Spoilers ahead for The Other Two Season 1, Episode 9. It's finally time for The Other Two's ChaseDreams to release his first album, which is filled with three whole songs and nine remixes. But his album release is also important because it lands on his late father's birthday. Unfortunately, Chase is under the impression that his father died of cancer, announcing as much on his album release live stream. And although the truth eventually comes out, Mr. Dubek's death on The Other Two is perhaps the show's most tragic example of how young stars can be exploited.
Chase had been told by his well-meaning mom (Molly Shannon) that their dad died of cancer, when in reality, Mr. Dubek was an alcoholic who got drunk, climbed onto their roof, and froze to death. Pat has been seemingly holding it together since losing her husband, but as the March 21 episode makes clear, there's a reason she's thrown herself so completely into writing her children's book and working on her new jewelry collection: she didn't want to slow down and think about how sad she was.
During the livestream party for Chase's album drop (which happens on a plane circling JFK, because of course), he repeatedly reminds viewers that 10 percent of the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. It's an earnest gesture on Chase's part, but one that he's ultimately been manipulated to do for the sake of good promo: "This is a PR gold mine!" his publicist, Shuli (Wanda Sykes), exclaims, later saying, "By the end of this blitz, Chase will own cancer."
This isn't the first time Chase's team has co-opted his good intentions in order to turn a profit — just think back to Episode 4, when they repeatedly flip-flopped about how his "My Brother's Gay" song was being received. But this time, it feels even grosser. When Pat eventually breaks down and tells her son — and his entire fanbase — that his dad was a destructive alcoholic who died with his penis frozen to the roof because she didn't want him to drink in front of Chase, he finds out about it for the first time on-camera, and has less than a minute to process the news.
Within seconds, kids whose dads died in a similar manner make the hashtag #MyDadFroze go viral, and rather than giving Chase the time and space to cope with what he's just learned, Shuli spins it into yet another way to make money. "This is great!" she exclaims. "Everyone talks about cancer, but no one talks about alcohol abuse or d*cks freezing to roofs."
Pat insists that Chase take a month off to process everything, but that doesn't last long, either — moments later, Shuli gets an email inviting him to perform at the VMAS, which he will have to start rehearsing for immediately. It doesn't take much for them to concede.
The Other Two is a comedy, so obviously, there's a lot of humor in the delivery of this sequence of events, but it's also exposing some harsh truths about growing up in the public eye. Take, for example, Justin Bieber, who skyrocketed to fame as a pre-teen and is arguably still grappling with the side effects. "Just thinking about music stresses me out," Bieber told Vogue earlier this year. "I've been successful since I was 13, so I didn't really have a chance to find who I was apart from what I did. I just needed some time to evaluate myself: who I am, what I want out of my life, my relationships, who I want to be — stuff that when you're so immersed in the music business you kind of lose sight of."
He went on to detail how that's affected him, describing struggles with depression, a Xanax habit, and deep-seated wariness. "It's been so hard for me to trust people," Bieber said. "I've struggled with the feeling that people are using me or aren't really there for me, and that writers are looking to get something out of me and then use it against me."
Ariana Grande is another young celebrity who was forced to deal with difficult circumstances while navigating fame. A former Nickelodeon star, Grande has had to grapple with the tragic terrorist attack at her May 2017 concert in Manchester, which left at least 22 dead, her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller's death, and her breakup with fiancé Pete Davidson — all with the entire world watching and sounding off their opinions.
Chase, meanwhile, is at the precipice of his career, but if things continue as they are, it will undoubtedly impact him long-term. He's too young and impressionable to understand how the strings are being pulled behind-the-scenes, but he has a good family around him — hopefully, they can protect him as he's pushed further into the spotlight.