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Series / The Other Two

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The Other Two is a single-camera sitcom created by former Saturday Night Live head writers Chris Kelley & Sarah Schneider and produced by Lorne Michaels. It originally aired on Comedy Central before moving to HBO Max starting with season two.

It follows struggling twenty/thirty-something siblings Cary (Drew Tarver), a struggling actor, and Brooke (Heléne York), a former dancer, after their 13-year-old brother Chase (Case Walker) becomes a viral teen idol known as ChaseDreams. Although supportive, they find themselves struggling to reconcile Chase's sudden fame amid their own problems: Cary grappling with how to succeed in the entertainment industry without compromising his homosexuality, and Brooke trying to figure out what her next move should be after quitting her latest dead-end job and breaking off a longterm relationship. Complicating matters further is the unexpected arrival of Chase in Manhattan with their mother Pat (Molly Shannon) and his new agent Streeter (Ken Marino) to manage his burgeoning career. Also appearing in the series are Josh Segarra as Lance, Brooke's ex-boyfriend, and Wanda Sykes as Shuli, an executive at Chase's record label.


The show explores the anxieties and ambitions of aging millennials while spoofing the culture around internet celebrity, especially Youtubers and influencers. It also features plentiful celebrity cameos such as Patrick Wilson, Andy Cohen, and Michael Che as themselves.

Associated Tropes

  • Accidental Public Confession: In an emotional frenzy, Pat admits her husband didn't die of cancer and was an alcoholic who froze to death during Chase's album launch livestream and in front of a plane full of his young fans.
  • Age-Gap Romance: In "Pat Connects with Her Fans," Pat gives money to a young gay man who supposedly just came out to his father. In reality, they're not a gay guy and his father, but a gay guy and his much-older daddy, so to speak.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: In "Chase Goes to a High School Dance," Streeter sneaks Chase into the school through the ventilation system. Apparently all the stars are doing it.
  • All Gays are Promiscuous:
    • Subverted. Cary hastily fools around with his roommate out of sheer horniness, but soon stops because he's uncomfortable being used for sexual experimentation. Also, Cary presumes the Instagays are promiscuous and fooling around with each other, when in fact they are religious virgins and one of them is straight. They just like hanging out in speedos and taking pictures of each other's bodies.
    • In "Pat Connects with Her Fans," Jess and Cary encounter a kinky gay couple (plus a third from Grindr) believing them to be a newly-out gay guy and his father (and the guy's brother). The kinkier gays are weirded out that Jess and Cary are so chaste.
  • Ambiguously Bi:
    • Cary's roommate Matt is supposedly straight, but has casual sex with Cary. The fact it isn't clear if Matt is actually into guys or just playing around is why Cary stops fooling around with him.
    • Brooke's ex-boyfriend Lance is still into women, but doesn't hesitate to agree with Brooke that Shawn Mendes is sexually attractive.
  • Amicable Exes: Brooke and Lance stay supportive friends after their breakup.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Chase is the only child in his family, very innocent and naive, and the dynamic remains even as he eclipses his siblings in fame and wealth.
  • Big Applesauce: The show is shot in NYC, and Pat and Chase are excited to move there. Brooke and Cary have struggled to survive and don't see it as quite so glamourous, but they still enjoy being there.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Both Brooke and Cary are very protective of Chase, especially when he's put into grown-up situations he's not mature enough to handle. Furthermore they are not thrilled to find out Chase is going to school online, being denied important childhood experiences. This comes to a boiling point when they find out he pretty much finished school and Brooke fights for him to have the night off so he can enjoy a school dance with kids his own age.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: During "Chase Gets Baptized," Cary hooks up with a guy on Grindr, getting particularly flustered over how well-endowed he is. Even better for him, that same hookup commends Cary on the size of his penis (since it looks bigger than the one Cary used in his profile picture — Lance's penis, that is).
  • Bottle Episode: The first season Episode on a Plane is a bottle episode, with all scenes taking place on the plane. The teen extras playing Chase's fans were identical twins, with one set of twins shooting the first two days of filming and the second set filming the second two days of filming.
  • But Not Too Gay: Invoked in-universe when Cary books a commercial. He's given the note to act with "less color" by the casting director (ergo, less "gay"), despite the fact that Cary himself is not actually very flamboyant to begin with.
  • Catfishing: A genitalia variant. Brooke suggests that Cary use a photo of Lance's penis as his profile picture on Grindr to get more attention from guys. At the end of the episode, Cary's hookup calls him out on using a different dick for his profile picture... because it looks so much bigger in person!
  • Chekhov's Gag: Two in "Chase Becomes Co-Owner of the Nets":
    • Curtis tells Cary, who's studying for a role in a hospital movie, that his dream role is to be a sobbing woman who busts her way into her husband's hospital room. Later in the episode, Chase is in the hospital after a fainting spell and needs to get a ride home, so he calls Curtis, who finally gets to do the part.
    • Early in the episode, Pat wants to post on Instagram about Cary's new role in Night Nurse, but she doesn't know how to use it. This comes back at the very end of the episode, when she makes the post with her assistant's help, not realizing that the movie's been cancelled, making everyone believe the movie's still on.
  • Corrupt Church: The Christsong Churchnote  is an exclusive church that provides a plethora of opportunities and riches for celebrities, but holds homophobic and sexist beliefs. It's later also revealed that the leader of the church's father was involved in a pedophilia scandal that the leader used church money to cover up.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The Season 2 finale follows Pat and Chase instead of Brooke and Cary for a change, shining a light on how exhausting it is for them to be famous and still never have their needs met. The Idiosyncratic Episode Naming is even altered to match — while most episodes have Pat or Chase's name in the title despite actually focusing on Brooke and Cary, this episode is titled "Brooke and Cary Go to a Fashion Show," and Pat and Chase are now the titular "other two."
  • Did Not Die That Way: Chase believes his father died of cancer. He later finds out that his dad was an alcoholic who froze to death on the roof of the family home.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Discussed in "Chase Gets a Girlfriend." Brooke jokingly recounts kissing Lance while he was asleep, and is surprised to learn it's sexual assault because she's a woman and a self-proclaimed feminist. She feels ashamed and apologizes to him, but he doesn't see anything wrong with it.
  • Dreadful Musician: Played with. For the most part, Chase is a decent singer in his videos. But in the season finale, when he sings live, it turns out he's actually pretty bad and only covered by studio tricks and distractions like dancing and costumes.
  • Earpiece Conversation: During the opening scene of "Chase Becomes Co-Owner of the Nets," Pat does a "73 Questions" video with Vogue, and Brooke tells her all the answers to repeat to help her career.
  • Episode on a Plane: Chase's album launch takes place on a plane full of fans and livestreaming, and the whole episode takes place on the trip.
  • Everybody Has Standards: Shuli, in "Pat Gets an Offer to Host “Tic Tac Toe”". Dean Brennan, a famous actor who likes to play coy about his sexuality to the press, has asked Cary out and is using their relationship to drum up publicity for both of them. Shuli's usually laser-focused on publicity, to the exclusion of ethical or emotional considerations, but sees that Cary's going to get his heart broken and tells Cary that Dean's straight to protect Cary.
  • Failed a Spot Check: When she's accused of breaking a non-disclosure agreement about sleeping with an actor, Brooke is convinced one of her friends blabbed. She wonders how it could happen, each time remembering being in a car talking about it with the driver. She moans "oh, it's so obvious..." And then is on the phone telling her friends "your apartment is bugged!" She adds how once again, she fucked the guy in front of another driver. When told she broke it again, she goes for the idea that one of them is bugged. Even when her friends walk out on her, Brooke still can't grasp that the drivers were tipping folks off as "I was alone every time I called!" It finally sinks in at a meeting.
    Agent: These are videos from three separate Lyft drivers.
    Brooke: Who, of course, are little human beings up there.
    Agent: Yes and if I had to guess, that's the energy that made them send us the tapes.
  • Female Misogynist: In "Chase Gets Baptized," Brooke actively tries to seek out women who will give her permission to enjoy the perks of an anti-women church. She rules out two women with feminist T-shirts and approaches a woman from Texas, assuming she won't be a feminist. However, the woman is from the liberal city of Austin and very interested in social causes.
  • Flash Mob: Cary has an acting job in which he is part of a flash mob that entertains tourists.
  • Gayngst:
    • Played with regarding Cary. He isn't outwardly ashamed of his sexuality and everybody in his social circle knows he is gay, but he often surprises himself when he reveals some internalized homophobia to himself and others. Example: when an acquaintance says he didn't know he was gay after asking him out, Cary's response is "thank you", which instantly ruins the moment.
    • Cary also feels enough shame about being gay that he never told his grandmother about it and doesn't intend to, while his late father struggled with the knowledge and never really got over it by the time he died.
    • Parodied by Cary's acting coach when giving a class, advising him to look more "ashamed" when simulating gay sex.
  • How We Got Here: The season one finale opens with Brooke and Cary discussing Chase's VMA performance and how their lives are now ruined because of it, before flashing back to the events that led to the scene.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode title of the first season alludes to something Chase does in that episode. This extends to Pat in season two when she also becomes famous. The second season finale, "Brooke and Cary Go to a Fashion Show," inverts this format as it's A Day in the Limelight for Pat and Chase.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Cary's roommate Matt identifies as straight, but frequently makes sexual advances on him when in the confines of their apartment, which Cary reluctantly accepts because of his attraction to him.
  • Incestuous Casting: Happens In-Universe. Brooke steps in to dance in her brother's video, only to be horrified that she has to grind in front of him in a skimpy outfit. She doesn't, and she also keeps reminding the other dancers that her brother is only 13-years-old.
  • Instant Web Hit: Chase's first video creates his celebrity, and he later has other viral smashes.
  • It's All About Me: Brooke and Cary make Chase's success all about them, and often they are not wrong. It does change their lives dramatically.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Subverted in "Chase Gets the Gays." Chase gets fan mail from a little girl named Rachel Kline who's in the hospital and feeling sad, but when Brooke can't find any patient by that name at the hospital, she assumes it's a pervert pretending to be a little girl. Brooke storms over to Rachel's house and walks in on a funeral. Brooke assumes the worst happened to Rachel... until she sees that the deceased is an old lady. Turns out, Rachel did really write the letter, but she's perfectly healthy — she was in the hospital visiting her grandmother and that made her sad.
  • Loony Fan: In "Chase Goes to a High School Dance," Cary gets one in Elijah, a high schooler with a Precocious Crush on Cary who presses their head against Cary's chest, insists he never leave them, and gets very upset and stalks Cary when he goes off with the drama teacher Jeremy. They also add Cary's name to a list of other men who have presumably abandoned them as well.
  • "Meet the Celebrity" Contest: In "Brooke and Cary Go to a Fashion Show," a woman wins a contest to spend the day with Pat. Unfortunately, Pat is so overwhelmed and exhausted that she doesn't spend much time talking to her. The woman also gets to participate in Pat's fashion show, wearing an uncomfortably revealing plastic outfit.
  • Mentor in Queerness: Parodied in "Pat Connects with Her Fans". After a father and son appear on Pat's show to talk about the latter coming out of the closet, Cary and Jess take it upon themselves to help the son come to terms with the his sexuality and show them how to "be" gay through doing stereotypical "gay" things. The "father" and "son", however, are actually a married couple with children (who are very secure and sexually liberated) pulling a scheme to fleece money out of Pat, who regularly brings on guests with similar claims — and they're not the only ones who've done it, either. The ruse culminates with the "father" kissing Cary at a club, which leaves him very confused.
  • Never Trust a Title: The episode titles usually focus on what Chase or Pat are doing, while the actual plot is about what Brooke and Cary are up to. For example, "Chase Becomes Co-Owner of the Nets" only mentions Chase being the part-time owner of the Nets during the Cold Open, and the rest of the episode has nothing to do with Chase nor the Nets, instead focusing on Brooke attending a women's rights panel and Cary shadowing a nurse to prep for a new movie role.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Chase is obviously based on the likes of Justin Bieber and Jacob Sartorius, in terms of a young boy shooting to instant viral fame by posting videos on the internet of them singing.
    • Streeter is based on Scooter Braun, who famously discovered Justin Bieber and became something of a celebrity unto himself because of it.
    • The hip pastor of the exclusive Christsong Church, Jax Dag, bears a strong resemblance to the former pastor of the exclusive real-life Hillsong Church, Carl Lentz. Lentz baptized Justin Bieber into Hillsong, so here, Dag baptizes Chase into Christsong. The episode takes jabs at the scandals surrounding Hillsong.
  • Parents as People: The recently widowed Pat genuinely enjoys the perks of Chase's fame, writing a children's book, appearing on talk shows and even taking molly at a party.
  • Practically Different Generations: While Brooke is only two years older than Cary, Chase is well over a decade younger than both of them. As such, they generally act closer to a second set of parents toward him than they do siblings.
  • The Reveal: "Chase Drops His First Album" reveals how Cary, Brooke, and Chase's dad really died — he froze to death on their roof because Pat wouldn't let him drink in front of Chase.
  • Shout-Out: The ending of “Chase Turns Fourteen” has Cary doing the end of Call Me by Your Name, with Brooke acknowledging it and name dropping it.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Brooke and Cary love Chase, but his fame makes them feel inferior.
  • Stepford Smiler: Pat always puts on a smile and tries not to complain or inconvenience others, but as she becomes more and more famous in Season 2, she starts to crumble under the stress. The climax of the Season 2 finale shows her finally fainting onstage due to exhaustion and dehydration because she took on too many gigs and can never get a moment to herself.
  • Successful Sibling Syndrome: The show's premise is about Brooke and Cary, both struggling in their thirties, getting stuck in the shadow of their 13-year-old brother after he becomes a famous singer. In a twist on this trope, there is no animosity between the three at all, as Chase is shown to be a good kid that both Brooke and Cary treat with a level of affection that borders on being parental.
  • Take That!: "Pat Gets an Offer to Host 'Tic Tac Toe'" takes a dig at Disney Live-Action Remakes, describing an in-universe live-action ''Bambi as, "It's gonna be exactly the same as the original, only cost more and look worse."
    • They add that "they don't let actors do voice-acting anymore, it's all singers or athletes."
  • Undignified Death: The Dubeks' dad. He stubbornly refused to quit drinking and froze on the top of their roof. His penis also apparently froze to the roof since he was on his stomach, and he peed himself too.
  • Waiting for a Break: Cary waits tables while taking any job he can get, and he has mixed feelings about being recognized as Chase's brother.
  • Wham Line: The mid-credits scene of the Season 2 finale reveals Cary's movie, his big break he's waited his life for, is about to start filming on...March 13th, 2020...
  • Wham Shot: In the Season 1 Season Finale, there is a final shot of Pat's image on a Times Square jumbotron, announcing her new afternoon talk show.