#TrendingNews Blog Business Entertainment Environment Health Lifestyle News Analysis Opinion Science Sports Technology World News
Bill Hader Displays His Twisted Genius in HBO Original: "Barry"

In recent years we’ve seen some of the most revered comedic minds of this century take incredibly successful tangents into horror and thriller genres. The world has witnessed Jordan Peele’s ingenious vision across three massively successful films, as well as Seth Rogan’s dive into indie, skate culture inspired A24 film “Mid 90’s.” Perhaps one of the most successful ventures into dark and gritty, stylish television from a renouned comedian wrapped up earlier this year, with Bill Hader’s incredible HBO original series titled, “Barry.” 


“Barry” is a thrilling tale of a retired marine who is corrupted and turned into a hitman upon his arrival home from the Middle East. When a contract job takes him to Los Angeles where he discovers an acting class, he is stuck with juggling dreams of Hollywood fame with the immense weight of the crimes and horrific situations he continuously winds up in. 


An incredibly well done element of “Barry,” is the manner in which Bill Hader balances his dry yet wonderfully hilarious sense of humor with moments of jaw dropping violence and nightmarish situations, often within the same scene. The brilliance of Hader’s writing across the four seasons of “Barry,” comes from his ability to write the character of Barry into a corner consistently and without fail. Writing a character into a corner, is a writing technique Vince Gilligan, creator of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, uses in order to advance the writing process and inject the high stakes feeling of panic and confusion into the viewer as they question how the main characters could possibly get out of the situation they’ve found themselves in. Gilligan says that this technique of placing his character against seemingly impossible odds allows him to create more unique and riveting plot points as it forces him to write creatively. 


Bill Hader’s writing across the course of the four riveting seasons of “Barry,” finds him consistently putting the titular main antihero in seemingly impossible odds. Barry’s lust for money as well as the reputation he establishes for himself as a stone cold murderer in the Los Angeles organized crime scene places him in increasingly high stakes and terrifying situations, each of which is displayed as an incredible tightrope walk along the line between hysterical and heinous. 


After the second season of “Barry,” comes to a close, the show reaches a certain breaking point. The dreariness of the content mirrors Barry’s spiraling mind. As he becomes more enveloped in his horrific double life, the relationships he tries to maintain with his acting coach and his actress girlfriend becoming increasingly more complicated. This creates a riveting inner power dynamic between Barry’s attempts to wrestle a regular human existence out of the tatters of his morality and humanity versus his seemingly inherent nature to be drawn towards the only thing he understands: violence. The third and fourth seasons of the show find Barry dealing with incredibly high stakes situations as he juggles both of his reputations before coming to an frightening, yet blissfully ironic conclusion.


One of the most exciting elements of “Barry,” was Hader’s directorial vision; it makes me incredibly excited for whatever the next venture he has planned. The action scenes, specifically the action scenes in the final two seasons of the show, are some of the mose unique, comedic, and stunningly shot action scenes I’ve ever quite laid my eyes on. Hader makes full use of a huge HBO budget, taking advantage of wide shots that allow firefights and warfare to unfold without a single change of camera angle, a wholly unique take on unfolding action packed events to a viewer. Hader also takes advantage of wonderful sound design, creating a motorcycle chase scene in the third season that quite literally makes slapstick jokes and creates comedic timing without a single word being spoken. These scenes are executed to perfection and are one of the most incredible aspects of the show.


Being an Saturday Night Live veteran, the writing and layers within the jokes on Barry are bound to be laced with classic Hader wit. One of the greatest characters Hader created for the show is the bumbling Czechan crime boss Noho Hank, who is constantly spinning comedic gold as he navigates the troubled climate of working with Barry Berkman, Los Angeles’ grim reaper. Hader casts the ever-funny Henry Winkler as the eccentric acting coach Gene Cousineau, who has a delightfully twisted, yet hilarious, power dynamic and relationship with Barry. As the lives of these eclectic characters that Hader built for his television magnum opus intertwine, break down, and rebuild, what we are left with is fascinating, creative venture into the dark mind of a world renowned comedian. 

Hader has expressed his intentions to try to create a horror movie in the wake of the series finale of “Barry,” and if the outstanding work he put together these last few years is any indicator of the quality he plans to release, we could be looking at the beginning of a new phase in the comedian / writer’s career. I for one, cannot wait.

Share This Post On


Leave a comment

You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in