Barry is an HBO series that recently finished its 8-episode 1st season. It’s great.

Barry is a dark comedy starring Bill Hader as a depressed, low-rent hitman from the Midwest. Lonely and dissatisfied in his life, he reluctantly travels to Los Angeles to execute a hit on an aspiring actor. Barry follows his “mark” into an acting class and ends up finding an accepting community in a group of eager hopefuls within the LA theater scene. He wants to start a new life as an actor, but his criminal past won’t let him walk away —can he find a way to balance both worlds?

I’m predisposed to liking Bill Hader and Henry Winkler, but this show is excellent otherwise. Stephen Root is great as Hader’s handler. Anthony Carrigan is hysterical as a deeply, deeply weird Chechen mobster. Paula Newsome does a ton of heavy lifting as a detective who keeps getting close to uncovering Barry’s secret.

It is also a really violent show, fyi. Barry’s a hitman and he kills a lot of people and none of the killing is “cool”. This isn’t John Wick. The killing in Barry carries a real weight that builds over the course of the season.

Another thing I enjoyed was the exploration of entry-level acting in LA. Here’s a good video of series co-creators Alec Berg and Bill Hader talking about that: