The show must go on.
Comedy series “The Other Two,” which follows the lives of a showbiz family, was beset by real-life obstacles and returns for its second season Season 2 on Thursday, Aug. 26 on HBO Max — two years after it first premiered.
Created by former “SNL” writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, “The Other Two” follows New York millennial siblings: gay actor Carey Dubek (Drew Tarver), who’s hosting a slew of online shows while his agent unhelpfully offers him tickets to attend movies instead of auditions for them; and newly minted talent manager Brooke Dubek (Helene Yorke), who’s finding that working with celebs and attending red- carpet events isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
The main reason for the long gap between seasons is the pandemic, which affected so many other series and movies the past year-and-a-half. But, to complicate matters, “The Other Two” also switched networks after HBO Max acquired the series from Comedy Central.
“It was stressful to be shut down for a full pandemic, and then we were moving from Comedy Central to HBO Max, so there was a lot up in the air for a while,” Kelly, 37, told The Post. “It’s been a long time, and it was dodgy for there for a sec.”
“There’s one part where two scenes that are continuous happen one full year apart,” said Schneider, 37. “We shot one scene, we got shut down [for the pandemic], then we shot the continuous moment of that scene one year later.”
As its title implies, there are the “other” members of the family. Brooke and Cary’s younger brother, Chase Dreams (Case Walker), is a Justin-Bieber-esque superstar whose management team includes Streeter (Ken Marino) and Shuli (Wanda Sykes). In Season 2, their mom Pat (Molly Shannon) also becomes a celebrity as the star of “Pat!,” a new daytime TV show a la “Ellen.”
“We had always planned to shift the focus to Molly Shannon’s character a little bit,” Kelly said. “Their mom getting famous shakes things up and [allows us] to come at the title of the show in a new way — to keep us from hopefully repeating ourselves.”
Kelly and Schneider were both writers on “SNL” from 2011-2017 and served as co-head writers for Season 42 (2016-2017). The said that they didn’t cross paths with legendary “SNL” trouper Shannon during their time there. “She came to the 40th anniversary, and I remember standing next to her thinking ‘I should say hi’ and then I didn’t because I was too nervous,” Kelly said. But their time at Studio 8H did give them the tools to create “The Other Two.”
“In general, ‘SNL’ prepares you well for running your own show,” said Kelly. “Because on ‘SNL,’ if you’re a writer, you don’t just turn in your script and call it a day. You help produce it from beginning to end. You’ll talk with hair and makeup and costumes and you’re there for blocking. So, it really teaches you how to talk to all the departments and gives you a good attention to detail.”
The creators didn’t make major changes to their plans for Season 2, since it was already written and half-filmed before the pandemic and the network move. But the show’s new home does have some creative impact, they said.
“Sometimes we used to go through and check out how many curse words there were,” said Schnieder. “We’d be like, ‘We have 20 bleeps in the episode, that makes us look crass!’ Now we don’t have to do that anymore. It’s just out there, which is lovely. Sometimes there’s no better word than ‘f–k,’ so what are you gonna do?”
Episodes are also now around a half an hour instead of twenty minutes.
“That was a nice thing about moving to HBO Max — having more time and longer episodes,” said Kelly. “Not to make them super-long and indulgent, but to have extra breathing room to let some of these other storylines expand more. We like having the pop-culture jokes and the zaniness, but we also like the humanity of the characters and the quieter moments of little wins or losses or successes or failures.
“It is still the same show, just maybe a little longer.”