Are you watching? Barry on Sky Atlantic

Bill Hader ponders his motivation as Barry, a hitman turned aspiring actor, in Sky Atlantic's new black comedy

THIS excellent new US black comedy series stars Saturday Night Live man Bill Hader as Barry Berkman, a depressed hitman who inadvertently ends up in an LA acting class.

Having found liberation in a previously untapped passion for performing, Barry is keen to throw himself into honing his 'craft' alongside his new crush, Sally (Sarah Goldberg), under revered teacher Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler).

Naturally, being a professional killer comes with a lot of baggage, including dissatisfied clients like Chechen mobsters Goran (Glenn Fleshler) and Noho (Anthony Carrigan) and Barry's regular handler, Fuches (Stephen Root), who doesn't want to lose his best operator.

However, it does pay well. Since aspiring actors don't make much money, Barry attempts to keep up his assassination work to fund a new life in LA while hiding his true identity from Sally and the rest of his unsuspecting classmates.

Tragicomic hilarity ensues, with talented funnyman Hader (who co-created the show with Alec Berg) reaching beyond his 'nice guy' persona to play a lethal automaton who finally finds joy on the stage.

Having honed his absurdist comedy chops in Arrested Development, Winkler is also in fine form as the stereotypically self-regarding LA acting guru Gene, author of best-selling 'actor's bible' Hit Your Mark And Say Your Lines.

With a second series already commissioned, viewers can safely invest precious screen time in Barry, your new favourite professional killer turned wannabe actor.

Barry, Thursdays at 10.45pm on Sky Atlantic, catch up now on Sky On Demand.

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