Hey dear readers, a quick personal plug before we get started today: My brother-in-law (and great friend of the blog) Scott Segal runs a kick-ass office and janitorial supplies company in Orlando, and if you or anyone you know is in need in that area, give him a call at 407-334-4097, or check out his website at segalsolutions.net.
Thanks. And oh yeah, I didn’t watch one minute of the madman’s State of the Union Tuesday night. I’d have preferred to have my teeth individually yanked out, without anasthesia, then watch that.
OK, on with the show…
When it first came out last March, I didn’t give much thought to the new HBO show “Barry.”
It sounded interesting, about a hitman played by Bill Hader trying to leave his old life behind when he discovers acting, a discovery he made while on assignment to kill a dude in an acting class.
But it’s hard to keep up with all the new shows everywhere, all at once (“Hey kids, believe it or not, there used to only be THREE channels of TV, and you had to pick one of them to watch every night.”), so even as so many critics raved about “Barry,” the wife and I just never got around to it.
But that changed a few weeks ago and man, am I glad it did. Because “Barry” is phenomenal. Absolutely, truly fantastic, and deserving on being on so many Best of 2018 Top 10 lists that it was on.
Hader, who I never cared much for on “Saturday Night Live” is amazing as Barry Bregman, a professional killer who just happens to have to fly to L.A. for a hit job and ends up mesmerized in an acting class taught by “acting master” Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler, who totally deserved the Emmy he got for this role).
After that happens in the series premiere, as well as another major event at the end of the episode that I won’t reveal, the rest of the season plays out as a constant push-pull for Barry, trying to extricate himself from the large tentacles of being a hitman, and also trying to learn about this new world of acting, with a love interest in his class, teacher Cousineau, and a little police investigation all pulling at him.
Oh and I haven’t even mentioned the best part of the show: Hank, one of the gangsters Barry is working for, is the funniest damn supporting character since Niles Crane. Bald, smiling Chechen murderer Hank is freaking hilarious, getting off great one-liners and keeping the show from sinking into darkness.
I’ve tried to think of a good comparison for the darkly comedic but deadly serious tone of “Barry,” and the closest show I can come up with is “Weeds,” which I also loved.
The writing, the acting (I didn’t even mention the always-great Stephen Root is in this, as Barry’s quasi-mentor in the assassin world) and the final two episodes of the eight-episode season in particular make “Barry” a sensational investment of your time.
The whole first season is on Demand and streaming on HBO now; if you’re looking for a quick binge but one that will stay with you awhile, this is for you.
**Next up today, who doesn’t love it when school district bureaucrats decide to try get funny? I certainly love it, and it seems to happen the most when schools need to cancel days because of snow.
Let’s give it up for the creativity and awesomeness, then, of these two Swartz Creek (Mich.) administrators, who decided to let everyone know about school cancellation by writing new lyrics to the classic ‘Hallelujah.”
Really awesome stuff.
**Finally today, this has to be one of the most bizarre stories in a long time. So check this out: A French college student studying in Rennes, France really didn’t want his parents flying to visit him, coming from his hometown of Lyon.
Now, most kids would’ve handled this by faking an illness, or making up one of a dozen excuses as to why this wasn’t a good time, Mom and Dad.
But this kid outdid every other excuse-making child, ever: He actually called in a bomb threat to the plane his parents were on, forcing the plane back to Lyon and all the passengers to disembark.
According to this story, “After being taken into custody, the student was referred to the Rennes public prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor stated that the young man does not appear to have a psychological disorder. He is scheduled to appear in court in May and could face five years in prison and an $85,000 fine if found guilty.”
I mean, wow. Really dude? Think maybe you went a little overboard there?