10 Shows Like 'Barry' to Watch Next

With Season 3, 'Barry' leaned even harder into the dark side of 'dark comedy.' Looking for something with similar themes and settings but a little lighter? Discover these 10 shows.
by Danielle Turchiano — 

Bill Hader in 'Barry'


A hitman heads to Los Angeles for a job but ends up finding a new passion in performing.

That's the premise of Bill Hader and Alec Berg's HBO comedy Barry, in which Hader stars as the titular character, and admittedly it is such a specific idea that if you binge all of the episodes and find yourself wanting more, well, there are not many places you can go to get the specific tone, characters, setting, and themes all rolled up into one. Especially after the third season, which leaned even harder into the "dark" side of "dark comedy."

That is what makes Barry so special and so deserving of all of its praise, from its high Metascore (88), to its awards acclaim (six Emmy wins, three WGA Awards, two DGA Awards, two Critics Choice Awards, a Peabody, and an AFI Award win across its first two seasons).

However, there are plenty of television shows that offer pieces of what you may love about Barry, from following the conflicted titular assassin in Mr. Inbetween, to pulling back the curtain on Hollywood actors in Episodes, following another beloved comedic ensemble in Curb Your Enthusiasm, and going further inside Hader's comedy stylings with his earlier series creation, Documentary Now!

A fourth season of Barry is coming, and things are likely to get even more complex for TV's favorite killer. After all, now he has nowhere to hide: His acting teacher Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) not only learned his pupil is a killer, but also helped set him up to be caught by police, and Barry was caught, which implies he'll be behind bars for at least part of the upcoming new season.

But until then, to get your criminal and/or Hollywood comedy fix, Metacritic highlights 10 similar shows to watch.


Rhea Seehorn and Bob Odenkirk in 'Better Call Saul'


Better Call Saul

Metascore: 84
Best for: Fans of conflicted male protagonists and Breaking Bad
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix,
Seasons: 6

Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould's Emmy-nominated prequel to Breaking Bad follows Jimmy McGill aka Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) back during the early-aughts, when he was a former con artist transforming his life as a lawyer. Only, old habits die hard, and the sense of greed and narcissism that feeds conning ends up pushing Jimmy to become the sleazy criminal defense attorney known as Saul. The six-season drama follows his relationships with his older brother Chuck (Michael McKean), his girlfriend Kim (Rhea Seehorn), fixer Mike (Jonathan Banks), restauranteur Gus (Giancarlo Esposito), and various members of a drug cartel as he wrestles with morality and crime.

"Better Call Saul has consistently been, and still is, one of the best dramas on television." — Jen Chaney, Vulture


Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'


Curb Your Enthusiasm

Metascore: 84
Best for: Fans of Seinfeld, irascible leading men, and improv comedy
Where to watch:

, , , ,
Seasons: 11 (so far)

Larry David created and stars in this long-running HBO comedy loosely based on his own life as a writer and producer in the television industry. Early episodes of the show focused more on his personal relationships with then-wife Cheryl (Cheryl Hinds), manager and friend Jeff (Jeff Garlin), and Jeff's wife Susie (Susie Essman), in addition to the every day conflicts he comes into with those loved ones and random strangers on the street. As seasons have gone on, the show has leaned further into its Hollywood setting, seeing the fictional Larry star in an adaptation of The Producers, put together a Seinfeld reunion, and most recently, sell a sitcom based on his younger years. The show is known for the many, many arguments Larry gets into, as well as for its wide-ranging guest stars that include Ted Danson, David Schwimmer, Seth Rogen, the aforementioned cast of Seinfeld, and many, many more. Hader even guest-starred in Season 11, playing business-owning triplets who Larry angers.

"The show is a drop-dead accurate, edge-of-your-seat depiction of the minefield through which we all tread everyday." — Adam Buckman, New York Post


Helen Mirren in 'Documentary Now!'


Documentary Now!

Metascore: 79
Best for: Fans of mockumentaries
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix
Seasons: 3 (so far)

Hader co-created this Emmy-nominated mockumentary series alongside Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers, and Rhys Thomas. Hosted by Helen Mirren, the each episode is treated as a standalone documentary for a fictional event or person, ranging from restaurants, to socialites and musicians. And yes, there are both criminals and Hollywood types parodied, as well, with the former including a drug lord, a possibly wrongly convicted murder, and the real-life gangster Al Capone, and the latter including an actor on a multi-decade journey to win an Oscar.

"Absurd, joyful, and characteristically precise." — Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic


From left to right: Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer in 'Killing Eve'

BBC America

Killing Eve

Metascore: 75
Best for: Fans of cat-and-mouse relationships, female-driven dramas, and unexpected humor
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , iTunes,
Seasons: 4

This Emmy-winning, four-season British drama started with Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) getting recruited to an MI6 division trying to hunt down an assassin named Villanelle (Jodie Comer), but very quickly the story twists and turns so Villanelle catches wind of Eve and begins to hunt her, as well. The two women become increasingly caught up in each other's orbits, and their obsession leads to changes in their own personalities and the way they go about their respective careers.

"Killing Eve is unlike any other spy drama you've seen and that's why it's so excellent." — Ira Madison III, The Daily Beast


Scott Ryan in 'Mr. Inbetween'


Mr. Inbetween

Metascore: 75
Best for: Fans of father-daughter stories and dark comedy
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , iTunes,
Seasons: 3

Based on Scott Ryan's 2005 film titled The Magician, Mr. Inbetween follows Ray Shoesmith (Ryan), a hitman and single dad who also takes care of his terminally ill brother (played by Nicholas Cassim). Although Ray's job makes him tap into a dark side of himself, at home he just wants to be good to those in his life (also including his girlfriend, played by Brooke Satchwell). Unfortunately, his good intentions are hard to push to the forefront when you're getting violent all day, and the three-season, half-hour dramedy sees him wrestling with who he is and what he does.

"The killer with a heart of gold isn't a new trope. ... But Mr. Inbetween gives it a fresh and funny going over." — Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe


From left to right: Stephen Mangan and Matt LeBlanc in 'Episodes'



Metascore: 74
Best for: Fans of Matt LeBlanc, British humor, and cynical takes on Hollywood players
Where to watch:

, , ,
Seasons: 5

Friends star LeBlanc re-teams with that classic sitcom's executive producers, David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, for an often-scathing look at creating a sitcom on American television. LeBlanc stars as a version of himself who television execs foist on British married writers Sean (Stephen Mangan) and Beverly (Tamsin Greig) for a U.S. adaptation of their hit U.K. series. Sean has stars in his eyes for his new star, but Beverly is more cynical (and skeptical) of the whole Hollywood system. The trio get messily entangled as they work together and pressure mounts on Sean and Beverly's relationship, and as episodes unfold, the show widens out to comment on broader areas of the industry, including the state of reality television, fading celebrity status, and money mismanagement. The series also explores the egos, vanity, and insecurities of performers and suits alike, with John Pankow, Kathleen Rose Perkins, and Mircea Monroe playing essential supporting roles.

"LeBlanc is brilliant; the writing and direction are brilliant; the show is brilliant." — Matt Zoller Seitz, Salon


From left to right: Ray Romano and Chris O'Dowd in 'Get Shorty'


Get Shorty

Metascore: 71
Best for: Fans of attempts at redemption, deep dives into the seedy underbelly of Hollywood, and character-driven dramedies
Where to watch:

, , ,
Seasons: 3

Although this 2017 cable dramedy from creator Davey Holmes is based on Elmore Leonard's 1990 novel of the same title (which was previously adapted into a film of the same name, as well), it creates a new story, with new players. In the show, Miles Daly (Chris O'Dowd) works as an enforcer for a crime ring, but he wants out and teams up with film producer Rick Moreweather (Ray Romano) to become a Hollywood power player, too. When his boss (played by Lidia Porto) finds out about his new gig, though, she doesn't want to let him go so easily, and suddenly his movie becomes a perfect way to launder her money. It's a story about how you can't truly run from your past, as well as one that looks at the shades of criminality that exist in multiple professions.

"A wry, quick-witted and quick-paced dramedy that melds two disparate cultures." — Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter


The cast of 'Cybill'

CBS Archive / Getty Images


Metascore: 69
Best for: Fans of female-led sitcoms
Where to watch: 

Seasons: 4

Cybill Shepherd stars as a fictionalized version of herself in this sitcom from Chuck Lorre. In it, she plays Cybill Sheridan, a middle-aged actor who has trouble booking roles due to the industry's ageism and stereotyping, and also has trouble finding suitable men to date. Episodes usually include scenes of her on the set of a small gig, including commercials for embarrassing products and over-the-top B movies, but the show is more centered on her juggling her career with her quirky family, including two ex-husbands (Alan Rosenberg and Tom Wopat), two daughters (Dedee Pfeiffer and Alicia Witt), a grandson, and a best friend (Christine Baranski) who has a lot to juggle of her own because of how much she's stalking her ex-husband. It is MUCH lighter than Barry (no murder here, though there are often jokes about killing ex-husbands), but if what you love about Barry is watching the eponymous character flounder in acting class and with relationships, this show is worth your time. 

"Shepherd handles the romantic banter quite well." — David Hiltbrand, People


Laura Linney and Jason Bateman in 'Ozark'



Metascore: 69
Best for: Fans of family dramas with criminal twists
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 4

On the flip side of a criminal trying to go straight is the Byrde family in Chris Mundy's Emmy-winning money-laundering drama. Patriarch Marty (Jason Bateman, who also executive produces and directs) was working as a financial advisor at the start of the show, but when a drug cartel loses a bunch of money, he has to fix the situation by getting more hands-on in their operation. As episodes go on, more of the family gets deeply embedded in this kind of work, from matriarch Wendy (Laura Linney) to their teenage son (played by Skylar Gaertner). And the deeper they get, the more they get mixed up with local criminals, including Ruth (Julia Garner); the cartel, including leader Omar (Felix Solis) and lawyer Helen (Janet McTeer); and law enforcement.

"The plot runs from darker to darker. But there are also flashes of humor, and the Byrdes are well-developed as characters from the beginning." — Gail Pennington, St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Christopher Meloni in 'Happy!'

Syfy (archived on Getty Images)


Metascore: 65
Best for: Fans of graphic novel adaptations, offbeat humor, and live-action/animation hybrids
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix,
Seasons: 2

Based on Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson's comics of the same title, this two-season dark comedy stars Christopher Meloni as Nick, a former detective who is now working as a hitman. After living too hard (due to drugs and alcohol consumption), he has a heart attack, and when he comes to, he is suddenly able to see an animated unicorn (voiced by Patton Oswalt). This unicorn is the titular character and imaginary friend of Nick's daughter, who has been kidnapped. Suddenly, Nick has to spring into action to save her, but while trying to, he and his new partner uncover a much crazier (and dark) web of crime.

"Happy! is far from perfect. But if you're up for venturing down a dark path where the only one seemingly capable of the titular emotion is someone's imaginary friend, it still might make you smile." — Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times