Barry: Season 2 Hits The Mark

Bill Hader and Sarah Goldberg in Barry. Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova/HBO.

HBO’s dark comedy, Barry, is able to hit the mark during the sophomore season and the series capably avoids the sophomore slump.

I’ve only seen the first three episodes of the season season.  While I can’t speak to the rest of the second season, co-creators Alec Berg and Bill Hader have upped the ante on the second season.  When we last left our anti-hero, he was in some sort of a personal crisis.  Not just any crisis in particular but the one that questions how he ended up there to begin with.  The ramifications of the first season is still having an affect on our main characters.

Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler), in particular, is suffering from the worst of it.  After all, he’s still grieving the loss of Detective Janice Moss at the end of last season.  The season starts a few weeks after the first season finale with Gene out of commission.  With Gene missing in action and against girlfriend Sally’s (Sarah Goldberg) better judgement, Barry decides to step up and direct The Front Page.  If Gene had his way, his class would be cancelled once and for all.    At least, this is what happens until Gene decides to pull the plug on the whole thing.  Not for nothing, Barry does what he can to be persuasive.

Meanwhile, NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) finds himself feeling threatened.  It turns out that the Bolivians want to bring in a Bureme gang leader.  These leads to a whole new can of worms that brings Barry back into the fold.  Even when he thinks he can escape his past live, something finds a way to get Barry back into the picture.  As for Monroe Fuches (Stephen Root), he is incapable of finding someone who can suitably replace his favorite assassin.  Sucks to be him, I guess.  Still, you can’t help but laugh at his predicament.

Both Bill Hader and Henry Winkler bring their A-game.  The two of them are certainly on their way to more awards nominations.

If the first three episodes of the second season are any indication, it’s more or less business as usual for the back half of Barry‘s second season.  Both Berg and Hader know where their middle-ground happy place is so to speak.  You can either have too much comedy or too much violence.  They go for a nice mix of both that is suitable for the series.

CREATORS:  Alec Berg and Bill Hader
CAST:  Bill Hader, Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg, Anthony Carrigan, and Henry Winkler

Barry’s eight-episode second season airs Sunday nights on HBO at 10:00–10:30 p.m. ET/PT. Grade: 4.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.