Barry: Dark Comedy at Its Peak


Image courtesy of HBO

Koby Haldorson, staff writer

When you hear the premise for HBO’s Barry, you’d probably think it’s a comedy that stumbles through its premise, but in reality, it’s cast and plot make its simple setup a true sight to behold.


Barry, which of course airs on HBO, is a dark comedy about a hitman, Barry Berkman, who decides to leave behind his career and pursue acting in Los Angeles.


Unfortunately for Barry, he realizes that leaving behind his whole life won’t be easy, as new people keep roping him back into the same life, including his mentor, who desperately tries to keep Barry working.


Overall, the show has some of the best character work I’ve ever seen in a television series, with the excellent writing, interesting character dynamics and not to mention top-notch, phenomenal acting.


The story of Barry is one that is absolutely at its best when you experience it firsthand. The development of the main characters and the plot over both seasons is outstanding, and some of the best I’ve seen from a television series in years.


But without a doubt, where the show shines the most is in its main character, Barry, played by Bill Hader. You wouldn’t expect a comedic actor like Hader to pull off such a heavy, dramatic role, but he completely nails it.


He portrays the character in such a unique way, painting him as someone broken, trying to change his life and do something positive.


Another thing about Barry is that while the first season is really good, the second season absolutely steps the entire show up a notch. The writing, character development and acting all improve greatly in season two.


I don’t want to spoil too much of the show beyond its general premise, but I would highly recommend Barry to anyone who enjoys dark comedies, since the show is so masterfully put together that it can balance sad, dark subject matter with really hilarious moments of comedy.


I can not recommend Barry enough. I truly think that it’s one of the best fictional shows television has to offer right now.