With the second season of HBO's Barry set to premiere on March 31st, fans of the series are likely clamoring for more than re-binging the first eight episodes that the series can provide. So, for those missing the antics of the lovable hitman just yearning to be an artist, then we’ve got a couple of shows that should hold you over until season two is over. Or at least until it premieres. Whether you’re excited by the idea of watching an intelligence officer put his complicated life on display in the form of various brutally honest folk songs or hoping to follow a Nevada crime boss’ henchman as he tries his hand at producing films, you’re bound to find something to fill that Barry-sized hole.
8 South Park
While South Park may not have the most obvious link to Barry, upon closer inspection of the voice cast, fans will find that Bill Hader actually plays Ike Broflovski as well as some other minor characters. So if for those looking for an excuse to go back over some of the great South Park episodes of the past, do so fully aware that Bill Hader is playing that foul-mouthed, intrepid, Canadian kindergartener. Not only does it make a good entry list, but it’s also a nice little factoid to drop on those less-than-in-the-know friends.
7 Saturday Night Live (2005-2013)
If Bill Hader’s relatively small roles on South Park just aren't cutting it, then boy, then there's this great show that would be just perfect. It’s called Saturday Night Live. There are sketches, celebrities, and political satire like you wouldn’t believe. Maybe a bit less political satire than some of the more recent years, but it’s definitely still there. SNL is where Bill really got the time to grow into a professional writer and performer. A great fast-paced, creative environment that practically forces the writers and performers there to sink or swim. It’s hard to imagine that Barry would even exist without Hader’s time spent at SNL.
6 Documentary Now!
Another show that probably wouldn’t exist without Hader’s time spent at SNL, Documentary Now! sees Hader team up with fellow SNL alumni Seth Meyers and Fred Armisen. The trio takes their love of comedy and documentary films and combines them to create a series of brilliantly hilarious mockumentaries. Bill Hader is credited as a creator, writer, producer, and actor, so if SNL hasn’t satiated your appetite for Hader’s work, then this is likely the best bet.
Each episode pays homage to different styles of documentary films. Armisen, Hader, and Meyers infuse their signature humor while honoring classics in documentary film. While their work at places like SNL and Late Night With Seth Meyers is mostly meant to go week by week, their work on Documentary Now! is another series, like Barry, meant to last the test of time.
Wilfred may not have anything to do with hitmen or the entertainment industry, but there’s certainly a shared (and dark) sense of humor that goes into making both of these shows. For those who haven’t seen Wilfred (the American version starring Elijah Wood), it follows Ryan, a depressed man who, after a suicide attempt, begins to hallucinate his neighbor's dog as a man dressed in a dog suit. It sounds ridiculous, but what follows is one of the weirdest, most hilarious, and outright odd series to ever be adapted for American television. So for those who haven’t given Wilfred a chance yet, there’s really no excuse at this point. It’s been off the air for a while. Time to get caught up.
When Ozark was first released it drew a lot of comparisons to AMC’s Breaking Bad. The similarities between Jason Bateman’s character (Marty Byrde) and Bryan Cranston’s iconic Walter White were too simply too hard to ignore. While Marty may have swiftly become the Walter White of money laundering there’s another key aspect of Ozark that the series happens to share with Barry. A protagonist that believes he can always fix the problem. One of the key themes throughout the first season of Barry is his inability to handle situations as effectively as he believes he can. Despite his best intentions, the situation almost always ends up worse then it was before. But not to worry, things will get better “Starting now…”
3 Killing Eve
While Barry spends most of his time throughout the course of season one trying to get out of the life, the protagonists of the BBC’s Killing Eve, Villanelle and Eve, seem to relish in the complicated life of a contract killer and the MI5 agent hunting her down.
As Villanelle seemingly kills without regard for human life all across the globe, Eve, the obsessive MI5 agent assigned to her case stops at nothing to get closer to the elusive killer. Barry follows a man very near the end of his career as a killer, and Killing Eve follows two women who are brought new life in their careers by the existence of the other.
2 Get Shorty
Apparently, there’s a pretty large overlap in the number of people who operate outside the law and those who aspire to make it big in Hollywood, who knew? Get Shorty follows Miles Daly (played be that amazing Chris O’Dowd) as he struggles to make the move from Nevada crime family muscle to big shot Hollywood movie producer.
Much like Barry, Miles is a man simply trying to live a better life and escape the violence and criminality of his past. But it’s never easy trying to get out of the life. Especially when you have a family to take of, movies to produce, and an angry crime matron breathing down your neck.
Patriot is probably the greatest show you haven’t heard of. It’s an Amazon Prime Original and it’s absolutely amazing. While Barry is a hitman struggling to break free of his illegal life and find freedom in the art of acting, Patriot follows John Tavner, an intelligence officer struggling with deeply ingrained PTSD while trying to break free from his situation by creating all-too-real folk songs. Whether he’s singing about the best way to fall from over forty feet so that you only remain unconscious for the minimum amount of time or strumming along as he works through his guilt over pushing a prospective piping company employee in front of a truck for the "greater good”, the heartache and utter hopelessness that punctuate the dark humor of the series make it a truly magnificent series that might even have fans asking “Barry who?”