San Diego Union-Tribune editors and writers share what they’re currently obsessing over.
What I’m obsessed with: The character NoHo Hank — a sinister but also disarmingly kind Chechen crime mob member from the HBO series, “Barry.”
Isn’t it a bit late for this?: The end of the year is when I catch up on TV I’ve missed or never got around to watching, and this time that included “Barry.” The show came out way back in 2018, followed by a second season in 2019, and was also nominated for multiple Emmys (including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series which co-creator and star Bill Hader won). But for some reason “Barry” was in my cultural blind spot, which is why I am only now meeting NoHo Hank.
What’s the story: The basic story of “Barry” is that Barry (Hader), a Midwest hitman, goes to L.A. on a job and inadvertently falls in with an amateur acting group (led by Henry Winkler). Barry finds himself emotionally invested and goes on a journey to leave behind his life of killing for a life on the stage. NoHo Hank is one of the members of the Chechen mob who keeps pulling Barry back into violence.
What’s so good about NoHo Hank: Barry’s constantly around ruthless, terrifying characters who either want to have someone killed or want to kill Barry. NoHo Hank, played by Anthony Carrigan, stands out for always being courteous and polite, even when discussing the most brutal scenarios. When the Chechen mob first hires Barry, NoHo Hank welcomes him with, “Are you hungry? Do you want a submarine sandwich? If you’re thirsty, we have juice boxes. Hawaiian punch. Or maybe beer?” NoHo Hank is also really into technology in an endearing way, even though it puts people in danger. And he’s a stylish dresser, putting on a fitted leather jacket and matching loafers before a big job. But the best thing about NoHo Hank (aside from the name that stands for North Hollywood), is that he really values friendship, specifically the messed up relationship he has with Barry.
NoHo Hank words of wisdom: This is a good time to revisit NoHo Hank. Even as the world around him crashes (and that happens quite often), NoHo Hank remains calm and optimistic, and even keeps his sense of humor — an enviable trait in a pandemic world. Some other notable quotes include: “Real talk? I should not be manager of a crime syndicate, I should be manager of hotel … chain of hotels.”; and “I have to be honest, Barry, I’m quite a bit angry. But I’m going to put that aside for now, because rage is counterproductive.”
When he’s not NoHo Hank: Carrigan is known for playing Victor Zsasz on the TV show “Gotham” and Kyle Nimbus/The Mist on “The Flash.” He’s also outspoken about having alopecia, an auto-immune condition that resulted in his hair loss.
The first two seasons of “Barry” are streaming on HBO Max, with season three expected to be released in early 2022.