From an outsider’s perspective, the entertainment can look like a magical and wild land. People see entertainers’ lives as being full of glitz and glamor. However, there is a lot of work that needs to be done in order to create that facade. It is hard to make it to the top, and it can also be hard to stay there. Not to mention, the lives of famous people involve oddities that people in the real world could never even imagine. “The Other Two” captures this phenomenon in a biting and witty way. The series ran for three seasons, and finished up on June 29 on Max. It revolves around two siblings who have to deal with their younger brother’s, and later their mother’s, overnight fame. The quick fame causes the two of them to take a good hard look at their own lives. The show pokes fun at some of the more unusual aspects of the entertainment industry while also telling some heartfelt stories. “The Other Two” makes audiences wonder if this is what it is like to be famous, and if so, is it all worth it?
Cary (Drew Tarver) and Brooke (Helene Yorke) are two siblings trying to be successful in New York City. Cary is a struggling actor looking for his big break, while Brooke is a former dancer trying to find her passion. Their lives are flipped upside down when their young brother Chase (Case Walker) goes viral for his heartthrob music videos online, thanks to his manager Streeter (Ken Marino). Now going by the name ChaseDreams, he has become an idol in the eyes of teenage girls. Cary and Brooke are jealous of Chase’s easy success, so they are going to try to use that success to their advantage. This begins their selfish obsessions of the industry as they dedicate blood, sweat and tears to make it to the top. In addition, their mother Pat (Molly Shannon) soon finds success of her own in television, which makes the two siblings sink even lower while trying to rise up in the industry.
A big part of what makes this series so funny is the talents of the actors. The two leads of the series absolutely shine, and their parts are not easy. These are characters that are vain and obnoxious, yet you still find yourself rooting for them. Cary’s journey throughout the show turns into a slow descent into madness. Once he gets bitten with the Hollywood bug, he is obsessed with being the center of attention. Tarver’s portrayal of this building chaos is excellent and he is excellent at blending his character’s comedy and earnestness. On the other hand, Brooke is going through a path of self-discovery, while also trying to be privy to all of the hot information in the industry. She hides her insecurities underneath sassy one-liners and a chase for attention. Yorke’s performance is able to make Brooke one of the most hysterical characters while also demonstrating that she has many layers. I also really enjoyed Shannon’s performance as Pat. It was hilarious to watch a character with a stereotypical midwestern mom demeanor and interests who also becomes a famous and beloved television star. Those worlds seem so different but Shannon makes it work. Out of all of the cast, she has the most years of comedy experience, so it is no surprise that she killed her role. I also have to give a nod to Marino’s performance as Streeter. His character is probably the goofiest and is the only one who seems in it for the friendship. Marino gives off an earnest energy that is not seen in many of the characters, which is what makes his character a scene stealer. Every character in this series has great moments of comedy, and that makes this show work.
The writing of this series has a great variety in its comedy. While some jokes are obvious in dialogue, others come from the hilarity of situations. There are also blink-and-you-miss-it moments that demonstrate the intelligence of “The Other Two.” This humor helps peel back the layers of the entertainment industry. Whether it is commentary on the bubble that people in the industry live in or constantly calling different characters in animated movies “the first gay character in a Disney movie,” this series hits the nail on the head. This is not a series with subtle humor. A lot of the comedy in this series is very in your face and obvious. While this can sometimes make the jokes a little exaggerated and cringy, the humor more often than not pays off. Lately, satire has been a popular comedic tool in television, so it can be hard to stand out with that comedy these days. However, “The Other Two” is so on the nose with its situations and characters that it brings a whole new level to television satire. There are heart to heart moments every now and then, as non-stop comedy can get exhausting. However, this is the show to watch for a guaranteed great laugh.
As is the case for many television series, the quality and strength of the season vary. While the three seasons of this series tie together, the zaniness is constantly increasing. In the first season, everyone feels normal as they get a small taste into what it is like to work in entertainment. In season 2, that kicks up a notch as everyone gets more used to the lifestyle. By season 3, everyone has been sucked into the vapid and wild world of working in entertainment, leaving the characters immoral and over the top. That is why I believe season 2 is the best season. It has a lot of the show’s necessary wild energy, but there is not too much insanity taking place. A good balance is necessary for a successful season. Not to mention that the social effects COVID-19 plays a decent part of the third season, and I prefer for this series to be a distraction from reality. That being said, each season has their merits that make them special. They all have fun celebrity guest stars, like Andy Cohen, Alessia Cara, Ben Platt, Dylan O’Brien and more. They all have great writing, some slapstick comedy elements and an overall wacky energy.
It is a shame to see this series go, but it can be a good thing for a show to get out on a high note. Some comedies drag on too long to a point where you forgot why you started watching in the first place. While I could have definitely seen another season of two working for this series, and there are a few questions that I want answers to, the ending is pretty satisfactory. I am perfectly happy to recommend this series knowing how it ends. The last season was also where this series finally received Emmy recognition with a nomination for Best Writing for a Comedy Series. It is better late than never, and I am glad there is recognition at all. This is a series that people should recognize. With 30 episodes that are each around half an hour long, this is not that hard of a series to get through, especially considering there is nothing emotionally draining to bog you down. If you like laugh-out-loud humor or if you want a parody on celebrity culture, watch “The Other Two” today.