How did the “Berry” series subvert the audience’s preconceptions of male dramas?

Television, especially in recent years, has had no shortage of series centered around male anti-heroes experiencing unusual conflicts. "Breaking Bad", "The Sopranos", "Mad Men", etc. all used the old stereotypes of self-centered alpha males, whose every misfortune that befell them came from the nature of their character. If you go back and watch each of these series again, all the narratives have a very simple solution from the beginning.

BingMag.com How did the “Berry” series subvert the audience’s preconceptions of male dramas?

Television, especially in recent years, has had no shortage of series centered around male anti-heroes experiencing unusual conflicts. "Breaking Bad", "The Sopranos", "Mad Men", etc. all used the old stereotypes of self-centered alpha males, whose every misfortune that befell them came from the nature of their character. If you go back and watch each of these series again, all the narratives have a very simple solution from the beginning.

For example, in Breaking Bad, all Walter White has to do It would have been to accept Elliott Schwartz's job offer to get rid of economic instability and to be able to provide the necessary expenses for his family and his own treatment, or Tony Soprano's simple solution in the series "The Sopranos" was to keep an open and calm mind. Of course, to achieve this important goal, he resorted to psychotherapy, but instead, his lust and refusal to see the world through a lens different from his other sympathizers, warned him not to have an open mind.

Looking again at In each of these male dramas, we find that instead of the conflict being presented in an obvious way from the start, it comes from the moods of their main characters, and they are actually the ones who create or escalate this all-out war, and that's because All of these archetypes care more about their pride than anything else in the world.

But Barry, the third season of which has just been released on HBO Max, defies all preconceived notions about male dramas. It has changed. Bill Hader as Barry Berkman is a Marine who served in Afghanistan and now lives as a hired assassin. Despite being a professional, Barry is completely unassuming, of course, not because an assassin should move with the lights off, but because it comes from his nature.

Berry is hired on one of his missions to kill a man named Ryan, who Lives in Los Angeles. The assassin of the story accidentally drops out of acting class and finally finds the purpose of his life after many years. Throughout the series, Barry tries to leave behind his dark past through his love for acting, but the monster of the past in Hollywood does not give up on him. The purpose of his life changes, he moves to Los Angeles, but he strangely realizes that doing routine work, which is also a source of his income, is now the hardest job in the world; Because he now has a real goal that is worlds away from what his boss Fewkes (Steven Root) had painted for him all these years and associated him with violence. He seems to be able to separate his love for the actor who made him a better person from the money-making profession of murder, and because of this false hope, he chooses the name Barry Block as his stage name, so that maybe he can distance himself even a little from his shameful past. Regardless of the fact that "you can't bury your past" as the advertising slogan of the third season says. As the series progresses, his two careers become closer and closer to each other, and the protagonist struggles to distance himself from the shameful history of violence.

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For both the character and the audience, Barry's struggle is a quest for redemption. Barry is an important difference from the archetypes of male dramas. From the very first episode of the first season, when we meet him in the image of a cold-blooded and professional killer, like Tony Soprano and Walter White, a solution for salvation is placed in front of him, but Barry, unlike his predecessors, accepts this way with open arms and tries to live his life. put in the right direction. He is painfully aware of his propensity for violence and all his personality flaws and does not deny them in any way, this awareness also acts as a driving force for his character development.

Barry's redemption and effort to prove His existential values advance the whole story of the series. He is willing to do anything to prove that he is really a good and conscientious man; However, the situation ends up in such a way that his hands become redder than the previous day!

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Anxiety control In the style of "Barry"

BingMag.com How did the “Berry” series subvert the audience’s preconceptions of male dramas?

Barry's character is not bad and in many moments of empathy It excites the audience, but in any case, they are not included in the dictionary of a hero, and except for a few cases, they don't like him to leave his missions half-done and don't stop until he gets to the subject, but the point that distinguishes Barry from characters like Walter White is this. It is not because of his pride that in The right path of life is not set, but it is this betrayal that turns him into a contract killer.

As the story progresses, it becomes clear that when Barry finds acting as his true goal in life, his motivation and desire to kill. It noticeably decreases, and when he takes a break from acting for any reason, he becomes an aimless person who grabs any strings to get by. For example, in the beginning of the third season, we see an image of a depressed man who, because he can no longer pursue his dream of acting, goes back to Hank to do whatever this Chechen criminal has in his hand and pillow as a contract killer.

Barry doesn't have any clear boundaries at the beginning of the series, but as his relationship with his classmate Sally Reed (Sarah Goldberg) gets more serious, he finds more clear moral boundaries in life. Of course, Barry is not at all a man who can easily and firmly say "no" to every proposal in his life. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bill Hader mentioned Barry's personality disorder and said that he was involved in it when he was running "Saturday Night Live" and simply let others make decisions for him. Here Monroe Fewkes as Barry's boss uses his weaknesses to limit him and make sure he still gets blood on his hands and carries out his missions to the best of his ability.

Another important difference. Barry's difference with characters like Tony Soprano and Walter White is that when he starts something, he doesn't know exactly what he wants from it and what direction it will take, while his powerful counterparts in other series know exactly what they want, for example, Walter White instead of Avoiding controversy, he carries out his plans and doesn't care that his actions may sacrifice his loved ones, and when the job is over, he only realizes the consequences of his misplaced pride.

Corruption and its relationship with the male anti-hero.

BingMag.com How did the “Berry” series subvert the audience’s preconceptions of male dramas?

Another difference between "Berry" and previous male dramas is its look at corruption. And the main anti-hero is related to it. "Breaking Bad" is not primarily a story about a man trying to "provide the best for his family", but rather about pride, specifically "male pride", which can affect its victims in the most extreme way possible. Over the course of the series, Walter White transforms from a quiet and hardworking chemistry teacher to one of the most feared drug dealers in the world. He sees malice as a tactic to escape from the hell he has created for himself, and in this process he has no fear of hurting those he loves.

But Barry's relationship with malice and corruption is completely different; For him, this is part of the neurosis and isolation in which he is trapped. Barry desperately wants to win the affection of those around him, which is in complete contrast to his dark past, and raises the question in the audience's mind if he really deserves to be loved or not? And there is no definite answer to this important question. Instead of letting corruption and malice control him, Barry tries to get rid of the shackles of every event and person that connects him to his shameful past and take a new path, but life has other dreams for him and more and more. He fumbles, he sinks more into the swamp of corruption.

The corruption of Barry's life is not something that, like Walter White's character, is caused by an unfortunate event, but it is rooted in his nature and is caused by anxiety, depression, Psychosis and violence arise; Therefore, the audience in this series accepts all these bad features as a part of Barry's character from the very beginning and continues to seek to find out if he can finally change or if he sinks further into the swamp of guilt, exactly the opposite of similar series that eventually decline. We accept the morality of the main character.

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Barry's personality and facing the people around him

BingMag.com How did the “Berry” series subvert the audience’s preconceptions of male dramas?

The true test of any hero and anti-hero is how they treat those around them. With the progress of the series, Barry proves that he is a loyal person in relation to the people he loves, and this loyalty reaches its peak especially in the last part of the third season and in relation to the character of Celie. The case of his acting teacher Jane Kusuno (Henry Winkler) is also seen. Kusuno falls in love with a detective who is in charge of investigating a case in which Barry Berkman is one of the main suspects, who apparently went missing. Naturally, since Barry doesn't do anything by halves and in this particular case, his new life of peace is at risk, he is forced to kill the detective after revealing his true identity. Jin Kusuno's character is heartbroken when faced with the death of his lover and after learning about it, he decides to take revenge on Barry.

In a situation where most contract killers shrug their shoulders and A possible witness is also taken out of the way, Barry tries to make his teacher feel better in any way he can, and in most moments of the third season, he thinks about repairing his relationship with Jin Kusuno. Although he tries strange ways to improve his relationship, his only goal is to prove his worth as a good man to those around him. With these explanations, let's compare Barry's character with Tony Soprano; A man whose morality is constantly questioned with different arguments. Throughout The Sopranos, Tony faces threats against his family and career, culminating in his insatiable revenge. It doesn't matter to Tony that one of his loved ones has made a mistake because in the end he must be punished and the only thing that matters is justice, but this is not the case for "Barry"; He may also have a nervous breakdown in a situation or be forced to take the lives of others to maintain his temporary peace, but without a doubt he does not enjoy this work and endures a lot of pain. For example, in the final part of the second season, in a nervous breakdown, his boss decides to kill Feux, and in this way he sacrifices many people, but because he is not a vindictive person, after a few months, he becomes indifferent to Feux and instead tries to improve his relationship with his teacher. improve.

Barry style violence control

BingMag.com How did the “Berry” series subvert the audience’s preconceptions of male dramas?

"Berry" is finally included in the category of series that revolves around a male character's relationship with violence and escape from reality. In the previous famous examples that we talked about earlier, we are dealing with characters who have undesirable lives from their own point of view. In fact, a calm and uneventful life does not satisfy them, and that is why they seek escape from reality in the most sinful ways. "Barry" uses these concepts and simply reverses them.

For Barry, the life full of evil and corruption that was given to him is his personal hell. Contrary to previous famous examples, he has a desire for simplicity, and in his fantasies he sees grocery shopping with Celie and spending time with his children as a normal father. This look paints a new picture of the audience's relationship with Barry's character; Here, instead of witnessing the complete fall of morality and the main character drowning in the madness of power, lust and fame, we see a man who is constantly trying to separate his path from madness. In fact, the final battle of the audience is not to defend Barry's shameful actions and decisions to purify him, but to defend a man who is trying to get rid of his past.

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