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Just Don’t Hurt Hank: Barry Season One

Bill Hader as Barry


Created By: Bill Hader & Alec Berg

The first thing I want to admit about season one of Barry is it took me until episode 3 to really get into it. When Barry and Hank have the bullet argument I was totally in. And I find the character work and the writing of each season fascinating. Not the least bit because I’ve watched so many interviews with Hader and Berg about writing it that I can’t stop myself.

Barry is about a hitman having a life crisis. He goes to LA to handle a kill for Chechen gangsters and is completely taken in by an acting class run by Gene Cousineau (the wonderful Henry Winkler part therapist mostly money-grubbing failed actor turned teacher.)

Barry wants to throw in the murdering towel which does not make his boss/father figure Fuches happy at all.

Stephen Root is excellent in his role not surprisingly and as much as Fuches is horrible and desperate and I’m thinking to myself Barry needs to kill him there are also moments when he makes you believe he actually does care for Barry in his own way.

Again as much as I enjoyed the ride I think most of the characters really hit there depth in season 2 so all of them get far more shaded in. I also don’t see this as a comedy. Anthony Carrigan’s lovable Hank is definitely the most comedic character in the show.

I’ll be honest- which will probably get me in trouble- I could not stand Sally throughout the season. I mean Sarah Goldberg is great and she’s tasked with the most realistic character in the show perhaps. Maybe a little too realistic? Because shockingly self-centered is bad enough but a shockingly self-centered person who also thinks their noble drives me up the wall.

My favorite part for the acting class is when they call her out on it. My favorite part for Gene is when he’s kind of mocking her over it but it goes right over her head and he gives into what she wants.

I know a lot of people say she’s not a cold-blooded killer so you got to like her but I got to be honest- she’d shove another actress down a flight of stairs in a heart beat if it was over a role. And she’d think she was doing everyone a favor.

Barry is a fascinating character and Hader is so good and so naturally likable that yeah, I admit it up until the season finale I was rooting for the asshole to walk away from it all. (Someone pointed out that more innocent people have died since Barry tried to go good than he killed in his job. Probably true.)

Yeah, the season finale was absolutely brutal and at least for me answers Barry’s question of whether he’s good or bad and works as one hell of a set-up for season two.

Overall I would say give Barry a go. Though if you’re expecting a half hour comedy you may want to reconsider. It’s an excellent show and I’m glad I stuck with it. Even more glad when I watched season two 🙂

Also and this is completely out there but I really want Hank’s emojis.

Recommend: Yes.

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