When The Other Two made its triumphant return last week, it was clear that the HBO Max comedy (formerly on Comedy Central) was invested in pushing its titular “other two” forward: Heléne Yorke’s Brooke is now managing both her brother (Case Walker) and her mother (Molly Shannon)—and she’s discovering she might actually be good at it! Drew Tarver’s Cary, meanwhile, is balancing a burgeoning on-screen career of his own while also dating a real-life gay man (Gideon Glick) and not just sleeping with a straight roommate. But in this week’s set of new episode, Brooke and Cary learn the tough lesson that chasing your dreams isn’t always as easy as their pop-star brother ChaseDreams makes it look.
“This season [they’re] really flinging themselves into situations to try to ride Chase and Pat’s wave and become successful,” Tarver shared with The A.V. Club. “But they think they want success. And then it comes and they’re like, ‘Oh no, this is scary!’” The actors share a deep empathy for their characters, two people who have fought for themselves for so long that they’re now surprised to find other people relying on them. “It’s not just finding out you’re good at something,” Yorke added, “but finding confidence in that, figuring out where to put your focus, and what to prioritize.” Thankfully, The Other Two understands that, if any of this came easy for Cary and Brooke, there’d be a lot less to laugh about—by keeping their successes in check, season two keeps the jokes coming.
But perhaps The Other Two’s best unspoken running joke is that Tarver and Yorke are, in fact, incredibly talented individuals—despite what their lost and hapless television counterparts may have you believe. Prior to the series, Tarver had become something of stalwart in the improv scene, frequenting the stage at the UCB comedy theater as well as podcasts like Comedy Bang! Bang!, while Yorke had established herself as a Broadway mainstay, with featured roles in shows like American Psycho and Wicked. Both of those skillsets came in handy when we challenged the pair to a round of Stock Photo Cinema, the game where guests are tasked to come up with the stories behind some of the internet’s most perplexing stock images. You can watch Tarver and Yorke expertly riff on—and sing about—a new batch of strange photos in the video below.
To tease just how sharp Tarver and Yorke are when we put them on the spot, you can read a snippet of their Stock Photo Cinema riffs below, inspired by this far too sunny image, which seems like it would activate Cary Dubek’s fight-or-flight instincts:
Drew Tarver: Were these brothers, Heléne? I can’t remember.
Heléne Yorke: Yeah, I think that they were brothers, but they found out recently that they’re not actually related, and somebody looks excited about it.
DT: Yes, so this guy holding the pillow—well, the guy with the guitar would always steal that guy’s pillow. And he hated that, of course. But once they found out that they’re not brothers, the guy with the guitar wrote a song pleading, “Can we still pretend like we’re brothers?” Do you remember the song, how it went?
HY: Yeah, it went, [sings,] “We’re not related. And I’d rather not be here with you. Give me my pillow back. “We’re not brothers, we’re not brothers—”
DT: [Sings,] “But can we still pretend to be anyway?” And it was a fun little jingle, but there was some tension between the two of them, and that’s [they] didn’t have much time to decorate the room, so [they] just did it really quickly.
The second season of The Other Two is airing now on HBO Max, with two new episodes premiering every Thursday.