I’ll admit, I was definitely not convinced of or by HBO’s “Barry” at all at first. Another comedy about a hitman his moral conundrum or his emotional point of view ala “Gross Pointe Blank,” “Analyze This” and more recently “Mr. Right”? Hadn’t we seen enough of that very specific slice of the hitman genre? And even at first, the initial episode didn’t sway, but when “Barry” hit its groove in the second episode, holy shit did that show ever resonate and take off with a terrific mix of dark comedy, emotional angst, suspense, and thrills. Moreover, it’s arguably Bill Hader’s most complex and textured work as an actor to date.
In case you’re unaware or you haven’t seen it—which you should rectify asap—Hader stars as an existentially adrift and depressed hitman who finds his purpose in L.A. when he ends up accidentally auditioning for an acting class. From there, as he gets in real deep, he wants out of the hitman life, but the reality is much much more complicated.
The eight-episode first season also starred a terrific supporting cast of Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg, Glenn Fleshler, Anthony Carrigan and Henry Winkler, as Hader’s clueless acting teacher.
“Barry” won two Primetime Emmy Awards: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Hader and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Winkler and they were both very well deserved. Here’s the official synopsis:
Barry is a dark comedy starring Bill Hader as a depressed, low-rent hitman from the Midwest. Lonely and dissatisfied in his life, he reluctantly travels to Los Angeles to execute a hit on an aspiring actor. Barry follows his “mark” into an acting class and ends up finding an accepting community in a group of eager hopefuls within the LA theater scene. He wants to start a new life as an actor, but his criminal past won’t let him walk away —can he find a way to balance both worlds?
An even greater treat, “Barry” features some terrific cinematic flourishes too, an awesome, emotional score by David Gordon Green composer David Wingo, direction by Hader himself and guest filmmaking appearances by “Atlanta” helmer Hiro Murai which was outstanding.
There’s no release date yet, but HBO has revealed that “Barry” will return this spring in its new teaser trailer. Watch below and catch up with this show if you’re not on it yet.