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HBO Series Barry: Bill Hader and Henry Winkler in a Dramatic Role

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

The HBO series Barry sees Bill Hader in a dramatic role alongside Henry "The Fonz" Winkler which happens rarely to say the least. While this is not a completely feel-good show, Barry is an entertaining dark comedy that will get a few chuckles out of you every few minutes, in most episodes.


Bill Hader as Barry

This series is different from shows such as Dexter where the showrunners hint that it's okay to kill as long as it is for righteous reasons. Here killing has consequences, is never forgiven, and although set against a morbid motif, has several opportunities for comedy.



Plot of HBO Series Barry


Barry is a hitman from Cleveland who stumbles on a whole new career after a hit takes him to the entertainment capital of the world - LA (Los Angeles). Bill Hader's Barry is a deeply flawed human being and war vet who seeks purpose in the form of killing bad people.


When he reaches LA for his latest murder assignment, he is also tired of taking life and seeks peace and self-expression in the form of the noble art of acting.


HBO Series Barry starring Bill Hader
The King is dead!


Even though the plot seems simple, the show creators have worked wonders with execution, walking the line between comedy and drama effortlessly. Throughout seasons 1 and 2 Barry is shown acknowledging his past, how he feels about what he does for a living currently, and the darker aspects of his personality that he's trying to accept.



Season 1


Barry Berkman manages to find love in ( a hopeless place? ) LA while learning to act and constructs a life around this newfound passion. He learns to connect with people, and trust them while trying to distance himself from the life of a paid assassin.



Season 2


Things get more complicated in this season, with Barry having to make tough choices as a hitman and deal with the possibility of being found out. He seems to be in a quicksand situation where the more he struggles to get out, the more he gets in deep.


In one particular episode directed by Bill Hader ( Season 2 Episode 5 ) ronny/lily, you get loads of unexpected comedy gold where things go hilariously wrong for the hitman actor.



Cast and Characters


Sally Reed


Barry's love interest in this series is played by Sarah Golberg as a damaged individual looking to rebuild her life after a bad marriage scarred by abuse. Goldberg does justice to the role, where you can feel the chaos in her thoughts and the emotional baggage that she brings into her relationship with Barry.


Gene Cousineau


It is refreshing to see Henry Winkler playing the role of a confident person for a change. He is a somewhat successful acting coach Gene Cousineau in this series where he has enough game to charm a police detective!



He also serves as a mentor in part to Barry and in life generally, giving him advice on how to draw from life to feed his performance and more.


Noho Hank


The Chechen mobster Noho Hank who is surprisingly approachable and friendly is played by Anthony Carrigan.



He is Goran Pazar's first Lieutenant who hires Barry for a hit in LA. Hader has actually based the character of Hank on an Apple Genius Bar technician who repaired his laptop while writing for the series. Hank comes across as easy-going, casual, and slightly campy.


Janice Moss


Janice Moss is the tough, yet beautiful detective played by Paula Newsome, with great instincts and a good record on the force. Newsome does a great job portraying this more than 2D character by showing how she manages to balance work and life with some effort. The chemistry between Moss and Cousineau is fun to watch in this series.



Monroe Funches


Stephen Root is no stranger to dramatic roles but is equally skilled in comedy as well. In this series, however, he plays Monroe Funches, the manipulative mentor of Barry Berkman. He somehow reminds me of the disturbing blind person he played in Jordan Peele's Get Out.




Should You Watch It? Yes!


A lot of jokes, a lot of meaningful, somber moments, and true depth to the characters in the episodes are just some of the reasons why you need to watch this fun series. It might not be a sitcom, but it'll still make you laugh and think about life - watch it!


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