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TV Critic’s Corner

In Comedy Central’s ‘The Other Two,’ sibling envy is relatively funny

Molly Shannon and Case Walker star in the Comedy Central series “The Other Two.”Comedy Central

This makes saying goodbye to “Broad City,” which starts its final season on Thursday at 10 p.m., just a little tiny bit easier.

Comedy Central is premiering a promising new series right after it, at 10:30. Called “The Other Two,” it’s a witty and sufficiently demented comedy created and written by Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, former “Saturday Night Live” head writers. Not surprisingly, Lorne Michaels is one of the executive producers.

The premise is that Cary (Drew Tarver) and Brooke (Heléne Yorke) are struggling to make it — he as an actor, she as anything, now that she’s left her boyfriend and needs money. They are both intensely jaded, so when their much younger brother, Chase (Case Walker), becomes a Justin Bieber-like overnight sensation, they are both disgusted and yet secretly eager to take the ride with him.


Rather than focus on Chase’s life, which includes a pathetic manager played by Ken Marino and a soulless publicist played by Wanda Sykes, Kelly and Schneider wisely choose to focus on the resentment, envy, and comic misery of “the other two.” There are plenty of jokes about the fickleness of Chase’s fame in the social media age, but Cary and Brooke are the show. He is anxiously trying to get a job in a commercial, as “Man Who Smells Fart,” which is a lot harder to audition for than you’d think. Cary is gay, and the producers want him to play it a little straighter as he sniffs. And Brooke is a self-centered lunatic, a little bit like Kaitlin Olson in “The Mick.” Together, they’re a milder version of Billy and Julie in “Difficult People.”

Molly Shannon is a great plus, as usual, as the mother of the three kids. She loves them no matter what. By the way, Shannon also appeared in “Other People,” Kelly’s autobiographical film about a gay comedy writer caring for his dying mother. Starring Jesse Plemons and Bradley Whitford, it’s definitely worth a rent.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.