After four successful and critically acclaimed seasons, HBO’s “Barry” has wrapped with what is surely one of the most interesting change in career trajectories. Created by Bill Hader and Alec Berg, “Barry” premiered as a black comedy in 2018 only to become one of the most acclaimed crime series in the past few years. Hader has had his roots dug into comedy for the entirety of his career, but now has flashed his creative prowess even more with “Barry”. From being in the writer’s room since day 1, to giving a dynamic acting performance, and all the way up to directing most if the program; Bill Hader has delivered a beautiful jack-of-all-trades effort.
The final season of “Barry” has premiered on the Max service and has given its audience a wrap up of one of the best shows of the last half decade. Was Hader and company able to deliver an ending that is on par with the rest of the show?
The answer is a “hard yes”.
A Story With No Capes
Season 4 smartly answers the question of who the real hero of “Barry” is: nobody. The theme that has been constantly tackled throughout the series is what makes a person good and can a person change their nature or not. Can bad people turn into not bad people? Can you change your legacy and appear as a good person? Now we know what Bill Hader thinks.
The final season bluntly enforces the answer that it is ridiculous to entertain the fact that monsters can change their evil nature and garner sympathy for themselves. Bill Hader is simply laughing at you for feeling sympathy for his respective character and all of his counterparts. Because why should you?? They are all pieces of shit!
Stephen Root, whom deliverers the finest performance of his career, gives an impactful monologue about the freedom of accepting being a piece of shit. Why be a poser? A killer is a killer. It is a monologue and point that the entire series has been building towards and is perhaps the reason his character had a “good” ending. It’s one example of one of these evil characters perhaps doing something admirable for once.
It is masterfully done. No heroes, no capes. Just characters tricking the audience to feel sympathy for them. Characters who remain in the constant cycle of inflicting pain to run away from who they are. “Wow” hits the head on the nail of the subject and the impact is felt.
Oh Wow, That’s So Meta
Continuing with its roasting of the state of Hollywood and the media that follows, this final season perfectly summed up the dangers behind fake legacies. Bill Hader delivers a modern tragedy with his ending to his character.
The death of Barry was long underway as he attempted to change his legacy and appear as a hero to all. Creating new life for the sole purpose of appearing like a god fearing, stand up person. Even with his effort, he never failed to ultimately put himself first. Causing pain and death to those around him. A hurricane of mass destruction whom is desperate for love and acceptance.
All of that just for him to be painted as a hero in the eyes of millions. Barry unintentionally earned a hero ending while never doing anything to even begin warranting it.
It is a tragic end to this story, but also so relevant. Perhaps one of the most well made metatextual points about modern media. Hader has been making this point for 5 years and it now has come to a head. Condemning Hollywood for glorifying psychopaths and killers is a very popular and important topic. It have never been done this well though.
The final shot of this series is a haunting reminder of what dramatization and justifying evil can do. Barry’s son, played by Jaeden Martell, tearfully smiling at the television that displays his fathers undeserving legacy. It’s fully melancholic and explosive in how it all unfolds.
Bill Hader has displayed some of the strongest acting, writing, directing in all of TV and media. Season 4 especially has brought it all. Perhaps providing some of the most unique, creative decisions and leaps most aren’t willing to take.
Season 4 brought its dark comedy roots while merging it with some of the most bleak and haunting elements yet. The cast continues to work through these motions flawlessly, with the most dynamic performances yet. Bill Hader, Henry Winkler, Sarah Goldberg, Anthony Carrigan, Stephen Root, and Robert Wisdom all deserve their flowers with some of the strongest acting performances in TV history.
Perhaps the only criticism for this season was how short it is. These daunting ideas and how they are conveyed deserve more time to marinate and unfold.
That’s it. That’s the only criticism.
Season 4 has perfectly wrapped up “Barry” in a satisfying, yet tragic bow. Executed perfectly in what it’s exactly trying to do: reflect. Thank you, Bill Hader and co. for the greatest TV series ever produced.
Watch “Barry”. Watch Movies.