âAll we know for sure is that we are not having a pandemic season,â said Sarah Schneider. âWe’re going to jump over this. “
At first glance, âThe Other Twoâ is a half-hour comedy about two ambitious millennials plunged into dueling identity crises after their younger brother rose to stardom overnight as a pop star. Narcissistic, fame-hungry and emotionally stunted, Cary (Drew Tarver) and Brooke (HelÃ©ne York) often throw themselves into humiliating situations, like being baptized in the pool at Soho House by a guy with tattoos from angel wing on the chest. But hiding under the jokes and screams of Laura Dern is a sweet comedy about family, the limits of success, and adjusting the expectations for your life.
Like the popular contemporaries of the series “Ted Lasso” and “Hacks”, “The Other Two” allows us to laugh at ourselves sorry for ourselves through the shared experience of being alive in today’s uncertain world. High profile movie credentials and details of Grindr culture may be lost on some viewers, but anyone can relate to a little impostor syndrome. Creators Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider met while writing for âSaturday Night Live,â so comedy writing comes naturally. The secret to keeping “The Other Two” sincere, they say, is to stay grounded in relationships.
âThe heart of the show is this family and their relationships and dynamics with each other,â Schneider said in a recent telephone interview. “[Cary and Brooke] do these real humans travel the world, then it shouldn’t be this insider show. It’s just the backdrop against which we tell these steeped family stories.
This season, aspiring actor Cary is starting to book work as a camera host, while Brooke’s taste for success as a talent manager isn’t all it’s supposed to be. Although they still see themselves as failures, tension builds when people around them no longer buy this story.
âWe have dramatic goals, desires and desires that we believe are worth exploring for each character. And then there’s a catch-all elsewhere as well, another list of things that we think are funny in pop culture, âKelly said. “How does it feel to have always considered yourself a loser?” [and] What happens when other people start telling you it’s no longer true? And then we’ll be like, “What’s a stupid way to show this?” “”
Greg Endries / HBO Max
They both hesitate when asked about the similarities between them and the two main characters. But it’s hard not to see siblings as avatars for writers, even though they are grossly over the top: a straight woman and a gay man, both in the entertainment industry, watching each other but supporting each other. always. Despite some specific similarities, the archetypes are there.
âWe draw from our personal lives, like Cary in a struggle with his sexuality or what it would mean to get a little bit of success and it’s not exactly what you thought it would be,â Kelly said. âOr to feel a little lonely, even if theoretically things are going well. “
There is one character, however, they will admit that they shoot from real life. Brandon Scott Jones, who plays Carey’s best friend Curtis and is always ready with a quick starter or a dramatic fur coat. A longtime New York improviser, he is also the writer of the series.
âHe’s our friend Brandon,â Kelly said before returning. ” I do not think so [Brandon] is Curtis necessarily, but he offers a lot of his lines. He’s so much a part of the show in general that we want him as much as possible on the show. “
Having writers from a wide variety of backgrounds is important for both of them, not only for mixing the gene pool, but for keeping the humor specific to the characters they write.
âWe try to be extremely precise. We’re trying to dig deeper into the experiences we’re exploring, and we’re not going to get that from a writer who hasn’t actually had them. So I think it’s crucial to have representation in the writer’s room, âsaid Schneider. âObviously they’re funny, but they also have real-life experiences that could kind of overlap with the character so they can talk about these characters better. We try to make sure that our writers’ room has a lot of women and a lot of queer people. “
They take the same approach to casting. Fans of New York comedy will recognize gay actors and stand-ups in small parties throughout Season 2, such as Noah Galvin, Ryan Leach, and Joe Castle Baker. (Not to mention a few fun cameos, like Debi Mazar, Zosia Mamet, and even an unexpected appearance from âBeverly Hills, 90210 â³ star Steve Ziering.)
âIt’s the same with the cast. If you’re going to tell a weird story, make sure there are people who know what they’re talking about and that the jokes are coming from inside the room, basically, âSchneider said.
Since the show’s switch from Comedy Central, where it originally aired its first season in 2019, to HBO Max, the series has gained attention as it has become more accessible. Last week, ahead of the season finale, HBO Max announced it was ordering a third season. While they didn’t have a minute to think about it, they did offer a few glimpses of what Season 3 might contain.
âThe season ended with the family voicing all their grievances with each other. So there are no more shyness issues that they have. [â¦] Everything is there. So that can allow us to go in several ways with their dynamics and what awaits them, âsaid Schneider. âWe talked about taking a little time leap into the future, just to enter a new period in their life. All we know for sure is that we are not having a pandemic season. It’s not interesting. We will jump to that right away.
“The Other Two” is available to stream on HBO Max.