“The grind never stops, but it can stop if you want it to, and that’s what’s cool about the grind!”
– the artist formerly known as ChaseDreams
Break out your official ChaseDreams surge protectors everyone, because The Other Two is back.
The first two episodes of the show’s sophomore season aired last night on HBOMax. If you haven’t watched Season One, what are you doing? Watch it! It’s the funniest show on TV!
For my fellow members of the Dreams Team, let’s take a quick moment to review where we left off with our favorite family (and their management team) before diving into our new episodes:
Chase “ChaseDreams” Dubek (Case Walker): In the season finale, Chase performed at the VMAs, and it was… not good. He also famously decided to go to college after receiving some sage advice from, somehow, Michael Che.
Brooke Dubek (Heléne Yorke): Our Brooke found her career purpose as a manager — and then immediately lost her first client to college. She also had her heart broken by her ex-boyfriend Lance. We are manifesting good things for Brooke this season!
Cary Dubek (Drew Tarver): Cary’s career ambitions have been similarly dashed by Chase’s academic pursuits, with their fraternal remake of Freaky Friday no longer there to be the elder Dubek brother’s chance for his big break.
Streeter Peters (Ken Marino): I’m honestly concerned for Streeter, as his last scene was a full public meltdown after hearing of Chase’s life decision. But he is dating Pat, so there’s one thing he’s got going for him!
Shuli Kucerac (Wanda Sykes): Last we saw of Shuli she was delivering the then-exciting (in hindsight, terrible) news that Chase would be performing at the VMAs.
Lance (Josh Segarra): I love Lance too much not to include him. He designed some iconic dry erase sneakers for Chase’s ill-fated VMAs performance and realized that the single life is allowing him some much-needed personal growth. Lance, I hope you’re doing amazing, sweetie.
Pat Dubek (Molly Shannon): Last, but certainly not least, the Dubek matriarch has Year of Yes’d herself to her very own daytime talk show. Which is precisely where we open in Season Two.
So let’s get to it!
Episode 1: “Chase Goes to College”
Our first life update is, naturally, about our dear Chase, who has once again taken the Dubek name to re-enter normalcy as a 14-year-old attending NYU (but not the Tisch part, the school would have you know). As he tells his mom on her talk show, he is super excited to go to college and “do reading.” Streeter’s 3-week iPhone high school at work, everyone!
Let’s talk about “Pat!” for a second. In a seemingly short time, Pat has amassed a deeply devoted fan base, resulting in a studio audience who have memorized an impressive number of catchphrases — including my personal favorite, “Reading! Is! Good!” The show is so unbelievably “Pat!” in the best way possible. She constantly uses her platform to brag about the accomplishments of her children, and to occasionally give them unexpected, on-air FaceTime calls. She is the paragon of “mom.”
Fortunately, her kids are doing plenty for her to embellish on live television.
We first catch up with Cary, who is following in his mom’s footsteps and hosting. Except his shows are online and there are at minimum ten of them. Who is he, Richard Kind in last season? Anyway, one show is the truly iconic, “Age, Net Worth, Feet,” where he asks celebs on the red carpet their age, net worth, and to show their feet. My personal favorite, though, is “The Gay Minute,” which is exclusively news about Laura Dern. If Cary ever needs an understudy I have been preparing for this role my entire life (talking about Laura Dern all the time to everyone I know and anyone I meet).
Also just a quick shout out to whoever wrote this sponsor promo for “The Gay Minute”:
“Advil: here, gays!”
This show is great at many things, but its skewering of pandering LGBTQ marketing is consistently on another level.
While Cary is less than satisfied with his hosting duties — he is an act-OR after all — his personal life has taken a pleasant upturn. When he returns home from his many gigs, we are suddenly thrown into a near shot-for-shot replay of his toxic roommate relationship from the first season, but with a new guy. Fortunately, we soon find out that this is not another roommate leading Cary on, but the new guy he’s seeing, Jess! And he is played by Broadway treasure, Gideon Glick! By the end of the episode (with some prodding from Pat), the two are officially in a relationship.
I will say that I haven’t gotten quite a read on Jess yet, and something about him is making me a little suspicious. We’ll see where things go during the rest of the season, but right now I’m cautiously happy for Cary.
So what’s Brooke been up to during all of this? Well, frankly, walking around NYC like a boss bitch.
I mean, LOOK. AT. HER.
Looks can unfortunately be a bit deceiving though, because the reality is that she has literally reached the end of TikTok trying to find the next ChaseDreams to manage. Her one promising lead — which she found via her “Beyoncé child gay drag” Google alert — turns out to be a dud, so she’s forced to scout talent at her friend’s child’s birthday party. Unsurprisingly, the only thing this accomplishes is annoying all her friends. Mostly because none of the children have what it takes to be successful in this industry!
Quick aside here: we must talk about Heléne Yorke’s squint acting. It is unparalleled. Exhibit A:
On the relationship side of things, Brooke isn’t in quite as sweet a place as Cary. When she runs into her ex, Lance, she is clearly still devastated over their breakup — begging him to walk away backwards as she can’t bear to see “dat ass.” Honestly, girl, I get it. (Side note: I was rooting for these two but I must say I’m happy for Lance and his weird clothing line. He is a sweetheart.)
While Brooke and Cary seem to be in pretty different places in life, they at least are continuing their shared habit of utterly chaotic Google searches:
So finally, we get to the culmination of the episode, which is at Blake Lively’s new Asian-fusion restaurant that the staff insists is not racist! While Streeter spends the evening straight-up bullying newcomer Jess (the manager is still dealing extremely poorly with the idea that the Dubeks might, at times, laugh at him), Brooke finally accepts Pat’s offer to be her co-manager.
And then Chase shows up! He and his siblings take some quality time to sit and chat, where he confesses that college hasn’t been as ~lit~ as he expected it to be, and so he’s going to drop out to return to stardom. And as much as I love the show’s constant biting jokes, I’m so glad it’s really leaning into these moments where the family are together, supporting each other through the ridiculousness of it all. This continues in the final scene, where Pat supports a grieving widow on her talk show. By the time she tells her audience to give themselves a “Pat!” on the back (which, of course, I did), I actually found myself a bit teary-eyed. It’s exciting to see the new season really giving the humor and the heart such equal weight — it’s what makes The Other Two so special.
Episode 2: “Pat Connects with Her Fans”
An episode named after Pat! We love a format change! We love character growth!
We begin this episode with a flashback to the cursèd year of 2016, with Pat, Cary, and Brooke attending a Rachael Ray taping. Pat is THRILLED to be there, getting pictures with the loading dock sign and everything (on her iPad, an incredible touch). Rachael runs to her car without greeting her fans at the stage door, leaving Pat disappointed and Brooke seething.
But flash forward to the present day, and Pat has her own show now — and Debi Mazar is teaching her how to make fajitas! Take that, Rachael! Pat’s show drives most of the plot in this episode for our main characters, so let’s start with how things go for her.
During the show’s taping, an audience member strikes up a conversation with Brooke and it quickly becomes obvious that she is *obsessed* with Pat. Like… inviting Pat to her house to borrow a bathing suit and go swimming in the lake obsessed. Brooke deflects, and then wards her off again trying to deliver a basically liquid banana bread to the host’s dressing room.
Later on, though, Brooke catches the fan taking pictures outside the studio with the loading dock sign, and remembers the pain Rachael Ray put her mom through all those (five) years ago. She realizes that all the gimmicks she’s been putting Pat through to make her seem “just like” her fans (book clubs for novels she hasn’t read, chicken dinners she didn’t cook), can never be as meaningful as genuine connection. So she grabs Pat and brings her out to meet her biggest fan, who shares that she lost her husband to alcoholism as well. The women hug, and it’s really very emotional!
Unfortunately the rest of the studio audience arrives precisely at this moment, so Pat has to end the episode conducting an impromptu all-night meet and greet. But even though it absolutely will never be replicated (one woman hugged Pat with the flu! The FLU! In this climate???), it was so fitting that Pat would give her time like this.
There are, however, some people Pat perhaps shouldn’t give her time to. Here’s Cary’s side of the episode: Pat has begun a segment where she interviews sons who have recently come out to their fathers, and then gives them a $25,000 check courtesy of Shutterfly (again… the pandering marketing… this show is genius). Her second lucky pair, though, are less of a boy and his dad, and more of a man and his daddy. Yes, a couple with a conveniently large age gap pretend to be father and son to get that sweet Shutterfly cash. And Broadway fans rejoice once again, because they are played by Noah Galvin and Tuc Watkins — who both give deeply hilarious and perfect performances.
While Brooke immediately spots the ruse, Cary is completely taken by the pair. He sees in them the support he never felt that he received from his absent father. And so, when he and Jess spot the secret couple at a restaurant later that day, Cary feels compelled to spend the afternoon showing them how a gay couple can thrive.
He and Jess interrupt Fake Son and Fake Father (yes, their actual IMDb credits) as they are scouring Grindr for a third for their evening in NYC. Things get even worse when said third shows up to the restaurant, and must pretend to be part of the family — giving us the iconic line, “I’m his son. I’m straight. And I’m from Kansas.”
Cary and Jess proceed to take this threesome, interrupted on what is possibly the most basic outing ever conceived, starting at Big Gay Ice Cream and ending at the Highline. Father, Son, and Holy Third are all unmoved. When they headed into the nightclub portion of the evening I screamed “MARIE’S CRISIS” at my laptop, but they finally actually went someplace that seemed edgy and cool. It’s here that Fake Father gives Cary the accepting paternal hug he has been longing for as they share a heart-to-heart — swiftly followed by a full kiss on the lips that leaves him (understandably) spiraling. But it’s a rare moment of genuine vulnerability from Cary, and managed to be moving despite being sandwiched between some of the season’s funniest writing so far.
Finally, we can’t close a recap without seeing what ChaseDreams is up to! We’re given little teasers of his new video throughout the episode, including a montage of famous names: West, Malik, Sivan, and Efron to name a few. I figured this was just setting him up on the same level as some iconic singers, which frankly seems like a bad idea given that he… can’t sing. But the list ends with Messina, which as a superfan I immediately knew to be Chris, which didn’t make sense? What is the theme?
In the episode’s final moments, we finally find out: CHASE IS BLONDE NOW.
As someone who has famously googled “Chris Messina blonde” more times than I feel comfortable admitting in a public forum, I was deeply disappointed in myself for not getting this right away. His is THEE iconic bleached hair moment. I guess I just thought they were listing hot men, so naturally it made sense to include him on the list! I mean… come on:
I cannot express how excited I am to see how The Other Two deals with Chase’s entire personal rebranding simply around being blonde. It seems like a topic this show was born to cover. My one complaint is: where is Shuli in all this? We need Wanda!
So meet me here next week to recap episodes 3 & 4. In the meantime I will be fighting the urge to pull my version of a ChaseDreams blonde reboot: getting bangs.