Premise: A hit man (Bill Hader) becomes disillusioned with his violent craft and decides acting may be his true calling. As he tries to build a new life as a fledgling actor in Los Angeles, the hit man must kill people on the side. His two lives entangle and the murders turn more and more personal.
Sum-up: Despite the dark premise, “Barry” still manages to be a hilarious comedy. The mixture of bleak, haunting emotional moments with good jokes makes for a truly unique viewing experience. Hader combines his comedic résumé (“Saturday Night Live,” “South Park,” various Judd Apatow movies) with an encyclopedic knowledge of the types of movies that make it into the Criterion Collection. The combination of existential horror and slapstick wouldn’t have likely worked in other hands, but “Barry” rises to the echelon of mastery.
Heads-up: The show has many gruesome moments, both bodily and morally. Although the jokes and the strong narrative make this a fun watch, getting through an episode of “Barry” might not exactly be easy. The protagonist has seen and done some awful things and the viewer gets taken along for a ride in his horrifying life.