Reviews: Review of “Barry” – Season 4, by and with Bill Hader (HBO Max)

Hader not only stars as always but also directed the 8 episodes of this series that says goodbye to a very high artistic level.

Barry – Season 4 (United States/2023). Showrunners: Bill Hader and Alec Berg. Direction: Bill Hader (all 8 episodes). Cast: Bill Hader, Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg, Henry Winkler and Anthony Carrigan. Screenplay: Bill Hader (E1, E5 and E8), Nicky Hirsch (E2), Emma Barrie (E3), Taofik Kolade (E4), Duffy Boudreau (E6), Liz Sarnoff (E7). Length: 8 episodes between 26 and 34 minutes each, 7 viewed for this review (E1: Yikes, 26′; E2: Bestest Place on the Earth, 30′; E3: You’re Charming, 32′; E4: It Takes a Psycho, 3. 4′; E5: Tricky Legacies, 33′; E6: The Wizard, 31′; E7: A Nice Meal30′. The first two episodes will premiere on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday, April 16. Then a new one will be presented every Sunday until May 28.

About Barrythe story of an ex-marine turned hit man turned actor, he had already written at the beginning a review here and about the third season here. A few hours before the start of the fourth and last (the beginning of the end) and, thanks to the courtesy of HBO (an acronym that is about to disappear for stay alone max), which made 7 of the 8 episodes available to the critics (we don’t know, then, how the outcome is) we can affirm that this very black comedy that really drifted more and more towards drama with irruptions of dry and absurd humor became says goodbye holding a capital creative and interpretive quality.

The fact that Bill Hader has directed all the episodes (he also wrote three) gives it more coherence and narrative fluidity than ever. What’s more, if the eight episodes last four hours, this season (which has an abrupt turn in its second half that we will not reveal) could well be seen as two movies of two hours each.

We are going to count only the initial plot of this fourth season: Barry (Hader) is sent to prison for the murder of detective Janice Moss and in the same jail is Monroe Fuches (Stephen Root). Our perfect anti-hero discovers that he has been betrayed by his theater teacher Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) and by Jim Moss (Robert Wisdom), Janice’s father, the policeman who was also Gene’s partner. For her part, Sally (Sarah Goldberg) enters an absolute crisis with Barry and – between pain, anguish and guilt – tries to continue as she can with her acting career (or as a coach to a star). The panorama is completed with the bald Chechen Hank (Anthony Carrigan) trying to maintain a life as normal as possible with the Bolivian Cristobal Sifuentes (Michael Irby) in the always tense universe of mafia gangs.

In principle, Barry T4 It has a lot of prison drama with the threats, betrayals, and violent situations typical of life behind bars, but since the structure is still choral, each character has its own subplot. And, in that sense, it is Sarah Goldberg who gets the most and best benefit from each of the scenes. In a series with a very masculine imprint in principle, she was gaining space and importance until she was the one who dazzled the most in this closing from a few scenes that were as hilarious as they were terrifying at the same time.

As always, the series has constant surprises, but it is between episodes 3 and 4 when a deep break occurs that completely changes the setting and dynamics of the story. And it is in those chapters that very nice cameos by filmmakers take place (Guillermo del Toro in the third and Sian Heder, director of the “Oscar-winning” codain the room).

And there will be unusual family spinoffs and extreme shootings and a podcast hosted by, yes, real killersand movies within movies (within the series) and all the ridiculous and brilliant elements that made up the hallmark of one of the best series of the last five years.


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