Barry S3 review: Bill Hader's dark hitman comedy makes a welcome return
After an unwelcome two-year hiatus Bill Hader's dark hitman comedy Barry is back on Sky Comedy, and season three is already looking like something really special.
The series, about a soul-less assassin trying to find human connection and meaning through acting, has been one of the real comedy drama gems of the last few years.
It returns after a Covid-related break, picking up the pieces of Barry’s shattered world from the end of the last outing, the stakes are higher and the risk greater as out beloved anti-hero doesn’t know where to go.
The show is kind of like Grosse Point Blank meets 30 Rock and for the previous two series, we’d seen poor Barry make friends and fall in love, all the while trying to extricate himself from the contract killing world — to comically unsuccessful effect.
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Having come across an acting class while making a hit in LA, he was tickled by the idea of a creative art – and very interested in pursuing beautiful aspiring actress Sally.
But as pulled in by his past, it’s been a constant struggle to stay out of the game, and avoid an ever-closer police department.
As his acting and drama world crumbled last year, with his acting coach Gene (the legendary Henry Winkler) discovering his protégé had killed his girlfriend, Barry doesn’t know where to go. Especially as her erstwhile handler and manipulator Fuches also seems to be out of the picture.
As his girlfriend Sally tries to scale heights with her blossoming acting career, Barry is sinking further, directionless, into his old ways, and the stakes just keep getting higher.
Bill Hader is in best form yet as his grim alter-ego struggles to resume a normalish life.
While Henry (the Fonz) Winkler’s dreamer acting coach turned bitter and heartbroken adversary is once again a touch of class.
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But as with every episode of this so far, it’s Anthony Carrigan’s man-of-the-match Noho Hank who steals all the lumens. His naïve, goofy and somehow still all-powerful Chechen gang boss is one of the best characters on television just now and his starting point for season three is as surprising as it is delightful.
When the supporting comedy villain outshines the SNL star lead, and The Fonz, you know you’ve got a special show on your hands. Unmissable again.
Barry is on Sky Comedy, Monday nights at 9:45pm from 25 April.
Watch: Bill Hader opens up about anxiety struggles