Barry (TV series)

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Barry logo.svg
Genre Dark comedy[1]
Created by
Opening theme "Change for the World" by Charles Bradley
Composer(s) David Wingo
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 8 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Alec Berg
  • Bill Hader
  • Aida Rodgers
  • Emily Heller
  • Jeff Buchanan
  • Kyle Reiter
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s)
  • Alec Berg Inc.
  • Hanarply
Original network HBO
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Audio format 5.1 surround
Original release March 25, 2018 (2018-03-25) – present (present)
External links
Official website

Barry is an American dark comedy television series created by Alec Berg and Bill Hader that premiered on March 25, 2018, on HBO. It stars Hader as the eponymous lead character, a Midwestern hitman who travels to Los Angeles to kill someone and then finds himself joining the local arts scene. On April 12, 2018, it was reported that HBO had renewed the series for a second season. The series has been met with a positive critical response, winning two Primetime Emmy Awards: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Hader and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Henry Winkler.


Barry follows former United States Marine Barry Berkman, "who works as a low-rent hitman in the Midwest. Lonely and dissatisfied in his life, he begrudgingly travels to Los Angeles to kill someone and ends up finding an accepting community in a group of eager hopefuls within the L.A. theater scene."[5]

Cast and characters[edit]





No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
1"Chapter One: Make Your Mark"Bill HaderAlec Berg & Bill HaderMarch 25, 2018 (2018-03-25)0.564[6]
Barry Berkman, a marine turned hitman, is sent by Fuches, his handler, to Los Angeles to perform a hit for the Chechen mob. Barry meets with mob boss Goran Pazar and his right-hand man NoHo Hank, who want to kill a man having an affair with Pazar's wife. Barry tracks the target, Ryan Madison, to an acting class taught by the passionate, if temperamental, coach Gene Cousineau. Ryan convinces Barry to perform a scene with him and, despite how poorly it goes, invites him to a bar with the other students after class. It's here that Barry meets, and becomes smitten with, a fellow actress named Sally. Barry later drives a drunk Ryan home, who convinces Barry to take on the stage name 'Barry Block,' all while being spied on by the Chechens. Barry meets with Gene later, who tells Barry that he is a terrible actor. In response, Barry impassionedly tells Gene that he is a hitman. However, Gene thinks it's an improvised performance and is impressed enough to give Barry another shot at his class. Barry eventually decides to follow through on Ryan's hit, only to find Ryan already dead in his car from a headshot. He then sees the killers, the Chechens spying on him earlier, ready to take him out too. Barry guns them down in self-defense and flees the scene. While hiding out at a nearby diner, he talks to the waitress, who he learns is an actress, and tells her he is an actor too.
2"Chapter Two: Use It"Bill HaderAlec Berg & Bill HaderApril 1, 2018 (2018-04-01)0.641[7]
Police detectives investigate Ryan and the mobsters' murder and discover the lipstick camera in the front of the mobsters' car, only to become repeatedly stumped at how it works. Barry and Fuches are kidnapped by the Chechens, where Fuches is tortured via tooth-filing until Barry reluctantly agrees to carry out one last hit on an informant against the Chechens. That day at class, Gene alerts the class that Ryan has been murdered, and the whole class plans a memorial service for Ryan where all members perform a piece in his honor. Sally asks Barry to perform a scene from Doubt, the last piece she and Ryan performed together. At the service, Gene invites Ryan's father to deliver a speech, which causes Barry to suffer a panic attack as he has never before had to witness the grief and pain experienced by the survivors of any of his intended victims. Deciding against performing the piece from Doubt due to its pedophilic nature, Barry walks Sally home and declines to have sex with her, much to her surprise. From afar, a Chechen takes photos of Sally.
3"Chapter Three: Make the Unsafe Choice"Bill HaderDuffy BoudreauApril 8, 2018 (2018-04-08)0.595[8]
Barry is ready to kill the Chechens' next target, Paco, but he is told by NoHo Hank to wait. Pazar's new assassin, Stovka, arrives and he is instructed to kill Barry and Fuches once Barry returns. Fuches attempts to talk Stovka out of killing him, and Stovka ends up killing himself instead. Detectives Moss and Loach learn of Ryan Madison's connection to Pazar and they question the acting students in Gene's class. Barry helps Sally for an audition. At the audition, Sally learns the lead actress is someone who she had worked with previously on a failed TV series. Sally is devastated by the other actress' success and cries during her audition. Barry returns to his job of taking out Paco, but is interrupted by a phone call from Sally, who vents about her problems and begs for him to come over. Barry misses his chance at killing Paco with a sniper rifle, and is forced to break into his house and strangle him to death. Barry then goes to Sally's house, where they have sex and Barry daydreams about a happy life with her.
4"Chapter Four: Commit...To You"Maggie CareySarah SolemaniApril 15, 2018 (2018-04-15)0.511[9]
Sally creates a Facebook profile for Barry, and he reconnects with an old military friend, Chris. Fuches gives Barry his next job: to raid a Bolivian stash house. Barry believes it's too dangerous and backs out. Sally prepares for an audition with her agent and she rejects his sexual advances. He brushes it off, claiming he was joking. At the audition, Sally is told by the casting assistant that her agent doesn't represent her and is told to go home. She is devastated and cries in her car. Detective Moss meets with Gene at a restaurant after he tells her he has pertinent information about the case. She realizes that it's really a date, but she stays anyway. At the police station, the techs have unlocked the lipstick camera, revealing footage of a tall, unrecognizable figure, which unbeknownst to them, is Barry. On his way to a party held by Natalie, one of the acting students, Barry has another daydream about a happy life with Sally. At the party, Barry presents Sally with a new laptop as a gift, but she is offended by the gesture. Barry invites Chris to the party, and he shows up with his two other rowdy Marine friends, Vaughn and Taylor. Sally flirts with Zach, a working actor not in their class, and Barry tells him to back off claiming she's his girl, which offends and angers Sally. Taylor finds Barry's envelope of intel on the stash house raid and Taylor tells Barry he wants in.
5"Chapter Five: Do Your Job"Hiro MuraiBen SmithApril 22, 2018 (2018-04-22)0.643[10]
Sally suggests to Barry that they should take a break from each other. Detective Moss returns to the acting class and re-interviews three men, including Barry, who could match the photo of the tall, unrecognizable figure from the lipstick camera. Barry provides an alibi with the help of Fuches. Barry is told by Fuches to kill Taylor once the raid is done; Barry reluctantly agrees. The acting class discusses the morality of Macbeth and Barry tells the class, "I've killed people. I should just go blow my brains out?" referring to his time as a Marine. Gene replies, "If you kill outside of war, you're a fucking psycho. Then you're irredeemable." That night, Barry and Taylor successfully raid the stash house, killing several men, with Taylor doing most of the killing as well as saving Barry's life. The next morning, Barry meets at the hotel with Fuches, who is happy to see that Barry is alive. Taylor soon joins Barry, revealing that Barry did not follow Fuches's advice about killing him.
6"Chapter Six: Listen With Your Ears, React With Your Face"Hiro MuraiEmily HellerApril 29, 2018 (2018-04-29)0.560[11]
Barry and Fuches survey an airstrip in the desert where the Bolivian drug lord is set to land, and Fuches tells Barry he wants Taylor gone. At the stash house, Pazar tells Vacha to stop photographing Barry; Vacha wants revenge because Barry killed his brother. After sleeping at Gene's house, Detective Moss tells him they're crossing a line with their relationship, because she is investigating his class. At Taylor's apartment, Barry tells him he could take over his job and work for Fuches. In response, Taylor tells Barry he should just kill Fuches. Before Barry leaves, Taylor stuffs money stolen from the stash house into his backpack, without his knowledge. At acting class, Barry notices the money and hides it in bathroom ceiling. Vacha goes to the acting class and follows Sally to her car, but he bumps into Moss. Vacha runs and Moss eventually kills him in a shootout. Moss shows the other officers the cash that was hidden in the bathroom. Barry tells Taylor he will do the job alone, but Taylor arrives at the hotel along with Vaughan and Chris. They drive to the airfield, but are ambushed by gunfire.
7"Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast, and Keep Going"Alec BergLiz SarnoffMay 6, 2018 (2018-05-06)0.636[12]
Barry and Chris, the only survivors of the ambush, escape the airfield and go back to Los Angeles. Immediately going to rehearsal, Barry gives poor line delivery and is berated by both Sally and Gene. The Chechens receive a call from their Bolivian assassination target, Cristobal Sifuentes, who says that there was no need for violence as he would have gladly shared the stash house with them, and declares war on the Chechens. Pazar, furious with Fuches and believing Barry is dead, orders Hank to kill Fuches. Moss learns that there were Marines involved with the attempted hit on the Bolivians and realizes that Barry is her mystery suspect, despite coincidental evidence that convinces the police otherwise. Chris, visibly shaken, talks to Barry and tells him that he intends to go to the police to clear his conscience, leaving Barry with no options. Barry kills Chris and begins to suffer an emotional breakdown. Arriving late to the Shakespeare night shaken up, Barry delivers his one line with such emotional intensity that the audience becomes captivated and Sally gets a confidence boost.
8"Chapter Eight: Know Your Truth"Alec BergAlec Berg & Bill HaderMay 13, 2018 (2018-05-13)0.548[13]
Barry goes to Fuches and takes his share of the money before assaulting him. In response, Fuches tells Pazar that Barry is alive and should be killed. Pazar double-crosses Fuches and prepares to kill him. NoHo, having been berated by Pazar for being too "polite" and "weak", alerts Barry to Pazar's plan. Barry promptly kills Pazar and forces Fuches out of Los Angeles. NoHo takes over leadership of the Chechens and organizes a collaboration with the Bolivians, combining the two crime syndicates. Meanwhile, the LAPD discover the scene of Barry's massacre and come to the conclusion that the Bolivians were behind it, and that Ryan and Taylor orchestrated an attempt to start a turf war and profit from it. They close the case and posthumously stain Ryan's reputation. Barry, having gotten away with everything, rejoins the acting class, and starts a relationship with Sally. A few weeks later, Gene invites Barry, Sally and Moss to his country home, where Moss becomes suspicious of Barry after learning that he goes by his stage name "Barry Block". Her suspicion is further propelled when Gene tells Moss of the monologue Barry gave about being a hitman. She discovers a link between Barry, Chris and Taylor due to Barry's social media, confirming her belief. Barry appears and begs her not to take this any further. When she refuses, Barry retrieves a hidden gun and shots ring out. It is unclear whether Moss survived the encounter. Barry returns to his bedroom the next morning after taking a shower and declares yet again that from that moment on, his criminal life is over.



On January 11, 2016, it was reported that HBO had given the production a pilot order. The episode was to be directed by Bill Hader who was also set to co-write and executive produce alongside Alec Berg.[14] On June 2, 2016, it was reported that HBO had given the production a series order.[5][15] On April 12, 2018, it was reported that HBO had renewed the series for a second season.[16]


Alongside the report of the pilot order, it was confirmed that Hader would star in the pilot.[14] In February 2016, it was reported that Sarah Goldberg, Glenn Fleshler, Anthony Carrigan, Henry Winkler, and Stephen Root had been cast in lead roles in the series' pilot.[17][18][19][20][21]


Principal photography for the first season began in 2017 in Los Angeles.[5]



On December 4, 2017, HBO released the first teaser trailer for the series.[22][23] On January 9, 2018, HBO released the first official trailer for the series.[24][25]


On March 21, 2018, the series held its official premiere at NeueHouse Hollywood in Los Angeles, California.[26][27]

On April 28, 2018, episodes one through three were screened during the Series Mania Festival at the Le Majestic cinema in Lille, France. It appeared alongside seven other television programs in the festival's "Best of USA" series of shows.[28][29]


Critical response[edit]

The first season of Barry has been met with a positive response from critics since it premiered. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds a 98% approval rating with an average rating of 7.95 out of 10, based on 56 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "PTSD and comedy make strangely endearing bedfellows in Barry, which proves more poignant than its sketch show premise."[30] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 83 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[31]


No. Title Air date Rating
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "Chapter One: Make Your Mark" March 25, 2018 0.2 0.564[6] N/A 0.538 N/A 1.103[32]
2 "Chapter Two: Use It" April 1, 2018 0.2 0.641[7] N/A N/A N/A N/A
3 "Chapter Three: Make the Unsafe Choice" April 8, 2018 0.2 0.595[8] 0.2 0.555 0.4 1.150[33]
4 "Chapter Four: Commit...To You" April 15, 2018 0.2 0.511[9] 0.2 0.565 0.4 1.077[34]
5 "Chapter Five: Do Your Job" April 22, 2018 0.2 0.643[10] N/A N/A N/A N/A
6 "Chapter Six: Listen With Your Ears, React With Your Face" April 29, 2018 0.2 0.560[11] N/A N/A N/A N/A
7 "Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast, and Keep Going" May 6, 2018 0.2 0.636[12] N/A N/A N/A N/A
8 "Chapter Eight: Know Your Truth" May 13, 2018 0.2 0.548[13] 0.2 0.523 0.4 1.072[35]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Comedy Barry Nominated [36]
Outstanding New Program Barry Nominated
Individual Achievement in Comedy Bill Hader Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Barry Nominated [37][38]
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Bill Hader Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Henry Winkler Won
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series Bill Hader (for "Chapter One: Make Your Mark") Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Alec Berg and Bill Hader (for "Chapter One: Make Your Mark") Nominated
Liz Sarnoff (for "Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast And Keep Going") Nominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series Sharon Bialy and Sherry Thomas Nominated [37][39]
Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour) Paula Huidobro (for "Chapter Eight: Know Your Truth") Nominated
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half-Hour or Less) Tyler B. Robinson, Eric Schoonover and Amber Haley (for "Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast And Keep Going") Nominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series Jeff Buchanan (for "Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast And Keep Going") Nominated
Kyle Reiter (for "Chapter Eight: Know Your Truth") Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation Matthew E. Taylor, Sean Heissinger, Rickley W. Dumm, Michael Brake, Hilda Hodges and Rick Owens (for "Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast And Keep Going") Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation Todd Beckett, Elmo Ponsdomenech and Benjamin Patrick (for "Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast And Keep Going") Won


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  2. ^ Stuever, Hank (March 23, 2018). "Terrific 'Barry' shows how HBO's best dramas are often found in its comedies". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  3. ^ Herman, Alison (March 25, 2018). "'Barry' Is a Different Kind of Crime Comedy". The Ringer. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
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External links[edit]