Sibling rivalry is one of the oldest tales in the book. Technically, it’s the second story ever told (see Cain & Abel). There’s been little iterative to this basic conflict between siblings in the movies. However, “The Other Two,” which premiered on Comedy Central, provides a funnier and more interesting look at the sibling dynamic. SNL alums Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider take a hilarious look at internet fame from the point of view of jaded millennials who have evaded that success. What follows is a specific, hilarious and even heartwarming half-hour comedy.
ChaseDream (Case Walker) is the newest teen heartthrob celebrity after his song “I Wanna Marry U at Recess” becomes an internet sensation. His Mom, Pat (Molly Shannon), rides his coattails to every interview appearance and exciting opportunity. While Chase and Pat, quite literally, chase their dreams, Pat’s other two kids do the same to lesser results. Cary (Drew Tarver) struggles to find work as an actor and slaves away by day as a waiter and at night pining for his supposedly straight roommate. On the other side of the country in LA, Brooke (Heléne Yorke) doesn’t know what to chase after her dreams of being a dancer faded away. The siblings are thrust together again as they attempt to support their younger, more successful brother.
Despite the acerbic tone of both Brooke and Cary, two late 20-somethings that don’t have it figured out, their scorn isn’t directed at their brother. The pilot ends with a touching moment of bonding between the three siblings. Rather than derive conflict from rivalry, “The Other Two” expertly realizes the true conflict is between perception and reality. Both Brooke and Cary thought their lives would have more traction at their age. Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider use inside-Hollywood jokes, running character gags and hilarious sights to punctuate the siblings’ frustration. This turns the tone of the show from wallowing to something more light on its feet and hopeful.
In addition to the strong writing, the show has another secret weapon under its sleeve. It’s fully impossible for Molly Shannon to give a subpar line reading. She nails every part of her role as Pat. Every move, gesture and fashion look screams Pat’s ambition to be a Kris Kardashian/Dina Lohan type. However, even that might be too disingenuous. She thrives off of her kids’ success (or just Chase’s) because there’s a deep well of care for them. Plus, when she smiles her big wide grin, one can’t help to join her. She’s a comedic tour de force.
Fame has taken on a very different meaning since the rise of social media. The recent Fyre Festival documentaries only further documented how the internet can turn normal people into something even bigger than celebrity, an influencer. “The Other Two” understands this complicated new world of internet fame. Even better, it takes the perspective of people who thought they were clever enough to game the system but have been left out. As the show continues, one hopes it retains its heart as it explores further our modern definition of what it means to achieve something as nebulous as fame.