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Barry - Bill Hader, HBO Hitman Comedy


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Couldn't find a thread on this - I've added it to my watchlist after hearing it promoted on late night talk shows and podcasts. Barry is a reluctant hitman who gets sent to LA on a job, and discovers a love for acting. Stars Bill Hader, Henry Winkler, Sarah Goldberg and Stephen Root. Starts on March 25th in the US - April on Sky Atlantic but couldn't find the exact date.

 

 

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Hader is yet another one of those SNL alumni who never seems comfortable with a leading role. Skeleton Twins, Trainwreck (oh god was he weak in that), never come close to giving an outlet for his talents the way the quick fire variety of SNL does

 

he did however play the voice over in Scott Pilgrim - that ruled

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The first episode was good - Hader was nicely subdued as the depressed hitman, Stephen Root does Stephen Root (which I like) as Barry’s handler and Winkler is good fun as the acting coach. Not familiar with her but Sarah Goldberg was very good, I hope she gets more screen time as the show goes on. 

 

Not perfect by any means but I’m happy to have a 30 minute black comedy with a really solid cast. 

 

Few spoilery thoughts of the weaker moments:

 

Spoiler

The Chechens were very cartoony, but mildly amusing. Those characters are now dead but I assume the Chechen mob will be hunting Barry now. 

 

I thought it it was a cop-out that Barry didn’t end up killing his acting partner, even though he did intend to. 

 

The bit with Winkler where Barry opens up about his life and the acting coach thinks it’s an improv scene was cheesy.  

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

About 7 episodes in now - still enjoying it very much. I'm surprised this isn't getting any discussion in here - it's actually turned out to be quite good.

 

I was completely wrong with my thoughts in the spoiler from my previous post. Spoilers below include episode 7 so don't click unless you're up to date.

 

Spoiler

Thankfully the Chechens are regular characters. NoHo Hank is fantastic.

 

After episode one, I thought it would cop out of the darkness but then he kills his old marine buddy after he threatens to go to the cops which was fairly brutal.

 

Anyway, worth checking out.

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I'm really enjoying this too. Some great comedic performances - especially Hank, who is just something else entirely.

 

I don't feel like the female characters are particularly well written by comparison, but it doesn't stop me liking the show.

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  • 1 month later...

I watched this last week and thought it was great - got a Breaking Bad vibe from it. The plot was nicely twisty and I liked that his actions had consequences.

 

Spoiler

 

He wasn't able to walk away clean from not killing Tyler and as a result had to kill his friend. The final scene when he gets back into bed really showed him as a psychopath. 

I'm not sure about a second season, the story was so neat and well told. 

 

 

 

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I'm still watching, I'm just one episode behind. It seems to be one of those shows that will end up being a cult classic though maybe not so popular during its run.

 

I like Barry and Fuches, but I love Hank and Gene - hopefully those characters get some interaction at some point.

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This is back on Sky Comedy, all episodes available on demand, so will be on Now TV too.

 

I watched the first couple of episodes but didn't get any further when it was on originally, but happened to catch S2E5, as mentioned above, and made a point of looking out for it when it came around again. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, this was excellent - season two in particular. A shame it doesn't seem to have captured the forum's imagination.

 

Hank and Gene have been mentioned as great characters, but I think Sally came into her own in S2, some great performances from Sarah Goldberg.

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  • 1 month later...

Ended up buying both seasons on Apple TV after getting the first episode for 99p (Amazon) and throughly enjoying it. 
 

What a brilliant show and one that’s quite difficult to predict - it rarely takes the obvious route. 
 

There isn’t a single dud character in it. 
 

Cannot wait for season 3. 

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I watched a four minute recap and it's pretty shocking how much had dropped out of my memory completely. 

 

This episode was great though - a good palate cleanser for the season ahead. NoHo Hank and Gene still fantastic, with Barry in a fairly scary place. 

 

The interview scene with Hank was the highlight - he's such a great character. 

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  • 1 month later...

Great ending to the series but it needed a bit of lightness to balance the heavy stuff. Quality acting from all the leads but Hank and Gene were particularly good.

 

I know it’s only 2 seconds long but I really missed the theme music again this week. 

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The final episode was amazing, but I don't feel that the rest of the series was as strong as the others, because the storylines for the main characters were quite separate. That's understandable given how the last series ended, but for me it lacked a bit of cohesion. Still very good though.

 

The separate storylines are raised here: https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/bill-hader-barry-arrested-season-3-finale-1235290822/

 

Seeing Alec Berg's name in the credits always makes say his name in the way Jerry Seinfeld does in this clip. (He was a writer and producer on Seinfeld.)

 

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That’s my exact thoughts on it too. I  enjoyed the series, and it’s still one of the better things on TV, but it really suffered with the minimal character interactions. It just felt like everyone except Barry was off doing inconsequential side quests. 

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