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« Sundance: Joanna Hogg's 'The Souvenir' | Main | 23 days til Oscar! »
Friday
Feb012019

"The Other Two" is Essential 2019 Television 

By Spencer Coile 

The cancellation of Difficult People left a gaping hole in our hearts. The Hulu original series about two failed comedians, actors, etc. (Billy Eichner & Julie Klausner) brought out our most cynical selves, our razor sharp wit, and scratched that itch many contemporary comedies were not reaching for. Indeed, it’s been tough coping with this loss.  

However, Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider (both writers from Saturday Night Live) have sensed our grief. The premiere of their Comedy Central series The Other Two, might somehow fill that Difficult pop culture voidAfter their teenage brother becomes an overnight celebrity when his YouTube video goes viral, siblings Cary (Drew Tarver) and Brooke (Heléne Yorke) – a struggling actor and dancer respectively – must define what success means to them. 

If that sounds trite, fear not. Because here are five reasons why The Other Two is essential 2019 television...   

1. The Dynamic Between Its Leads

Neither Drew Tarver nor Heléne Yorke are necessarily household names. While somewhat bubbling beneath the surface in other projects – in particular, Yorke in The Good Fight – The Other Two is their coming out party as comedic masters. 

In the pilot episode, Cary is auditioning for a bit role in a commercial as “man who smells a fart,” and Brooke is sleeping with a man who she believes is a pilot, but is disillusioned to discover that he is just a flight attendant. There is, of course, hilarity embedded in their stories as sad-sacks who cannot seem to get their lives together. Yet while neither character is especially likeable, they both bring venomous charm, give side-eye, and engage in dialogue where they refer to Survivor as “violently straight.” These are two star-making turns that we are lucky to witness.  

2. The Pop Culture Zingers 

Just like TV of yesteryear, The Other Two capitalizes on its characters (and our) reliance on pop culture factoids. With references made to Brokeback Mountain, Debra Messing, and Cary googling how old Lisa Vanderpump is in its first episode alone, it’d almost be easy to get lost in the zeitgeist. If you’re in the know, though, the jokes pay off in spades. 

3. Pining After Your Straight Roommate 

While yes, I am referring to Cary’s totally straight roommate who just happens to make out with him on occasion, “pining after your straight roommate” is used as an umbrella term that speaks to how relatable The Other Two is. Who among us have lusted after someone we know is straight? Who among us have envied those much younger than us that have found more success? Kelly and Schneider have captured a moment in some of our lives that is both crushing and so deeply profound, there is nothing left to do but laugh. 

4. Molly Shannon 

After giving one of 2016's best performances as a version of his own mother in Kelly’s directorial feature debut Other People, it’s no wonder why he would want Molly Shannon for his latest. Playing Cary and Brooke’s mom Pat, Shannon draws a very delicate line between caricature and loving mother. Despite their failures, she loves all her children unconditionally. Beneath the show’s cynical exterior, Pat serves as the beating heart that provides a much-needed warmth. 

5. “Marry U at Recess”

 

Chase Dreams, the teenage boy responsible for the Justin Bieber-esque “Marry U at Recess” serves as the catalyst for The Other Two’s first seasonBut where many series would take the easy way out and turn this character into a vapid, spoiled brat whom Cary and Brooke would resent, he is instead portrayed as earnest and kind, if a little naïve. Despite their shortcomings, Chase looks up to his older brother and sister, and in turn, they protect and support him. Plus, his song is catchy as hell. 

While initially feeling like a sister series to Difficult People, The Other Two is its own comedy. Calling it a series we “need right now” is certainly a cliché at this point, but as I indulged in the pilot episode for a second time, I found myself laughing even louder than the first time through. And for that reason alone, add The Other Two to your must-watch list. 

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Reader Comments (2)

Ooh, interesting. Good write-up. I may have to check this out.

February 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

So far it's not been really that good. Have you seen the whole season already? I watched Russian Doll and it's tremendous. I want to believe in your reviews, guys. Don't dissapoint me, LOL.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

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