Barry Season 4 Will Find Time To Be Funny, No Matter How Dark It Gets

The hit HBO series "Barry" has always been a dark comedy — its humor derived from the most awful situations — but season 3 took the tone to pitch black. The series, which follows ex-soldier and occasional hitman Barry (Bill Hader) after he discovers that he likes acting and wants to try and give up his more murderous career, has never been lighthearted, but season 3 made some fans wonder if the show could even really be called a comedy anymore.

Things have gotten bad for Barry and his various associates, including his aspiring showrunner girlfriend Sally (Sarah Goldberg), his former acting coach Gene (Henry Winkler), and his mobster buddy Noho Hank (Anthony Carrigan). Barry's hitman life and his acting life have finally crossed paths in a way he can't undo, plus his old boss Fuches (Stephen Root) has started finding the survivors of Barry's targets and giving them his name. Everyone is after Barry, and no one is laughing. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Carrigan and Winkler revealed that while the show is going to still be very dark in season 4, it won't completely lose the humor that helps provide breathing room amidst the chaos. "Barry" will apparently always be a comedy, even if it all becomes gallows humor. 

Toeing the line between comedy and drama

One thing that separates "Barry" from many other TV comedies is just how razor-thin the line between its drama and comedy can be. An episode can go from being very funny to very tense at the drop of a hat, and that dramatic tension makes the laughs feel even more earned. Carrigan explained that seeing season 3's dark twists made sense given the show's history, saying:

"From the very beginning, the show has been pretty unique in the way that it toes the line of comedy and drama. But I think it's so cool to be so relentless, in a way, and completely take the comedy out. It'll come back, don't worry — I'll try to find moments for levity."

Carrigan's character, Noho Hank, is often the most purely comedic character on the show, but season 3 saw even his story going to horrible, uncomfortable places. For Winkler, whose character Gene has had it rough from the start, he just had to find ways to combat the dark. He told THR that he would talk to his grandkids or play with his puppies before work, knowing that he was going to be in a very different mindset at work. He admitted that while the series has always been dark and is a comedy "in its guts," it went to a "very dark place" this past season. Thankfully, Carrigan promises that the laughs will continue, even if things stay bleak:

"... we're going to manage to keep things funny. Don't worry."

Unless Noho Hank dies, there's really no way for him to not be funny, honestly, so he has a point. "Barry" continues to be one of the best shows on TV, and its tonal balancing act is truly impressive. 

Season 3 of "Barry" is now streaming on HBO Max.