So here we are, the end of an era that has spanned from 2011 until Sunday. While the series finale of the pop culture icon that is “Game of Thrones” aired sunday night, for me at least, it was overshadowed by a show that has completely out played Thrones all season long.
“Barry”, starring Bill Hader as the title character, has been running for two seasons now and the seasons it has put out has been some of the best television I’ve seen in a long time. For those who don’t know it’s a show about a former Marine, Barry Berkman, who becomes a contracted hitman but stumbles upon an acting class and discovers a new found love for theater acting.
“Barry’s” first season was absolutely excellent, not having to worry about “Game of Thrones” stealing any of the limelight from it, since it was not on during that time. But now that Barry’s phenomenal second season has been airing right after “Game of Thrones” it’s been completely overshadowed.
“Barry” Season 2 has not only been well liked by me. It currently sits at 100% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, while season 8 of Thrones is at a measly 67%. The critics seem to fall toward my side on this one.
The finale’s for both shows aired Sunday night and one left me feeling disappointed, the other left me dismayed, thinking about waiting until next March for more episodes. The season 2 finale of “Barry” knocked it out of the park, after the penultimate episode left viewers with a humongous cliffhanger, with the potential of shaking the entire outlook of the show, and it did absolutely that.
While the series finale of Thrones was not a bad episode, a lot of the resolutions that the showrunners had been building towards for 7 seasons, felt extremely rushed and just lazy. Most major events felt predictable, such as the biggest storyline of the entire series, who sits on the iron throne when it’s all said and done.
There was so much to like not just with the finale episode but with the last season as a whole, but since everything was jam packed into 6 episodes, nothing actually felt like it was resolved in a proper way. It felt as if it was being forced and that it needed more time to breathe. If all the plot lines and stories they packed into 6 episodes were fleshed out over another season or two this show would certainly go down as the best ever.
Some character arc’s were completely thrown out the window in the final season as if they had never happened. Meanwhile the exposition in season 2 of “Barry” was excellent, pulling on past traumatic events for some of the characters, to make us feel even closer to them and to make us root for them even more.
“Game of Thrones” is more than likely going to clean up at the Emmys this year, but “Barry” has a shot to do so as well. Barry is a dramatic comedy, so it will get nominated under the comedy categories and hopefully sweep. The balance of humor and serious moments in Barry is written with absolute ease.
“Game of Thrones” will still go down as one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, with the first 7 season being absolutely brilliant. But the rushed, lazy and unfulfilling final season has me disappointed.
HBO should really consider shifting their marketing focus towards “Barry”, as Bill Hader and Alec Berg really have something here, a chance to have one of the best shows on television, maybe ever. If it continues on the path that it is driving down now, it will certainly be one of my favorite shows of all time.
Season 2 of Barry absolutely gets an A+
Season 8 of Game of Thrones is gonna have to settle for a C-
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