Premiering next week, The Other Two is a new comedy from Comedy Central. Created by Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider (both writers for Saturday Night Live), and starring Drew Tarver (Bajillion Dollar Propertie$) and Helene Yorke (The Night Before, Masters of Sex) as the older siblings of the latest tween sensation, Chase Dreams. The Other Two follows their trials as they climb out of their younger brother’s shadow, aiming to become successful Millennials in NYC. Molly Shannon also stars as the incredibly supportive and somewhat air-headed mother of the three.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Two down-on-their luck siblings try to make it in the big city. They struggle to overcome changing cultural landscapes involving the increased need for gratification through social media, dumbed down expectations of quality in artistry, and a barrage of stereotypes on stereotypes on stereotypes. Oh, and they have to be supportive to their super famous younger brother now, even though it’s tough to smile when their own lives are plummeting fast.
Keeping it 100
I’m really bored of unlikable white cis characters being annoying and incompetent in NYC.
The Other Two wants to be funny in a smart way, but without actually trying. Hot-topic issues like sexism and the reclamation of derogatory words are brought up, but all the jokes fall flat. There is little substance behind them, so it feels increasingly shallow and awkward to watch. What’s worse, is that there is little to no compassion or attachment developed for virtually any of these characters. The most sympathetic one is Chase, the poor thirteen-year-old kid. He can barely form opinions yet, but is constantly sexualized (this is another extremely uncomfortable part of the show), demeaned, and forced to perform in order to appease his family and creepy-ass manager (Ken Marino).
Tarver plays Carey, an aspiring actor who is a gay man and waits tables in NYC. He has trouble asserting himself but we see him slowly grow into vocalizing what he wants as the first season unfolds. Yorke is Brooke, a once prestigious dancer who is trying to “find their passion” while bouncing from one meaningless sexcapade to the next. She is the epitome of the annoying, lazy, white feminist.
See how this sounds? Played out? Done before? Yeah. That’s how I felt. These characters and the various plots they fumble through are so unoriginal and cringey I had to constantly take breaks in between scenes. I waited through 10 episodes for the two main adults to actually own up to their bullshit. In the end, the trip may have brought them to some kind of clarity, but I was so beaten down by the nonsense I just couldn’t bring myself to care. I mentioned before how Brooke is THAT white feminist, which they bring up in the show but they never elaborate on why she’s such a terrible person. For me, that was a giant missed opportunity to dive into the many societal nuances we tangle with on a daily basis.
I could almost say that it’s worth the drudgery for the genuine moments of love and care shown between the siblings, but the trite narratives and dialogue aren’t enough for me to sincerely recommend this show to anyone. If it’s on while you’re home alone and not sober, perhaps give it a try. For me, personally, I was bored…which is probably the biggest sin a comedy show can commit.
Available for viewing January 24th, The Other Two is on at 10:30/9:30 central time.
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