‘The Other Two’ Creators Find Catharsis in Satirizing Hollywood: ‘You Can Work Through Your Own Feelings’

Cast members Molly Shannon, Drew Tarver and Ken Marino tease Season 3 of the HBO Max comedy series

“The Other Two” co-creators Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider know that the HBO Max comedy’s biggest strength comes from its hilarious and ruthless commentary on the madness of trying to make it in Hollywood. As workers in the industry, satirizing its troubles is an almost healing and cathartic exercise.

“I think the worries or fears or curiosities or anxieties or discontent that Brooke (Heléne Yorke) and Cary (Drew Tarver) have are usually based on something we’ve felt ourselves, or things that people in the writers’ room felt [working in Hollywood],” Kelly told TheWrap ahead of the Season 3 premiere. “So that is the nice thing about having a show in general, let alone a show that is about your own job, you can work through your own feelings.”

“And we really do love our jobs,” Schneider added. “For all the industry’s flaws we do like being a part of it, so it comes from a place of love… mostly.”

For “Saturday Night Live” alum Molly Shannon — one of the stars of the comedy series — playing matriarch and successful talk show host-turned media mogul Pat Dubek draws parallels with her own life and career.

“There’s a scene [earlier on the show] where Pat’s exhausted. She’s taking a nap standing up for 30 seconds because she doesn’t have any time to nap… and I’d be like, ‘that’s exactly what I’m doing today!’” Shannon said. “I always feel like [the show is] very similar to my own life and how I feel about my kids and fame, and balancing work with being a mother and how family always comes first.”

“Chris and Sarah are just so great with figuring out how to write for people… it feels very natural,” she added. “It’s really easy to memorize because it’s so tailored to that actor and what they do best.”

The Other Two” co-creators Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider attend a press junket during SCAD aTVfest 2019 on Feb. 7, 2019 in Atlanta.

“The Other Two” follows the ambitious Dubek family, who find themselves on the fast track of Hollywood’s promise of fame and fortune after youngest child Chase (Case Walker) becomes an overnight internet sensation. Yorke and Tarver play Chase’s older siblings and the show follows them as they attempt to make their mark on the entertainment industry, while riding Chase’s coattails. Shannon also stars as Dubek family matriarch Pat, and Ken Marino rounds out the main cast as Chase’s manager Streeter.

“From the pilot on I knew it was a special show and I hoped that people would discover it and love it as much as I did,” Marino told TheWrap. “I feel like we’re very, very lucky to have gotten to shoot this latest season. And it’s a really, really good season. It’s crazy. It’s outrageous.”

Season 3 finds the Dubeks reaching a new level of success: Chase is days away from turning 18, meaning all bets are off as the child star transitions into adulthood; Cary is celebrating the release of his first big film, one of the last delayed productions from the pandemic shutdown to premiere; and Brooke is moving up the ranks as a talent manager, though the COVID shutdown left her feeling existential.

Molly Shannon in a still from “The Other Two” Season 3.

And after letting go of her hit talk show, Pat has made it to Oprah-level fame after starting her own network. Now that they’ve reached this level of success, the Dubeks face challenges managing their new realities — and some do it better than others.

“I really enjoy how these characters are leveling up with their success, and that is bringing new problems for them,” Tarver said. “I think that’s a really fun thing to get to play, and to play off of the people on the show.”

“The Other Two” Season 3 premieres Thursday, May 4, on HBO Max. New episodes will be released Thursdays through June 22.