How the HBO Show is a Comedy and Drama Masterclass

barry is an HBO original series that tells the story of a Midwestern hitman who moves to Los Angeles and becomes involved in the city’s theater scene. The show originally premiered in 2018 and currently has two full seasons available on HBO Max. If you are wondering when the third season of barry will be released, the third season premiere is scheduled for April 24, 2022 and will be available to stream on HBO.

barry is carving out an interesting and unique space for itself in the world of comedy series streaming. The show is most accurately described as a black comedy; he is, after all, a hitman, whose job is to kill others. However, compared to other dark comedies, this series has a different approach. Where other comedy series may use morbidity as a comedic tool, barry approaches death and murder from a more grounded and realistic point of view.

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The sharp separation between the comedic and darker elements makes for a very interesting show. Instead of the characters being nonchalant in the face of death, they are aware of its repercussions. This aspect raises the stakes and allows for incredibly compelling acting that transcends the subgenre. This series is truly a masterclass in comedy and drama, and in this article, we’ll explain exactly why.

High Level Interim


Winkler and Goldber on stage in Barry
HBO

acting in barry is truly phenomenal. The show wouldn’t be as strong as it is without the high level level of action displayed throughout the series. The creator and main character of the show, Bill Haderis a seasoned comedy professional, with a hilarious acting in movies like Knocked Up, Hot Rod, Superbad, Trainwreck, and Thunder in the tropics. Hader was also one of the best performers and later one of the best animators of Saturday Night Liveand he starred in another series he created, Documentary now! Hader does much more than comedy in this series, showing his range through Barry’s interpersonal and professional relationships – which tend to involve murder.

Hader’s friends in this series are people involved in theater and the improv scene in Los Angeles. This includes her romantic interest, Sally Reed (played by Sarah Goldberg) and her acting teacher Gene Cousineau (played flawlessly by Henry Winkler, who won an Emmy for it). As the series progresses, they have a more involved role in Barry’s life. Gene is specifically forced to deal with Barry’s calling and does a great job playing the role and reacting to the gravity of the situation.

Related: Barry’s Scripts Already Written For Next Two Seasons Bill Hader Teases

Although Hader’s character tries to distance himself from his profession as a killer, he continues to be put back in place. Two people involved in this hidden part of Barry’s life are Chechen mobster NoHo Hank and Barry’s corrupt father figure and employer, Monroe Fuches. NoHo Hank is played by the brilliantly charismatic Anthony Carrigan and Fuches is played by the talented Stephen Root.

Barry’s Unique Kind


Barry is playing a video game
HBO

As mentioned earlier, the unique kind of barry is one of its shining attributes. Compared to a dark comedy series like the sequel What we do in the shadows who may show a casual and dismissive response to death, barry we see remorse for killing; it is understood that Barry’s work causes immense harm to others, and it weighs on him.

A particularly good example of this would be in season two where he is forced to kill a friend of his, Chris, after being implicated in a murder. Barry tries to convince his friend that keeping quiet is the best decision and that he wants to try to protect his friend and his family. The friend says he has to tell the police and he doesn’t mind going to jail. After that is said, Barry gets upset. He is angry knowing now that his only option is to kill his friend. The friend begs Barry, but Barry quickly complies and walks away, obviously shaken and revealing his pain as he trashes a play from the theater, none of which is played for laughs.

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Barry is not a heartless killer. He uses his acting and drama classes as a form of catharsis after numbness for so many years. He struggles to form meaningful interpersonal relationships because of his career. The series features an incredible range of human emotions, from grief to anger to jealousy. It really is an amazing story with great acting, which is tied in with great directing and good writing.

Barry’s Writing and Directing


Barry is surprised in the woods
HBO

Bill Hader has really outdone himself with directing this series. He’s the creator and star (and even the occasional director), so there are no barriers between production and the finished product of his character, Barry. Hader has already written for Saturday Night Live, South Park, and Documentary Now!, but this series elevates his art to new heights.

Both on a macro level and with specifics ranging from its visual palette to moments of powerful dialogue, barry excels. The dialogue is realistic, compelling, and mostly matches the pacing and style of the actors delivering it. Following the actors, the dialogue has a range, shining through all the scenes, whether it’s an action sequence, a romantic scene or a funny scene, maintaining realism while being specific to show and fit.

Something that isn’t always the finest in comedy series are their biggest single-season story arcs. Where other shows can keep their storylines relatively episodic, barry has a long, gripping story arc spanning multiple seasons that keeps the viewer watching, unsure if Barry is going to be redeemed or turned into an irredeemable monster (or caught or killed). This may come as a surprise, considering the episodes are only around 30 minutes long, but the show pulls it off. In this short time, barry is able to display funny and compassionate characters while advancing the larger storyline. This series is truly a masterclass in comedy and drama; if you haven’t seen barryit is a definitive watch.


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