Barry: you're charming
April 24, 2023 5:27 AM - Season 4, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Barry sings. The Raven squawks. Sally goes there. Noho Hank has the most sand. Gene Cousineau asks a hypothetical. Jim Moss washes out his trunk. A-and Guillermo del Toro?
posted by chavenet (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Another great episode, but what absolutely delighted me was the home invasion with the stately centred shot and all the broad physical comedy happening loudly off screen or quietly way in the background. What a fantastic balance of tense (with no cuts) and funny (by leaving a lot of the visuals to our imaginations).

(I just watched it again: from their arrival at the house, that was a single shot panning from the front door and front window (*SMASH*), to a slow zoom between the bookcases and up to the table and back window, then gentle pans and zooms of Lon's wife and Gene.)
posted by maudlin at 8:06 AM on April 24 [5 favorites]

The scene with NoHo Hank and Toro discuss the merits of podcasts vs TikToks when the subject is gadget reviews was absolute genius. Anthony Corrigan's comic timing and the subtlety of his delivery are wondrous to behold.
posted by essexjan at 9:38 AM on April 24 [5 favorites]

I realized last week that Barry is the closest we've ever had to a TV version of Achewood. I can't get that thought out of my head.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 10:40 AM on April 24 [5 favorites]

Archive link for the Rolling Stone article.

I can’t believe how good a director Bill Hader is as well as an actor! This season has been fantastic so far.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:43 AM on April 24 [2 favorites]

Man, when Hank said their gadgets never work he wasn't wrong.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:35 PM on April 24 [6 favorites]

Anyone able to translate Lol's little burst of german on the sofa? I doubt it's anything relevant, but I'm curious all the same.
posted by Paul Slade at 11:36 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]

From this Vanity Fair interview with the actor:
Vanity Fair: How did you prepare to take on this role of a lifetime?

Patrick Fischler: They sent me a little blurb of what it was. [It] didn’t even say Vanity Fair, it said a reporter who needs to speak another language. I said, sure. And then I found out it was Vanity Fair, which I loved because I felt like you’re kind of clear who this guy is. It made it very specific for me, and I didn’t really need to do much. I had to then quickly learn German.

How was that?

That was the most challenging part of this whole thing, actually. German is not an easy language to quickly learn. I learned a little improv in German, because Bill lets us play after we shoot it. He’s so collaborative and so open. So I learned a little bit of extra lines in German so I could make sure that I could improv the scene. And of course the other people have no idea what I’m saying, which is brilliant.

Do you know what you’re saying? Because I actually didn’t know what you’re saying either.

I think it’s literally “I have no idea who any of you are. I have to go back to my farm. I hope everyone’s okay.” It’s that kind of shit. He has no idea what’s going on. He has no idea any of these people are, and that’s what the lines are saying. I told Bill, “you guys should put subtitles.” He’s like, “nah.’ I think the whole idea is just that he’s just speaking German and they have no idea."
I love that he switches from Skittles to Gummibär in this scene, too.
posted by maudlin at 12:43 AM on April 25 [8 favorites]

Archive link for the Vanity Fair article. Fun meta read!
posted by ellieBOA at 2:47 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]

This was super enjoyable, more so than the first two episodes of the season. It really struck the balance of black comedy, with humor going on swirling about dark and serious aspects of the characters. Barry in the room with the Witness Protection FBI agent, really offered up that dichotomy of how Barry can be incredibly aware and intelligent of things like an assassin sent to kill him versus this naivete over an expectation that Sally will happily drop everything to go live a life of being someone different absent the glowing touch of Hollywood fame.

Sally, meanwhile, perfectly encapsulates the Cousineau method with one of her students, but instead of it being celebrated, it's recognized as abusive and alienating individuals who had previously empathized with her. I feel like this was trying to say something about what men can get away with in Hollywood versus what women can get away with, but it might have just been the audience having an implicit bias against Sally from her abusive rant video. I'd definitely prefer if it was the latter.

Fuches character continues to be wonderful in his "I hate him, I love him" back and forth with Barry. That Rain Man triggered the change of mind was not something I expected to see in a show set in 2023(ish?). I can definitely see, however, Fuches seeing Tom Cruise's character and immediately identifying with him as the cool, sunglasses wearing, older brother. It seemed, but I wasn't sure, that the prison guards were in on the hit attempt on Barry. That or they just really don't like Fuches.

maudlin summed up the breaking and entering scene perfectly. It was a beautiful moment of lowkey and absurd comedy that ended with whatever the German word for cherry on top.

I'm frustrated with Hank and Cristobal. I just want them to have a happy life together, but I feel this show's blender of dark endings for everyone is going to grind them up with everyone else. Especially with it being implied Barry escaped prison after Hank goaded him on the phone.
posted by Atreides at 6:28 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]

but it might have just been the audience having an implicit bias against Sally from her abusive rant video. I'd definitely prefer if it was the latter.

In her scene immediately prior to her breaking down the charmer, the audience almost unanimously voiced active support and sympathy to Sally over the video and her getting caught on a bad day. She didn't just lose a group of blank strangers, she actively alienated a crowd of people who started off on her side.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:50 AM on April 25 [6 favorites]

Barry's handling of #MeToo and cancel culture and abuse stuff has been so fascinatingly multi-faceted. I love that the actress Sally abuses is the only one who sticks around, in that cynical sort of "hey, if it works" way; it felt like that was positioned less as "don't listen to the haters" than as a desperate kind of "I'll do anything at this point." And the show does a good job of gently poking fun at a kind of privileged progressive sensitivity without invalidating or dismissing abuse, misogyny, etc. I really appreciate that, in part because I know enough hyperprivileged people who approach intersectionality in tactless ways that verge on abusive too, and in part because Barry's approach is just so much more engaging than the kind of overly-self-aware preachy stuff that Brooklyn 99 got up to at its worst.

Sally is generally maybe my favorite character, in that she's fucked up in extremely sympathetic ways. It feels like she's given as much leeway to be a piece of shit and be deeply relatable as men are given basically everywhere else in media; the only other character who immediately comes to mind as similarly awful and lovable is Amy Jellicoe in Enlightened (RIP). And the show portrays the double standards she deals with in such incredible ways. Whichever writers are responsible for making her as good as she is need to get shows of their own, stat. And Sarah Goldberg deserves every goddamn award.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 1:33 PM on April 25 [6 favorites]

The Hans Zimmer Rain Man soundtrack music works really well, too.
posted by snofoam at 10:49 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]

I thought the scene where Hank tells off Barry on the phone was incredible. Corrigan really nailed the subtle heartbreak and fury. It felt very real.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 7:28 AM on April 27 [3 favorites]

I rarely watch any David Lynch movies. But I got the unmistakable David Lynch Creepy Chills™ up my spine when I saw Fred Armisen.
posted by not_on_display at 10:09 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]

But I got the unmistakable David Lynch Creepy Chills™ up my spine when I saw Fred Armisen.

Which is funny, because the journo that Gene talks to is frequent Lynch film actor Patrick Fischler
posted by FatherDagon at 12:02 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]

> frequent Lynch film actor Patrick Fischler

Ah! I recognized him as one half of the yuppie couple from the beginning of Idiocracy. I didn't realize he was in every other TV show and movie ever (incl. Lynch) made from 2000 forward.

It was fun trying to work out what he was (finally) saying in German. Nach ein bischen I turned the subtitles* on; I wasn't that far off in my translation.

*available on pirated copies of the show

posted by not_on_display at 4:10 PM on April 28

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