The first season of The Other Two ended on Comedy Central with the comedy's perpetually cast-aside siblings Brooke (Heléne Yorke) and Cary (Drew Tarver) accepting that their brush with fame was officially over. Their teen pop star brother, Chase (Case Walker), had announced he was leaving music to enroll in college, squashing Brooke's dream of becoming a music manager and Cary's dream of starring alongside Chase in a Freaky Friday remake.
But at the start of Season 2, which premiered Thursday on HBO Max, another member of their family is on the rise: Their mom, Pat (Molly Shannon), now has her own eponymous daytime talk show. With Chase a 14-year-old freshman at NYU (spoiler: he doesn't last long) and Pat's notoriety among older ladies from New Jersey rapidly growing, the eldest Dubek kids are still flailing onward. Cary has a steady stream of random, soulless hosting gigs — for one, he leads The Gay Minute, a web show where he catches viewers up on, among other things, the latest Laura Dern news — while Brooke is reluctantly managing Pat, a job she sees as beneath her. Neither is all that happy, but they're playing the game.
Even after two years away, Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider's comedy remains the same absurd, hilarious show business satire we loved in Season 1. But now, The Other Two is allowing its main pair to mature, as both Brooke and Cary try to figure out what exactly they want out of life. Yorke and Tarver spoke to TV Guide about returning to their characters, the confidence of Instagram girlbosses, and what they think the Dubeks might have gotten up to during quarantine.
Watching the first couple of episodes of Season 2, it really felt like no time had passed, even though you obviously had a longer hiatus than anyone could've expected. How was it stepping back into these characters after such a long time away?
Heléne Yorke: What happened to us is weirder than the question you just asked. We were in the characters February 2020, we'd started Season 2, and then on March 2, they were like, "There's this thing going on, maybe we should go home for a couple of weeks," and that turned into a year. So if you watch the episodes, there'll be a scene of us, and the next scene is us, but a year later.
Drew Tarver: You can't tell in the edit, but we as actors were like, "Oh, the shift we have seen from that scene to that scene. And also, I think I'm a little bit puffier in that second scene?" There were definitely scenes post-pandemic where Case is a full adult man, and they said, "Hey, Case, can you slump over a little bit? And Drew, sit up!"
When the season starts, Brooke is an ex-manager looking for a new client and trying not to work for her mom, while Cary is working steadily and entering a relationship with his first boyfriend. It feels like a real shift from where they both were at the end of Season 1. Did anything surprise the two of you about where your characters were this season?
Tarver: In the first season, their whole lives change because their little brother becomes a huge star, and Brooke is trying to convince Cary, "Hey, let something good in. Enjoy your little brother's fame, ride this wave, try to use it to your benefit." In the second season, he's trying to live by that advice, and he's doing some jobs that he thinks are maybe not as cool as the ones he wants, but if he interviews the right celebrity and interviews them about their feet, he might be in an Oscar-winning movie the next year. He has a boyfriend this season, and he spent a lot of the first season hooking up with his straight roommate, self-loathing, and trying to figure himself out. Now he's like, "OK, now I'm fixed, right? Everything's going to be OK, right?" He's sort of trying to figure out how to stay up on that bicycle that is his first relationship.
Yorke: I love that [Brooke is] a former manager. She was a manager for, like, five seconds. What I thought was fun about her journey this year is that she ends up being Pat's manager, so she goes on this ride of doing what she thinks is lame daytime and starts to kill it. She ends up in situations that she would never otherwise be in, totally nailing it and coming into pitfalls of what that is, like getting more notoriety than she's ready for and not finding balance in her life and wishing she had a relationship. She got dumped, basically. She's got a crisis of confidence and trying to find where that confidence is and how she can continue to milk the moment. What I love about her is, I think [writer] Matt Rogers said this once, that she's "strong and wrong." She's defiantly like, "I'm going to do this anyway! It went badly!"
Speaking of, I'm really invested in Brooke and Lance's (Josh Segarra) relationship. I love how sweet he still is to her even when she tells him he can't dab at the family gatherings anymore. Do you think those two have the potential to make it?
Yorke: I hope so. I think that's also the thing, right? In the first season, she was like, "I'm better than this guy," and she quickly realizes that she's not f---ing better than anybody. Lance really reminds her of who she is when he shows up. I think that's both very annoying to her and very comforting, the fact that he toes that line for her. You root for them.
Tarver: If you can dab and still be lovable at the same time, that is a real testament to Josh Segarra.
Drew, I thought it felt really true to life that Cary has this soul-crushing Gay Minute job while, as he finds out from his agent, Dave Franco is playing Matthew Shepard in a biopic. How did you approach the up-and-down journey he's having with his career this season?
Tarver: Cary keeps moving the goalpost for himself. He keeps getting a certain amount of success and then it's not enough for him, or it's not quite right. He's just sort of chasing this idea of what he thinks his career should be rather than enjoying the moment he's in. I think that is his struggle, trying to figure out how to be in the moment.
How many of those Laura Dern news items did you rattle off?
Tarver: I think those three were the ones that were written. I mean, Chris and Sarah are so funny, it's so funny how it keeps going back to Laura Dern. With them, it's like, the writing is so good, you just nail it.
Heléne, did you base Brooke's whole girlboss vibe off anyone or anything? There are so many moments this season where you really hit that perfect point of dismissive self-assuredness.
Yorke: I have followed my fair share of girlbosses on Instagram. The confidence is shocking. Like, how could you be this confident? I don't know what to do about anything and I call five different people to make decisions. What makes me laugh about Brooke this season is that she's got this epic confidence, but she's actually like, "I can't quite figure out how to get from Point A to Point B, but I'm just going to start walking," and she starts. I've always thought it was so funny, these people that are kind of — this is mean — people that you look at like, "You don't know what you're doing," but they're like, "I do. I know what I'm doing." And you're like, "Damn, I wish I had that blind confidence in my ability." I kind of modeled it after that idea. I think that performed confidence is very pervasive in our society today.
Tarver: Tell them we are very good singers and that our characters should sing. I can't really sing, I can do comedy songs, but Heléne is a real singer. I don't know if Cary can sing. Yeah, I don't think they have the confidence of people who can sing.
I know that The Other Two exists in a utopia where there is no president, there is no COVID, but if you had to guess, how would Brooke and Cary have handled quarantine?
Yorke: I like to think that because of the success of their mom, they would've been in some dope house somewhere. Pat would've been Zooming her whole talk show, and Brooke would be like, "Why is this more stressful?"
Tarver: We'd be screaming at each other in the back of one of our successful family member's Zoom. We would be bringing them coffee, bringing them things. We'd be doing hair and makeup, setting up the lighting and stuff.
Yorke: I'd come out naked from the shower like, "What?"
New episodes of The Other Two premiere Thursdays on HBO Max.