HBO’s original show “Barry” is not for everyone. It arguably takes the term ‘dark comedy’ to a new level. “Barry” features a hitman training to become an actor because he wants a new life, but he is simultaneously working for the Russian mafia in Los Angeles. This potentially means that he will run from his past for the rest of his life.
“Barry” was nominated for three Golden Globes in 2019 and won three Primetime Emmy awards in 2018 for the show’s first season.
The plot of “Barry” season two picks up weeks after the first season ended, with Barry Berkman’s (Bill Hader) former boss Monroe Fuches (Stephen Root) arrested for a failed mission thanks to his new (thus far unnamed) employee (Shaughn Buchholz) who was presumably brought in to replace Berkman. Fuches’ role in the show is mostly serious, which is a healthy balance for other characters’ scenes. Season one makes it clear that Fuches is not a friendly or generous guy and is only looking after himself and the money he makes. It would be surprising and uncharacteristic if season two did not build on that reputation.
Season one’s cliffhanger is not immediately addressed. Berkman — the hitman turned striving actor — is attempting to direct the play he is supposed to star in until director Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) shows up minutes before showtime and cancels the show and acting class. Cousineau says he is canceling everything because of his beloved girlfriend Janice’s (Paula Newsome) disappearence, which Berkman — unbeknownst to Cousineau and everyone else in the class — played a part in.
Meanwhile, Berkman’s associate, Noho Hank (Anthony Carrigan), who is the new leader of the Russian mafia in Los Angeles, makes a deal with Cristobal Sifuentes (Michael Irby) and a rival criminal organization. Despite Hank being one of the more dangerous people on the show, he provides nearly all of the comic relief in this often-violent show. He is overly polite and generous, completely bald, wears clothing that is too small and is highly effeminate, despite leading a dangerous crime syndicate.
After seeing Berkman in a clothing store, Hank — who is clearly upset with Berkman — approaches him later that night outside of the theater where Berkman practices his acting. After lecturing and scolding Berkman over calling him an idiot in the store, Hank then informs Berkman he has a new job for him. Hank lets Berkman know he is not to be trifled with before leaving in the most
Noho Hank way possible, with the most generic pop music anyone could think of blaring from his car’s speakers.
Like most season premieres, “The Show Must Go On, Probably?” is a little slow and downright boring but provides plenty of funny scenes and sets the landscape for the drama and probable violence that will ensue throughout the rest of the season.
With only one episode of season two airing so far, it is apparent the HBO show will keep its reputation as a very dark but hilariously intriguing comedy. “Barry” is rated
TV-MA and is available to stream on HBO Now/Go, Google Play Movies & TV and Amazon Prime on Sundays at 8 p.m.