Celebrity 'Gay-Baiting' Gets Hilariously Skewered on 'The Other Two'

Tuesday September 21, 2021
Originally published on September 21, 2021

Drew Tarver and Michael Campayno in "The Other Two"
Drew Tarver and Michael Campayno in "The Other Two"  (Source:HBO Max)

On the latest episode of "The Other Two," Cary goes on a date with an up-and-coming Hollywood actor, who may just be gay-baiting him for media attention.

"The Other Two" continued to solidify its status as the gayest show on television this past week with a hilarious episode that took on Hollywood gay-baiting (straight actors posing as gay for publicity purposes). On this season the HBO Max show, in which Drew Tarver plays Cary Dubek (the gay-half of the titular two), continues to follow his coming-to-terms with being gay as it parodies various aspects of contemporary queer culture.

On one episode, Cary, and his (then) boyfriend Jess (Gideon Glick) are duped by a Daddy/Son couple who posed a coming out stunt to win $15,000,000 on Pat Dubek's talk show. Pat (Cary's mom played by Molly Shannon) is the second member of the Dubeks to achieve stardom after younger brother Chase became a TikTok music sensation without being able to sing. The show continued its satirical digs at queer cultural memes on the fourth episode when Cary and Jess meet up with a gay couple called @thePropertyDaddies who post every moment of their lives on social media. After the @PropertyDaddies suggest Cary and Jess become @theCuddleBoys, Cary breaks up with him.


But the show's most recent episode may be the funniest — and most pointed to date. On it, Cary becomes an internet meme after Pat congratulates him on getting a role in an indie drama without knowing the film has been canceled. The attention brings Cary a slew of interest from guys, but the highest-profile is trending actor Dean Brennan (Michael Campayno), the star of George Michael's upcoming biopic "George," whose sexuality is in question despite many media teases that he is gay.

But is he gay or just gay-baiting to get media attention? Cary learns the hard way when he dates Dean, and is surrounded by paparazzi at an outdoor cafe, who poses, then punctuates it with saying that he "doesn't comment on his sexuality."

"But as the date goes on," Pride.com writes, "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 incident, Pride points out, is influenced by the behavior of actor Taron Egerton, who starred as out icon Elton John in "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," Pride.com said.

Drew Tarver and Michael Campayno in "The Other Two"  (Source: HBO Max)

But when Cary catches onto Dean's game, the up-and-coming star turns psycho, all but threatening Cary to continue posing as his boyfriend. "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?"

But the episode ended on a more reflective note that tied back to the larger arc of Cary's difficulties in coming out. During the first season, he spent most of his time pursuing (and having closeted sex with) his straight roommate. At the end of this episode, Dean suggests the uncomfortable truth that Cary continues to search for relationships with straight guys. Asking him why he chose him, Cary says it was because he was the hottest, to which Dean replies, "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."

How Cary resolves these complicated issues will likely take some therapy and a few more seasons to figure out. In the meantime, hitting on queer culture with such a mix of sharply observed commentary and deeper insight has made "The Other Two" television's new favorite gay program.