viewing

The Other Two's delightful second season on HBO Max has gays (and everyone else) buzzing from coast-to-coast.

the other two, hbo max
Tarver and Yorke in The Other Two – Photo: HBOMax

Those who have been watching The Other Two (★★★★★) since the series made its unassuming debut on Comedy Central in January of 2019 are already aware of its giddy, relatable charms.

The brazenly funny, frequently poignant narrative of Season 1 followed two unsuccessful, intensely self-involved millennials — Cary (the adorably self-effacing Drew Tarver) and Brooke (Heléne Yorke) — as they watch with disbelief (and envy) as their 13-year-old brother Chase (Case Walker) becomes an overnight YouTube singing sensation.

For its second season, the series — which also stars Molly Shannon as Pat Dubek, their ridiculously chipper, eternally supportive mother, Ken Marino as Chase’s uber-needy manager, and Wanda Sykes as a sharp-tongued record exec — migrated to HBOMax, where it’s been unleashing two episodes a week since August.

The second season moves Chase to the back burner in favor of Pat, who has stumbled into mega-celebrity of her own hosting an insanely popular talk show.

But the show’s primary focus has remained on struggling actor Cary, as he becomes more comfortable with being an out gay man (to the point where he launches into riotous soliloquies about needing to see more penises), and his sister, who has found success (and tremendous stress) in managing both Chase and Pat.

The show has just released its final two episodes of the season. The penultimate one will have gays buzzing coast-to-coast about shared “hole pics,” while the finale takes an abrupt but not unexpected turn that appears to set up a very different dynamic should a third season come about (HBOMax has not yet confirmed renewal).

When asked, the show’s co-creator Chris Kelly reveals he hasn’t a clue what would come next for the Dubeks.

“Oh, God, I don’t know,” he says. “We don’t have it all figured out. But I think the nice thing about this show is there are an endless amount of stories you can tell. We have a thousand different ideas of where the show could go, but not like necessarily one clear ‘This is what we’re going to be doing in season three.’”

A former staff writer for SNL, Kelly says the circumstances surrounding Cary frequently reflect his own experiences as a younger gay man.

“It’s not like every single thing that happens to him has happened to me,” he says. “But I had conservative parents and it was tricky coming out. I am not self-hating, but you kind of learn, years and years after you come out, that you still haven’t shed all the shit, you know?

“So that’s kind of the stuff we tried to really, really write towards, because we felt like we hadn’t seen an imperfect gay character on TV with inner demons or concerns or problems.”

He quickly adds with a laugh, “But he’s based on me a couple years ago — because now I am perfect! Now I am perfect. Couple years ago? Maybe not. But now I am!”

All episodes of Season 1 and 2 of The Other Two are on HBOMax. Visit www.HBOMax.com.

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