The wait for Bill Hader’s new HBO show, Barry, is finally over. The series will premiere on Sunday, March 25, on HBO at 10:30pm ET/PT. Each episode will run for 30 minutes.
In Barry, Hader stars as a depressed hitman from the Midwest who travels to LA for a hit and finds himself in an acting class taught by Henry Winkler. Bitten by the acting bug, Hader then tries to pursue a career as a hitman-turned-entertainer. Hader, who most know from SNL, created the dark comedy along with Silicon Valley showrunner Alec Berg.
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For the first time in a long time, Barry, in HBO’s new series, is forced to take a good hard look at himself. And as he comes to realize, acting requires a level of introspection he finds deeply uncomfortable. Considering he’s a depressed hitman. In the words of Vulture, the show revolves around a central question: What happens when the thing you’re good at is no longer the thing you want to do?
Barry has received overwhelmingly positive reviews thus far. Collider calls this performance the best of Hader’s career.
Vox writes that the show is incredibly funny, and has viewers in stitches at certain parts, but is also extremely dark. “Barry is an intrinsically tragic character. He’s a lost, depressed veteran who found a calling in the murder-for-hire business, a life he’s uncomfortable with but has no idea how to leave behind. Whenever he tried to insist he’s done, starting now, someone will inevitably find a way to pull him right back in.”
In an interview with Collider, Hader and Berg were asked when they realized the concept was worth moving forward with. Hader said, “I think when we saw the pilot cut together.” Berg added, “They asked for more, and we said, ‘What?!'”
At another point, Hader was asked what it was like to have Henry Winkler play his acting teacher. He said, “He’s great. He’s such a sweet guy, and he’s not like that character, at all, which is really funny.”
Touching a bit on the narrative, the co-creators spoke about how long Barry would be able to keep his two worlds (actor and hitman) separate. The men joked, with Berg saying, “He can keep them separate for seven seasons.” Hader said, “I told HBO for 10-12 seasons, maybe.” Berg then said, “Seven seasons and a movie.”
Hader (who also directed a number of the episodes) “brings a sense of menace to Barry — including his dead-eyed stares when Gene tries to motivate him by pushing his buttons — but also a sense of emptiness, which gets beyond the cliché baked into the premise of what HBO is cheekily promoting as a ‘hit show'”, accoridng to CNN.
“Barry” premieres March 25 at 10:30 p.m. on HBO.