(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the first two episodes of “The Other Two” Season 2.)
The wait is over: “The Other Two” is back — and on a new platform. The former Comedy Central series debuted Season 2 Thursday on its new home platform, HBO Max.
Brooke (Heléne Yorke) and Cary (Drew Tarver) are back on our screens and scrambling for relevance and success once again — and falling behind not just their younger brother ChaseDreams (Case Walker), but their mother, Pat Dubek (Molly Shannon), who just became the world’s most popular talk-show host.
TheWrap spoke with Yorke about what to expect from her character’s journey in this batch of episodes and how the show itself might benefit from a viewership bump by moving to the popular new streaming service.
See our Q&A with Yorke below.
TheWrap: It’s been so long since we got the first season of the show, which aired on Comedy Central in early 2019. What is it like finally being back — and on a new platform this time? Did anything change significantly in terms of moving to HBO Max?
Heléne Yorke: We started shooting in February 2020, when we were still a Comedy Central show with, like, fully finished scripts. Everything was done. We were ready to go, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed. We were going to be shooting the second season, so pumped to finally have it out. And then this, I don’t know if you heard about it, it’s really crazy, this massive disease hit the planet. So, five weeks into a 10-week shooting schedule, we were sent home for two weeks and two weeks turned into a year. So we had started, we were getting ready to do the show for Comedy Central. And during the pandemic, we got bought by HBO Max. And I’m hoping, I think a lot more people will have access to it. And it’s easily accessible on the app there. And I’m hoping more people watched it. So, yeah, we came back a full year later and finished the season, and here we are. We’re just really excited to have it out. We’ve been sitting on this season for about a year-and-a-half. So the fact that everybody gets to see it now is such a thrill and we’re really proud of it.
“The Other Two” is already beloved among critics for its first season, but with its move to HBO Max, there’s a very real chance it becomes more popular with the general public, receiving an HBO Max “bump,” similar to those shows that migrate to Netflix have seen. How do you feel about the likelihood “The Other Two” could become a much bigger hit in Season 2?
I think expectations are the death of career and happiness. So I’m trying not to psych myself up too much. You know, I’ve seen nine of the 10 episodes. I think it’s really good. I hope other people think it’s really good. And I hope that a bunch of people watch it. Of course, we’ve seen bumps happen to shows, in particular, things like “Schitt’s Creek” got a huge bump by being on Netflix and now “Manifest,” I think, is coming back because they’re on Netflix now. So that’s definitely out there. But there are certain times in my life where I thought, “Oh wow, this is it, I’ve done it, I’m going to win an Oscar or whatever.” And, you know, things don’t always go the way you necessarily plan them to. Side note: That’s a massive theme of Season 2, that things don’t go according to plan. But, yeah, I hope so. I hope you’re right. That would be incredible. Chris and Sarah are geniuses. They worked really hard on the season, it’s like they poured gasoline on it this year and lit it on fire. So if more people watch because it’s streaming on this great new streaming service that I watch everything on now, that would be great. I’m like oscillating between “The Great Pottery Throw Down” and “White Lotus.” I love HBO Max.
At the beginning of Season 2, Brooke is still pursuing becoming a music manager after being one for all of an hour to her younger brother — unbeknownst to him — before he retired and gave up and went to college. She is hesitant to become her mother’s manager but ultimately caves by the end of the premiere episode. But then she also gets her gig with her brother back, as he decides NYU isn’t for him and he wants back in the music game. Why do you think she didn’t want to work for her mother, who clearly wants her there?
She wants to be hip. She wants to be in a cool life. And so she’s very determined to have her brand be music, not, “lame daytime.” And she settles to be the manager of her mother — and ends up being really good at it. And, I think, surprises even herself and is hustling all over the place. And I think she realizes that the hustle is very real and very taxing, which Brooke doesn’t appreciate too much. And it starts to take away from her personal life and she starts to get her priorities mixed up. And she’s looking for love and not quite sure what grounds her.
In the second episode, we see Brooke in full action as her mom’s righthand woman, who decides to cave to a fan’s dream to meet her mom outside of the studio, because she remembers her mother’s own desire to meet her icon Rachael Ray, which Ray avoided. But then Brooke learns the hard way, after a huge line forms, that this was a terrible idea. Do you know where the idea for this plot came from and how it’s affected Brooke’s understanding of her new life?
It’s sort of this idea that when you are a fan of something and you show up at a stage door, I think that [showrunners and former “SNL” co-head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider] drew a lot of their experiences with celebrity from people they worked with specifically at “SNL.” And the two of them would come to their dream job writing comedy, at the top of their game, and they would come out of the stage door looking like true trash and just want to get out of there as quickly as possible. And I think it’s that these moments are important, that they mean something to people, this ability to connect. But more broadly, also with Chris and Sarah, I think the theme for Brooke this season is she’s living this life, she’s gotten to this mountain top, she’s a manager now, she’s growing her career. But she’s actually just exhausted all the time and wants a snack and time to herself. And I think that’s universally true with anybody in a dream job situation. You sort of think “Oh, when I get here, it’s going to be easy breezy. I’ll have arrived at my goal.” And it’s actually harder than you thought it was going to be. But with that episode in particular, I think it’s a lot of expectation is on people to show up for fans and it can be a lot, because the day is a lot for mega-stars like a Pat Dubek.
With Brooke’s managing of Chase, what can you tease her plans are to keep her singer brother successful, seeing as it’s very obvious at this point he is not a singer?
She transitions him into — well, I don’t want to tease it! I’m sorry, I don’t want to ruin the surprise. But I think that the challenge for her becomes, “OK, my brother wants to sing. I don’t want to tell him that he can’t sing. So how do I grow a career in alternative ways so that he is still very much in the business, but not in the business?” Like, we’re all waiting for the next Rihanna album, when is it going to come? But she’s really, truly busy being the queen of Fenty and a billionaire in other ways. So I think that they take that idea from pop culture so well and it’s applied so well here. So yeah, the Chase and the Rihanna album have equal amounts of hype and anticipation.
Brooke has to sit through listening to Pat’s wild catchphrases that are very long and somehow easily repeated by her studio audience. What’s your favorite so far?
My favorite one is, I think it’s in the very first episode, when she’s with Chase and he says it and then she’s like, “Oh, we’ve got a new one: The grind never stops, but it can stop it if you want it to, and I was crazy about the grind.” I think that’s my favorite one.
New episodes of “The Other Two” Season 2 launch Thursdays on HBO Max.