Barry is HBO's Killer Hitman Comedy (review)
Bill Hader is Barry. You recognize the actor, Bill Hader, right? He’s the guy from Saturday Night Live who does all the voices and most of the out-there characters like the breathlessly gay and overly descriptive club hopper Stefon, usually dominating a sketch alongside Kristen Wiig or Will Forte and always on the verge of breaking character.
But maybe you don’t know him as well as you think you do. Bill now stars as Barry in an HBO series by the same name. Yes, it’s a comedy, as you’d expect from looking at Hader’s IMDB page. But it’s one really dark comedy. Barry is a hitman, a guy who is pretty good at his job, which leaves him a bit detached from humanity: his own and pretty much anyone else, except his handler Fuches (Stephen Root). And he’s good with that. This is what he does for a living and there’s no denying he’s the best. But all it takes is one visit to Los Angeles to make him connect to a part of himself that he didn’t know existed anymore. Could this hitman become more vulnerable? Human? Even… an actor?
Don’t worry. This isn’t a case of Barry becoming star struck with all the glamour of Hollywood. Where he finds his new footing is pretty much on the opposite end of glamorous, where he unintentionally stumbles into an acting class while tracking his intended target. He’s suddenly thrust into a community that encourages each other despite their seeming mediocrity. Instead of being told he’s the best all of the time for doing the unthinkable, he’s mistaken for an actor. What follows isn’t pretty, but he’s in a room with people who have no idea who he really is and they’re not afraid of him. It’s probably the closest he’s been to real people without a weapon in his hand in a long time. He isn’t changed instantly, but he does become conflicted. He’s got a job to do and it would be unprofessional of him to not complete the mission, even if he’s now just become “scene partners” with the man he’s supposed to kill.
Like shows that have come before where the good guy is the bad guy and vice versa, but you’re still expected to feel sympathy for him (Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy), Barry asks the same, except the absurdity of his circumstances is what makes this a comedy first and foremost, but not without an edge.
There’s not a doubt in my mind that “Barry” will and deservedly should get a lot of award nominations in the months to come, despite sneaking in under the radar on a premium network currently known primarily for its throne games and robot uprisings.
Thankfully, you can still get ahead of the curve when all of your other friends start talking about how good this show is (that they’ve never seen) starring that Stefon guy from SNL. All 8 episodes of “Barry” season 1 ARE AVAILABLE FOR DIGITAL DOWNLOAD NOW on all major streaming platforms.
Want to own the entire first season of Barry via digital download FREE? Follow @GeekForever on Twitter and keep an eye on our feed. We’ll be giving one digital download code away very soon, courtesy of the good people at HBO.