In his directorial debut, Bill Hader of SNL fame is bringing us the story of a hitman looking for some good feelings in his life. Barry wants a life where he can thrive, not just survive on killing people. When you’ve deadened yourself so much inside that your job is killing people and you feel little joy, you need a shakeup.
As we start the BARRY series and this episode, we see Barry on a mission which he quickly wraps up and returns home. His apartment is devoid of warmth and personality. It is, in essence, a reflection of who Barry has become. Barry doesn’t feel much anymore. Very little in life still gives Barry any joy. But he does happen to find some in L.A. After tracking down his current mark, Barry follows him to his acting class and gets pulled on stage for a scene. Though he is understandably not great, he finds something on the stage. He found who he wants to be.
The problem there being his handler Fuches (Stephen Root, Office Space) doesn’t think it is a good idea. He wants Barry to stick to what he knows, which happens to be killing. Barry, as we see in the beginning, is a former Marine. So you have to wonder how he ended here? But in any case, Barry’s decision to pursue acting doesn’t really vibe well with him wanting to be an actor. Barry’s caught hugging his mark and before Barry can rectify it himself, the people who hired him have taken care of it. They actually try to take care of Barry but he’s just too quick on the shot. Also shout out to the Fonz, Henry Winkler, as the acting coach Gene Cousineau. I think he’s going to be giving us a lot of laughs this season.
One aspect that I’m sure I will bring up throughout the show is the idea of what’s “bad.” In the trailer as well as the first episode, the comment is made that Barry takes out “bad guys.” Supposedly the people he kills are not good people and therefore deserve to die. The hit that takes Barry out to L.A. is to kill a physical trainer. Now I had to wonder, what’s he done? He’s just a personal trainer, so is he a rapist or a murderer or pedophile or what? He’s clearly supposed to be a bad guy. Turns out his crime was sleeping with a woman who is married to a man in the Chechen mob. So hold up, infidelity is worthy of the death penalty? Now granted sleeping with a married person is not ever a good idea, but it does not make a person worthy of being killed. The only reason this guy’s head is even on that particular chopping block is because of who the woman is married to. If this were an average couple and one had cheated, the likelihood of anyone dying in that situation is going to be much less. But because he’s a Chechen gangster he can hire a hit on the man who diddled his wife. I have to ask, what toll does it take on Barry in his killing? I’m sure not every kill is a purely a bad guy, so does Barry really have the moral flexibility to handle it? Or will his time growing in his acting open up that maybe the people he kills might not really be that bad. But let’s look at what’s in store for next week and get some insight from Hader!
What we see is that Barry wants to be in the spotlight, not in the shadows like he has been. I love that Hader was flinching and shooting with his eyes closed; because that would totally be me. But like Barry, Hader does his own acting and is able to pull off the look of a stone-cold assassin. Will Barry follow his head and what he’s good at or his heart and take a chance on something he might fail? Tune in next Sunday to see more!
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