"Barry" Season 2
On March 31, the second season of “Barry” premiered on HBO. The darkly funny show, starring and co-created by “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Bill Hader, follows the titular character, a Midwestern hitman, as he flies out to Los Angeles for a job. In the show’s first season, Barry’s target is known to take nightly acting classes, which Barry then joins in order to follow his mark. Finding a passion for the craft, Barry remains in the class even after killing one of its members. The show continues to follow Barry as he tries to balance the business needs of his handler, Fuches, while continuing to pursue his acting passion. Crazy characters constantly push Barry to his wit’s end, whether it be struggling, amateur actors or drug-dealing gangs that hire his services; Hader and Co. somehow make the latter just as humorous as the former. Surrounded by a great cast, Hader steps back from the aggressively funny characters he portrayed on “SNL,” instead displaying his dramatic range as the withdrawn and depressed Barry. This mature decision is emblematic of Hader’s steep involvement in all aspects of the show’s production—he directs and has lead writing credit on several episodes, in addition to his positions as the series co-creator and star. When Hader is not behind the camera, the director’s chair is often occupied by Hiro Murai of “Atlanta” and “This is America” fame, making for consistently striking visuals. The first season stood out as one of last year’s very best shows, and the second season is off to a suspenseful start, leaving right where the previous season’s cliffhanger left off. For those unfamiliar with “Barry,” the first season includes eight forty-minute episodes, making for a quick, and highly recommended, binge in order to catch up with the new, weekly episodes on Sunday nights.