The Best Dark Comedy Crime Series Ever Is Streaming On Max

By TeeJay Small | Published

Since the golden era of streaming first kicked off over a decade ago, it seems that television viewers have been inundated with fantastic crime shows, including Breaking Bad, Ozark, and many more. Even with all the stiff competition offered by numerous prestige TV, no crime series blends absurdism and comedy into the mix quite like the HBO original series Barry. Barry concluded its brief 4-season run last year to some all-time high ratings, tying a bow on a TV show that’s nearly perfect, all things considered.

A Bill Hader And Alex Berg Brainchild

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Barry was created and developed for television by the brilliant comedic duo of Bill Hader and Alec Berg. Berg, who served as a producer on Curb Your Enthusiasm and showrunner of HBO’s Silicon Valley, first approached Hader after the latter left Saturday Night Live in 2013. Over the course of several years, the duo brainstormed a myriad of ideas, eventually landing on the concept of a depressed hitman with dreams of making it big as a Hollywood star.

Starts Out Funny But Gets Dark

Bill Hader stars in the series as the titular Barry Berkman, with an incredible ensemble rounding out the cast, which includes Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg, Anthony Carrigan, D’Arcy Carden, and legendary comedic actor Henry Winkler. Hader was obviously best known for his work in the field of comedy when Barry first premiered, as reflected by the light-hearted and upbeat tone of the first few episodes. Despite the series being marketed as a comedy, however, Barry rapidly descends into a high-strung depressing meditation on the nature of good vs evil, and the reality of what it means to be a killer.

Assassin Turned Actor

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The premise of the show sees Barry turning to his mentor and surrogate father figure Monroe Fuches for guidance after he is discharged from the Marine Corps. Instead of sending the perpetually depressed and lonely veteran to therapy to figure out his purpose in life, Fuches utilizes Barry’s expert combat skills to push him into the hitman business. Once Barry travels to Los Angeles to perform a hit for the Russian mob, he becomes tied up with a number of aspiring actors, and finds himself enrolled in an acting class.

Anthony Carrigan Steals The Show


Over the course of 4 short seasons, Barry gets darker and darker, but never loses its comedic edge. By the end of the show, characters are firing rocket launchers at each other in broad daylight, attempting hits with exploding pens, and holding meetings about the virtues of gang violence from the conference room of a local Dave & Buster’s. The breakout star of the series is Anthony Carrigan as Russian mobster NoHo Hank, who steals every scene he appears in, and elevates the series to the status of comedy gold.

Bill Hader’s Magnum Opus


The greatest highlight of Barry, however, is Bill Hader’s surprisingly incredible skills behind the camera. As the show progresses, the SNL alumni takes on more and more directing duties, eventually serving as a director on the entirety of the fourth and final season. Throughout the show, the audience is treated to high-value action set-pieces, with some truly one-of-a-kind cinematography and inspired composition choices.

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of catching Barry, please do yourself a favor and stream the series on Max today. The show has reached massive critical acclaim from the general public, resulting in a near-perfect Rotten Tomatoes score of 98 percent. If nothing else, the series will have you incredibly excited to see what Bill Hader and company cook up next.