The Best HBO Show Is Ending And It’s The Exact Right Choice
HBO's best series, Barry, will soon end, and we think that's the best thing for it.
Barry, HBO‘s dark crime dramedy, will premiere its final season Sunday, April 16th and once the finale airs at the end of May, one of the best TV series I’ve seen in years will conclude. Its episode count will only be 32, and no spinoffs have been announced. As bittersweet as it will be to see one of the funniest and disarmingly powerful shows around produce no new stories, I’m grateful for the conclusion because we feel long overdue for a story, any story, that ends.
If there is one thing that unites as all — regardless of religious affiliation, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other markers by which we identify ourselves — it is a sentiment I am convinced all of us have felt at one time or another. Namely, I firmly believe that if an adult over the age of 25 exists who hasn’t disparagingly uttered some variation of the phrase “Hollywood has no new ideas,” they will soon, or they will need to be seen by medical professionals. It’s like the entertainment talk version of “how about that weather” or “cold enough for you?”
In spite of this, when we hear about Barry or another of our favorite series ending, we still complain, don’t we? As much as we badmouth Hollywood for refusing to create “something new” we aren’t any more willing to let go of the old. We trash some kind of entertainment secret cabal we think unilaterally decides everything that ever gets released for all of the remakes, reboots, revivals, sequels, prequels and spinoffs while simultaneously we demand more Star Trek, Star Wars, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Marvel, DC, Jumanji, National Treasure, Pirates of the Caribbean, Knives Out, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, That ’70s Show, Frasier, Roseanne, Sex and the City, Law & Order, NCIS, CSI, Sons of Anarchy, Quantum Leap, Hannibal Lecter, Dexter, Supernatural, and we all know I could easily keep doing this for 900 more words.
Barry could do the same. Just off the top of my head I could think of at least three Barry spinoffs.
How about Barry: Before the Class, where we the hired killer’s early career and maybe his days in the military? They could get a younger actor or digitally de-age Bill Hader.
A NoHo Hank: Before Barry prequel? I won’t lie — as long as Anthony Carrigan was playing him I could watch NoHo Hank for years. He is one of the funniest and surprisingly lovable characters I’ve ever come across in media.
Maybe a spinoff about Barry’s snake-in-the-grass handler played by the incomparable Stephen Root (who, as his IMDb reminds us, played that iconic stapler-hoarder in Office Space)? We could go the NoHank route with Fuches: Before Barry or maybe just Fuches? Maybe dial up the silly with Don’t F— with Fuches?
I hope you appreciate that I’m aging myself here — I haven’t made a point of catching Saturday Night Live since before the era of Farley, Sandler, and Spade. So when I tell you I had no real clue who Bill Hader was before watching Barry, I mean it. I knew him as one of the cops in Superbad and as the guy who gets insanely high on experimental weed in the opening scene of Pineapple Express, that’s it.
His work as both the lead of Barry and one of its creators catapulted my estimation of the star. The series is ravenously funny, surprisingly relatable, and occasionally devastating. Its action is as captivating as its humor is hilarious, reminding me of the underrated 1997 gem Grosse Pointe Blank.
But I am nevertheless grateful Barry will get a conclusion and — judging by Bill Hader who says they’re ending the series because a “very clear ending presented itself” — a satisfying one. We can’t keep slapping creators with one hand for endlessly returning to the same characters and stories, and then with the other chokehold them into agreeing that if something is good, it needs to keep going forever.
Gilligan needs to either get off the island or finally get eaten by cannibals. And either one could be potentially hilarious.
Don’t get me wrong: I love my Star Treks and my Marvel and I’ve spent more money on multiple franchises worth of Funko Pops than I’d like to admit. But sometimes — maybe even most of the time — it’s good for stories to eventually end. Barry is definitely one of those stories.