The Other Two Took Down Hollywood Gay-Baiters in the Funniest Way
‘The Other Two’ Took Down Hollywood Gay-Baiters in the Funniest Way
Y'all know who you are!
The Other Two, widely dubbed "the gayest show on TV", tackled gay-baiters in their latest episode on HBO Max. After their teenage brother became a pop star overnight, Brooke and Cary Dubek spiraled into the despair of their unsuccessful late-20s. This season, their Mom is the famous one with her own daytime talk show, but the two siblings aren't dealing with their newfound attention any better than in Season 1.
In Season 2's eighth episode, Pat Dubek congratulates her son, Cary, on his new role in a movie on Instagram. Even though the film had already been scrapped, a slew of stars reach out to Cary to welcome him into the gay elite – including Dean Brennan, the star of George Michael's upcoming biopic George.
But isn't Dean straight?
If he's messaging Cary, maybe not. They decide to go on a date and at the restaurant, they're swarmed by paparazzi. Despite their clear flirtations with each other, Dean repeatedly declines to answer when photogs ask if they two are dating, claiming his personal life stays personal and that he "doesn't comment on his sexuality."
"That's so modern," replies Cary.
But as the date goes on, Cary realizes Dean is declining his sexual advances and instead opting only to be seen together in public. He's eventually warned by a publicist and Dean's ex-girlfriend that Dean is actually straight and doing all of this "to get more press while he promotes his movie."
The moment reflects both society's endless and obsessive speculations over celebrity sexualities and how the media salaciously covers these perceived "coming out" moments, of which PRIDE is no exception. The episode is certainly influenced by Taron Egerton, who starred in Elton John's biopic Rocketman in 2019. After posting a seemingly romantic photo on Instagram, the world understood it as a coming out. He later had to clarify that he was straight but that didn't stop him from toeing the line, at one point saying he enjoyed going to gay clubs more than football matches.
Later in the episode, Cary confronts Dean for his gay-baiting, but he's far too deep in it to give it up now. "My life is so much better now that people think I might maybe kinda be gay," Dean says. "There's Oscar buzz for George. I'm in talks to be the next gay superhero. You know how huge that'd be for me?" He adds, "And for you guys?"
The debate on whether straight people should play LGBTQ+ roles still rages on. Straight actors often get award buzz when playing these gay roles, perhaps because they still benefit from the privilege of heteronormativity.
Some don't believe a straight person can accurately portray the queer experience and with so many out actors around these days, the opportunity should be given to one of them. Tony-Award-winner Ben Platt was one of the latest actors who commented on the ongoing controversy, telling Out, "I think that the greater question is just making sure that everybody is getting the same opportunity."
Cary eventually summons the courage to break off their parasitic relationship. "The worst part in all of this," he says, is that out of all the guys that messaged him, he chose Dean.
"And why do you think that was?"
"What?" Cary answers. "Because you were the hottest?"
"Or was it because I was the straightest?" Dean smirks. "Deep down, you knew I was straight and that's why you chose me. So you can act all high and mighty but I think you knew exactly what you were doing."
Cary falls to his knees in shame, and the hilarious moment perfectly calls out some LGBTQ+ folks' preoccupation with straight-presenting men. Many gay men find themselves attracted to this display of masculinity not because they're "hot", but because they fit into their heteronormative fantasy, or they long to be accepted by straight men because of deep-seated daddy issues, or they have internalized homophobia and shame that scares them away from folks they deem to be more "feminine." For some, it's just the thrill of chasing someone you can possibly "turn," or because if you know the straight guy can't love you back, you don't have to truly put yourself out there. All of those possible scenarios can be unpacked with some therapy, but this episode of The Other Two feels like a release.
If you're not watching The Other Two, get into it ASAP! New episodes drop Thursdays on HBO Max.