On ‘The Other Two Season 3,’ Cary Has Finally Become the Villain

Drew Tarver opens up about his character Cary, whose selfishness and desperation for fame and success hits a new low this week.

Drew Tarver's Cary has been spiraling into the dark side on season 3 of The Other Two.

Drew Tarver’s Cary has been spiraling into the dark side on season 3 of The Other Two.Courtesy of Greg Endries for Max.

__Spoilers for __The Other Two season 3 follow.**

The Hollywood satire from Max, The Other Two, is not typically the type of show to kill off characters. The sitcom, now in its third season, follows Brooke (Heléne Yorke) and Cary (Drew Tarver) Dubek, two siblings trying to make it in Hollywood amidst the shadow of their barely legal and vastly more successful brother, pop star Chase Dreams. But this season, Cary, a struggling actor, has become so terrible that the thought did pass through the minds of creators Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider.

As Tarver explained to GQ on a recent call: “Chris and Sarah were joking as we were filming this season: ‘Wait, does this man need to die? Does this character need to just drive off of a cliff?” 

While it would be shocking, it doesn’t seem unreasonable given everything Cary has done recently. The Other Two has always been a comedy about how fame warps people. The initial premise was that Chase, the little brother of Cary and Brooke, becomes a Justin Bieber-type celebrity, irrevocably changing his family’s lives. As the respective stars of Chase and their mother Pat (Molly Shannon) rise, Brooke and Cary flail in their attempts to capitalize on their newfound recognition.

Until this year, Brooke’s M.O. has been delusional self confidence, whereas Cary’s has mostly been sad vibes. A late bloomer with regards to his sexuality who once hooked up with his straight roommate and had a “hole pic” go viral, Cary’s arc has been largely filled with shame and defeatism. While his mother was hosting a successful talk show, he was doing red carpet reporting for “Age- Net Worth- Feet.”

But Cary has always had a darker side to his desperation for fame and success. Sometimes it plays into the larger theme of his fumbling to embrace his sexuality, like the season 2 episode that found him seriously considering being the beard for a straight, A-list actor attempting to queerbait for clout. In other past Cary plotlines, he’s been the villain of his own story—in season 1, he tried to ingratiate himself into a group of “Instagays” just to glom onto their social media following. The twist of that episode? The Instas were wholesome and genuine, where Cary was the craven opportunist thirsty for likes.

Cary (Drew Tarver) has been letting success go to his head on season 3 of The Other Two.Courtesy of Greg Endries for Max.

Season 3 finds Cary more comfortable in himself, dating a hot fellow actor (who goes so method he refuses to leave character once he gets a job) and finally booking some actual acting gigs off the strength of his role in a successful indie. But languishing in the limbo between paid actor booking roles and actual, tangible fame and success has only made Cary’s selfishness more pronounced. (A seed that was planted in the season 2 finale, when he opted out of a much-needed family vacation to film that indie.) And he’s taking that desperation out by not-so-quietly measuring his success against his acting buddy and best friend Curtis (Brandon Scott Jones), whose career has always been a step or two behind Cary’s.

As a result, Cary is sacrificing values and positioning himself next to any role that will take him further. One of Cary’s new jobs is voicing Globby, the first ever “openly queer character” in Disney’s Haunted Buddies franchise. This plotline is The Other Two in a nutshell, ever the sharp industry satire, taking aim at the trend of ultimately useless bids at “representation” in popular media. Globby’s queerness is so minimal that it ends up pissing off both the anti-LGBTQ protestors who were mad they got riled up for nothing and allies who see it as a cop out.

It’s not a win for the community, but Cary has to believe and act like it’s one, especially in front of Curtis who, like him, worked odd jobs as a wannabe thespian. All that bluster is entirely “surface level,” Tarver said. “It’s not quite deep enough to truly not fail him.”

Cary hits a new low in this week’s episode when the falling out that’s been brewing between him and Curtis finally comes to a head—and Cary doesn’t even care. He spends the episode worried that his new Netflix show will be released to ridicule, while Curtis’ sitcom pilot seems headed for critical acclaim. Cary only shows up to Curtis’ watch party once he realizes the sitcom has gotten bad reviews. Curtis, who’s been growing tired of Cary for weeks now, tells Cary to leave, accusing Cary of only being happy in their friendship when in a position of power. (Other offenses Cary has committed: Forcing Curtis to act as a prop at the premiere of his “gay” Disney movie; doing an interview in the middle of a game night; bailing on drinks to do more press.) 

“So, what? You think I’m a monster?” Cary asks.

Cary (Drew Tarver) and Curtis (Brandon Scott Jones) have been building to a falling out on The Other Two.Courtesy of Greg Endries for Max.

And, honestly, he sort of is. But that feeling is confirmed when Cary quickly moves on from the fight upon learning that  the seemingly horrible fake-Game of Thrones show he is on is actually 100 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. “Holy shit, my bad show is good,” Cary says. His voice is distorted to sound like a demon as the camera zooms in on his gleeful face before cutting to credits. Clearly, nothing during that emotional confrontation has stuck.

“Every time you think, ‘oh, Cary’s got his ass handed to him’ or ‘he’s going to learn,’ there’s that turn of like, ‘Nope, he’s not learning a thing,'” Tarver said.

In the process of playing Cary’s spiral into his own self-aggrandizement, Tarver was careful to make sure he got the tone right. “I never wanted to tip out into a full sketch character and lose the truth of his sadness,” he said. “He does have to be bigger in his comedy performance, but he still needs to be a real guy.”

Even with that honesty in Tarver’s portrayal, Cary is due for something resembling comeuppance. The actor doesn’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that one of his coming lows involves falling face first into a diaper.

For as cruel a friend Cary has been and for as much as he may deserve getting a face full of diaper, Tarver is still rooting for his character. “I’m kind of protective of wanting him to return to Earth and find a way for him not to keep marching in this crazy direction.”

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