Bill Hader is getting a third season of the Emmy-winning dark comedy series “Barry” to deal with the complicated nature of the title character who is a former contract killer trying to turn around his life by going into acting. Both are killer professions.
The eight-episode season – launching at 10 p.m. April 24 on HBO – has Barry discovering a career change can be complicated. He has eliminated many of the external factors that pushed him towards violence but soon learns those weren’t the only forces at play.
Hader – who co-created the series – finds it difficult to talk about how Barry will deal with those forces in fear he will give away too much in terms of the upcoming episodes. He can safely say there remains plenty to explore with the character.
“His one kind of boneheaded way of trying to get in touch with himself ends up really hurting a lot of people. I don’t think he knew the extent that he’s hurt people, and I think that’s what he’s kind of learning,” Hader says.
Co-creator Alec Berg adds that all of the wreckage in the first two seasons is a consequence of Barry wanting a better life. He admits that it is arguable that everything Barry has done to get to that perfect life has created chaos. The struggle and aftermath is at the heart of the show
Berg adds, “He’s not going to stop trying. So when one door closes and, clearly, he’s run into granite and can’t go any further in that direction he’s going to keep trying something. That’s what we as writers have to keep sort of discovering is now what?”
The ups and downs Barry faced in the first two seasons worked so well that the series received a total of 30 Emmynominations, winning six including: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Bill Hader); Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Henry Winkler); Outstanding Sound Editing For a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation; and Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation.
The supporting cast that will look to keep that success going includes Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg, Anthony Carrigan, Henry Winkler and Sarah Burns. They are vital because of the way Hader created the series.
Hader has found that “Barry” is at its strongest when the stories focus on all the characters and the emotions they are facing with each new situation. That became evident when writing and editing the first episodes.
“Every time you try to do something, if it’s led by a joke or led by a crazy idea, it doesn’t work as well. So it always works when the story is working and the people are working,” Hader says.
“Biggest Little Farm,” Nat Geo, April 22
John and Molly Chester abandoned their urban life in Los Angeles to move to a barren farm in hopes of growing delicious food in harmony with nature in Ventura County. Their efforts were the subject of the 2018 documentary “The Biggest Little Farm.”
In time for Earth Day, the streaming service of Disney+ is providing an update with “The Biggest Little Farm: The Return.” The new special follows the journey by the farmers as they transform the land into Apricot Lane Farms. It is a complex world that reflects the planet’s biodiversity.
The farm in Ventura County gave the couple everything they needed to make their agricultural experiment work. Even the droughts have not been as big a problem for them as others.
John Chester says, “Southern California was important because it’s a year-round growing season and proximity to consumers is really important for a farm like ours.
“For us, our farming system, the whole point of it is really a regenerative system, so we’re working with soil in a way that actually captures water that allows it to seep back into these aquifers that so many farms have been dependent upon but not understood the relationship between how soil is a capturing system while also capturing carbon from the atmosphere. It also helps to sequester the water for future generations.”
Their approach has made their farming system more resilient to droughts because it holds large amounts of water just in the top six inches of the soil. That has kept them going through the driest of times.
Just like the rest of the planet, the Chesters faced years dealing with the pandemic. What they realizes was the human biome is regulated in the same way that the biosphere of the planet is through an immune system powered by species diversity, biodiversity and microbial diversity.
They dealt with every aspect of their farm during the pandemic in ways similar to what was going on in the world.
Molly Chester says, “When we’re dealing with disease, the first things that we’re looking at are do they have enough space. Are they in community? Do they have proper sunlight and clean water and the food that they should be eating.”