First off, before we dive balls deep into the world of BARRY and friends, I really need to point out that I personally, never do many reviews or put my name behind anything I don’t fully believe in. So for me, sitting here typing away taking time out of my day to spread the word on a new series, outta tell you something. Listen to the gospel of BARRY, for it is good my cinematic aficionados.
Our anti-hero BARRY is the brainchild of Silicon Valley’s Alec Berg and the star himself, Bill Hader. The premise itself is pretty straightforward from the start as opposed to the viewer attempting to figure things out along the way and starts off right with a bang. Barry is a former marine turned hired hitman, the best of the business mind you, but the job that has Barry at the top of the major league of hired assassins, seems to have taken an emotional toll on him. And so the first episode appropriately titled, “Make Your Mark”, serves as the jumping off point for a wild ride into the realm of Barry’s strive for happiness and peace as the hitman follows a target to Los Angeles and the unexpected happens. The man unintentionally finds himself inside a theater where a class for actors is in progress and in order to maintain his cover, nervously takes part in the program. And ends up loving it. Go figure, eh? For the first time Barry feels that he has more to offer society and a talent other than being a immensely skilled marksman, thanks to the ego-boost from the school’s theatric’s instructor Gene, played by the skilled Henry Winkler and the teacher’s pet/struggling actress Sally (Sarah Goldberg). So, he decides to retire from the hitman market and focus on crafting his acting skills that open up a wave of emotions for the character. Something our Barry isn’t accustomed to, and makes him feel like, well, a happy human. Or, so he thinks anyway. Apparently it isn’t so easy jumping ship from the Chechen mob.
The series balances out comedy and edge of your seat drama brilliantly and beautifully and that’s no easy feat. It’s also nice to see character development on serious levels with the show’s other actors, as opposed to just building an arc around Barry. Case in point, take supporting character NoHO Hank played by Anthony Carrigan. Basically the right-hand man for Chechen Mob Boss Goran Pazar (Glenn Fleshler), you can catch our heavily tattooed moderator for the Mob making cookies and offering victims a Subway sandwich before what would be, a possible fateful meeting with the head honcho. But towards the end of season one, we see this character take an unexpected turn and this guy could completely hold his own on the show. Hell, I would watch an entire series about NoHO Hank and his adventures in and outside of the Mob. Seriously, sign me up for that if anyone is considering a spin-off.
As our future Richie Tozier in the second half of Stephen King’s IT making its way to us next year, Hader proves more than ever here that he can sustain a dramatic role through a long stretch rather than a brief sketch. However, if you’ve ever seen The Skeleton Twins you’d already know this anyway. Hader is a true cinephile and has an immense passion for the industry, and it certainly showcases in this series. It’s been some time that anything has ever come close to managing the perfect blend of emotions, thrills, suspense, and laughter since the likes of Breaking Bad. Once you’re hooked into the first five minutes, you’re sucked in for the next four hours with eight intense episodes from the first season; which my friends, has been greenlit for season two. BARRY is a roller coaster alright. And I sure as hell don’t want to get off.
BARRY: SEASON 1 is now available to own on DVD