Interview with Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, showrunner for season 2 of HBO Max’s “The Other Two”


Drew Tarver and Hélène Yorke | Greg Endries / HBO Max

Drew Tarver and Hélène Yorke | Greg Endries / HBO Max

HBO Max Season 2 The two others ends in a place most other shows wouldn’t dare go: talk at length about a character’s asshole. The comedy about the Dubek family’s adult siblings, Cary (Drew Tarver) and Brooke (Heléne York), whose younger brother, Chase (Case Walker), is a teenage pop sensation and mother, Pat (Molly Shannon), is the # 1 TV talk show host – ends his second season with a two-part finale on another Cary scam as a struggling actor. One minute the world is focused on Chase’s next fashion line and Pat’s new game show, then the next, they can’t help but talk or watch Cary’s “hole.”

It all starts when he tries to sex anonymously on a dating app, although things go wrong before he even hits send. While trying to take a picture in an airplane toilet, he accidentally takes a “live” photo that captures his face, and given his minor celebrity status by catching an internet TV show and hosting concerts on the Internet. the red carpet is going viral. It’s Cary’s worst nightmare, and it becomes a publicity error when the airline he has flown issues a statement condemning his actions. That alone is mortifying for Cary, but other celebrities are starting to support him, which not only brought the internet to embrace him, but also at a defining moment in his career.

Cary nightclub the other two, drew tarver in the other two season 2
Drew tarver | Greg Endries / HBO Max

Co-creators of series, SNL alum Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, actually always knew they were going to go and never had reservations about making Cary’s hole the center of an episode. In fact, Schneider says they had “Cary sends a picture of the hole to [their] whiteboard from day one in the [writers] room, ”even before the series moved from Comedy Central to HBO Max after its first season.

Because Cary struggled with his identity throughout the series, whether he missed roles for not being “the right kind of gay” in Season 1, or was used by straight actors. For fans and media alike in Season 2, the story sees him facing his discomfort with himself head-on. The writers, of course, did it in “the most absurd / humiliating way for him” they could think of.

“He had problems in his career in those two seasons because he wasn’t really comfortable with himself and, in particular, who he is as a gay man,” Schneider said. . “We really liked the idea that finally accepting [his] sexuality would eventually help him in his career. “

As the photo explodes, the movie that would have been Cary’s first leading role, Night nurse, had been canceled. This has yet to be publicly announced, however, which only adds to his embarrassment, especially as celebrities like Bowen Yang and Busy Phillips begin to back his “hole photo” and vouch for it. the purchase of theaters once the film has been released. .

“We had so many conversations about [what celebrities should speak out] and in what order they should go. “Kelly said. In the end, they ended up being both people they’re fans of, and” people when you saw their names, you’re like. I could see them do that“Says Kelly.” We also wanted it to be built in a place where it would perfectly humiliate and frustrate Cary. So once you get to Julianne Moore’s point, it’s like, ‘Me, Cary, I want to work with her. I dreamed when I was a child to meet her one day on the set and to be her peer. And now she saw my hole in front of my face. What are you doing? ‘”But thanks in part to Julianne, Night nurse is back, and Cary ends with a corner victory that matches his goofy and self-loathing nature.

The finale isn’t just about Cary’s asshole, however. Her sister, Brooke, also took her career to the next level when a chance meeting gave her the opportunity to be the new manager of pop star Alessia Cara. This is the ultimate reward for a long season, as Brooke has desperately wanted to meet Alessia at every industry event. Schneider says they always wanted it to be the singer.

“We shot with Alessia as early as possible physically so that we felt comfortable doing the rest of the scenes where [Brooke] mentioned her casually. She was playful and awesome, and so funny by day. another guest finds a woman who said she was “a dentist” (aka Alessia, also incognito). him, whose schedule works, and would fly in the event of a pandemic. So with [Alessia], all of these things miraculously fell into place, and we felt really lucky that she could do it. “

the pat show on the other two, molly shannon and case walker in the other two
Molly Shannon and Case Walker | Greg Endries / HBO Max

The final also makes it a point of honor to look to the other two others, Chase and Pat. Just as Brooke and Cary taste success, it becomes all they can think of, so much so that they ignore how overwhelmed their family is, which culminates in Chase as anger and exhaustion in Pat. Since the show is from Brooke and Cary’s perspective, this was another idea the writers had early on because, as Kelly says, focusing on Chase and Pam “was a good way to see:” Oh yeah, they’ve been thinking this shit from the start. ‘”Throughout Season 2, Kelly says that Brooke and Cary” tried to get their feet wet by thinking about their mom and brother and what they were doing. could cross. “

The season ends with the Dubeks in a better place – everyone having purged the air and deciding to take a vacation together for a well-deserved R&R. That is, everyone except Cary, who forgoes the trip because he has committed to finally focus on his dream and make it to the first table read from Night nurse. The show deftly throws us a shocking last laugh, however, as its integrated news program Gay news announces that Cary is preparing to leave in March 2020, just at the start of the pandemic.

What this means for the upcoming third confirmed season, Kelly and Schneider aren’t so sure. They were sure, however, that the show – which is one of the smartest take on the entertainment industry on television today – is rooted in reality and that the pandemic has altered pop culture in such a way that ‘she couldn’t be ignored.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean her movie isn’t happening,” Kelly said. “Maybe it will, maybe it won’t, maybe it will turn out differently than you thought. It’s kind of the crux of our show: it’s like you get your dream and it’s not what you thought, or there’s no winning, there’s no losing. It’s usually somewhere in between. ” Sexting scandals and global pandemics certainly don’t seem to have been written in Brooke or Cary’s playbook, but luckily the word-of-mouth success of comedy means we can continue to see all that ” somewhere between “their dreams land.

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Sadie Bell is the Associate Entertainment Editor at Thrillist. She is on Twitter and Instagram.

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