HBO confirmed the comedy series Barry for Season 2 last April, shortly after the first season premiered on March 25.
The announcement did not come as a surprise to fans and TV critics. The dark comedy series, created by Alec Berg and Bill Hader, was as instant hit with fans, and Hader was a delight to watch in his role as the titular character, Barry Berkman, an ex-Marine from the Midwest, turned low-rent hit-man.
Barry had been struggling with loneliness and depression before he was hired for a hit job that took him to Los Angeles. In L.A., he tracks his target to an acting class and joins the class. He makes friends with the target and becomes smitten with one of his classmates, Sally.
Barry feels strongly drawn to the acting, so he ends up deciding to quit his hitman job and take up acting as a career. He decides to leave his old life behind and start a new one, but his criminal past keeps returning to haunt him.
The Season 1 finale, which aired on Sunday, May 13, 2018, closed on an exceptionally dark and dangerous note that left open a world of darkly exciting possibilities for Barry Season 2. The ending left fans wanting to know when Season 2 would premiere, and fueled speculation about what was next for Barry.
HBO’s announcement of the renewal of Barry for Season 2, about three weeks into the first season, meant that fans could enjoy the eight-episode first season with the assurance that they would be able to continue following the darkly humorous antics of Barry Berkman, regardless of how the season finale ended.
Fans hoping that Barry Season 2 will live up to first season just can’t wait to see where the Season 2 storyline takes us. The major questions on the minds of fans after Barry committed yet another act of homicide in the finale episode, soon after resolving to quit his life of crime, was whether he is capable of changing and whether he will be able to escape the retribution of his dark and gruesome past.
While we look out for HBO’s announcement of the premiere date, which might take a while, we have compiled everything we know so far about the upcoming Season 2 of HBO’s Barry, including release date, cast, and plot.
Barry Season 2 premiere date
Update: HBO has announced that Barry season 2 will premiere on March 31, 2019.
Barry returns on March 31st, and just as I open my windows to fresh air and sunshine, I will also open my heart to the guiding light that is Gene Cousineau. pic.twitter.com/09YyqAC75g
— HBO (@HBO) February 15, 2019
HBO has not announced an official premiere date for Barry Season 2. However, based on the fact that the first season of Barry premiered in March last year, eager fans are speculating that Barry Season 2 would also premiere in March 2019. But there is still no word from HBO on when Barry Season 2 will hit our screens. Hopes that Barry would return for Season 2 as early as March 2019 were raised when show co-creator Hader, who also plays Barry in the series, told IndieWire that the writers started working on Season 2 on the day after Season 1 premiered on HBO. “We started season two the day after the show premiered,” he said, “the next day was the day our writer’s room opened.”
Barry Season 2 details
Barry Season 2 went into production, soon after co-creator Bill Hader wrapped up shooting IT Chapter Two in October 2018.
The dark comedy series is co-created by the veteran comedian Bill Hader and writer Alec Berg. Berg and Hader also serve as executive producers. Aida Rodgers and Emily Heller serve as producers, while Liz Sarnoff serves as consulting producer.
Alec Berg is also known for having co-executive produced Silicon Valley (TV series 2014- ), Curb Your Enthusiasm (TV series 2000- ) and Seinfeld (TV series 1989-1998).
Hader appeared in The Skeleton Twins (2014) as Milo, alongside SNL colleague Kristen Wiig, who played Maggie. He voiced Fear in the Disney/Pixar computer-animated comedy-drama Inside Out (2015), and voiced Alpha 5 in the Power Rangers (2017).
Hader’s role in Barry has proved to be a major milestone in his career. The series’ hilarious and engrossing plot toes the line between dark comedy and drama. It strikes a skillfully contrived balance between the decisively dark subject of homicide and humor. Despite the fact that we know that Barry is a killer we can’t help feeling sorry for him over his predicament. Yet we are able to laugh at his absurd antics which demonstrates Hader’s unique talent as a comedian, actor and a director (Barry Season 1 was his directorial debut).
Hader told IndieWire that he and Berg will each direct two episodes in Barry Season 2, while the famous FX’s Atlanta director Hiro Murai will return — after directing two episodes of Season 1 — to direct the first two episodes of Season 2.
Liza Johnson (Return, In the Air, Room 104, Elvis & Nixon) and Minkie Spiro (Downtown Abbey, Call the Midwife, Kidding) will also serve as directors.
Hiro is known for having directed Childish Gambino’s music video This is America.
Barry, widely rated among the best comedy dramas currently running on TV, has won 3 primetime Emmys and 19 nominations. Hader won the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series at the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards for playing Barry, while Henry Winkler won the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for playing Gene Cousineau.
Barry also won the Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama series.
The series was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Casting, Cinematography and Production.
Barry has also received positive critical response, with the first session scoring a 99% approval rating and an average of 8.21/10 on Rotten Tomatoes (69 critics). It scored 83/100 on Metacritic, based on 28 critics.
The eight-episode Season 1 of the half-hour series premiered on HBO on March 25, 2018, starring co-creator Hader as the eponymous lead character, Barry Berkman, a former U.S. Marine-turned-hitman, who decides he’s had enough of a life of crime and tries to take up acting for the theater. But he runs into serious challenges when he attempts to simply walk away from his past life.
Barry Season 2 trailer
Update: HBO released the official trailer for Barry season 2 in February 22, 2019.
HBO has not yet released a trailer for Barry Season 2. The official trailer for Barry Season 1 was released in February, a month before Season 1 premiered on March 25. Consequently, fans are expecting that the trailer for Barry Season 2 will also be released about a month before Season 2 airs. Fans may therefore have to wait until early next year to see the official trailer for Barry season 2. We will update readers when the official trailer for the upcoming season is released. Meanwhile, enjoy the trailer for the first season of the series.
Barry Season 2 cast
HBO is yet to release an official cast list for Barry Season 2, but the entire cast of the first season is expected to return.
Besides Hader returning as Barry Berkman/Barry Block, other series stars expected to return for Season 2 include Stephen Root as Barry’s handler, Monroe Fuches, and Sarah Goldberg as Barry’s love interest Sally Reed.
Glenn Fleshler is expected to return as Goran Pazar, the leader of the Chechen mob. Henry Winkler will return as Gene Cousineau, the acting teacher.
Others include Darrell Britt-Gibson as Jermaine Jefrit, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Sasha Baxter.
Anthony Carrigan is expected to return as Pazar’s right-hand man, Noho Hank, Alejandro Furth as Antonio, and Andy Carey as Eric.
Recurring cast members such as D’Arcy Carden as Natalie, Cameron Britton as Simmer, and Darrell Britt-Gibson as Jermaine, may also return. And if as some fans are speculating, Detective Janice Moss survived being shot by Barry, Paula Newsome may also return in Barry Season 2.
Barry Season 2 plot
Barry follows the unsettlingly dark but hilarious antics of Barry Berkman, an ex-U.S.Marine-turned-hitman/hitman-turned-actor/actor-turned-hitman.
At the beginning of the Season 1, his handler Fuches sends him to L.A. to kill for Goran Pazar, a Chechen mob boss.
Pazar wants Barry to kill Ryan Madison because he believes his wife is cheating on him with Madison. Barry tracks Madison to an acting class in L.A. and enrolls as Barry Block. He becomes friends with the target and develops a crush on Sally, one of his classmates.
However, the acting teacher Gene Cousineau bares his mind to Barry that he has no talent in acting. Barry admits to Gene that he is really a professional killer. But Gene mistakes Barry’s impassioned confession for an improvised performance and he is sufficiently impressed to give Barry a chance.
When Barry tries to follow through with his mission to kill Ryan Madison, he finds him already dead. The Chechens also try to take him out and he is forced to escape guns blazing.
Barry becomes deeply interested in pursuing acting as a career. But despite his resolve to leave behind his past life as a hitman and live his dreams as an actor, he keeps getting sucked back into his old life.
He keeps resolving to leave behind his life of crime but he is unable to escape his past because his past deeds keep catching up with him no matter how hard he tries to avoid its consequences.
Viewers watched as the former U.S. Marine transitioned from a remorseless hitman to wanting to change his ways and be done with his life of crime, but he ends up deciding to commit one last murder. In the penultimate episode of Season 1, Barry kills his friend and acting classmate Chris Lucado, played by Chris Marquette, when he threatens to go to the police. After killing Chris he vows to give up his life of crime.
The situation is complicated further by the brewing gang war between the Bolivians and the Chechens, and Barry finds himself sucked back into his trouble past life.
Thus, rather than progressing toward a solution to his problems and leaving his past life behind, Barry is like a man caught in quicksand. He continues sinking deeper into the morass of his troubled past even as he struggles to escape from it. Although he tries to avoid killing anyone, he keeps finding a reason to kill someone after which he renews his resolve to turn over a new leaf and start his life all over again.
The police are soon on his trail and the series follows his hapless struggle to juggle his benign life in the acting class with his toxic life as a hired killer.
Fans were blown away by by the ending of the Season 1 finale episode. Barry, already determined to quit his day job as a hitman, falls in love with Sally from his acting class. Sally in sweetly unaware that Barry kills for a living. After winning Sally over he vows to quit his hitman job and for a moment it appears he is about to escape his sordid past, but he is confronted by police detective Moss (Paula Newsone), who has connected the dots.
Barry simply draws his gun and shoots here.
We begin to fear at this point that although Barry yearns for a renewal, he might have gone beyond all hopes of redemption. Although it is unclear in the closing scene whether he actually killed Detective Janice Moss (played by Paula Newsone), the final scene shows him getting into bed with Sally at the guest room and for the umpteenth time renewing his resolve to start his life afresh.
With fans looking forward to Barry Season 2, the question on everybody’s mind after Barry shot Moss is whether he will ever be able to escape his past and whether Season 2 will see him give up his efforts and return to his criminal life.
Based on Hader’s statement to IndieWire that Barry Season 2 will be “somehow a bit darker,” it is likely that we will see Barry stuck, at least in the beginning, in a vicious cycle, and unable to permanently extricate himself from the complicating web that his past life is weaving around him.