A generationHBO’s dark comedy in its first two highly rated seasons Barry Viewers who have successfully deconstructed masculine tropes and glorified violence have come to expect prestige TV shows about sad, murderous or generally scary men.In season 3, the multi-Emmy-winning series expands its questioning of morality and power beyond Barry Berkman (Bill Hader) as a killer moves into other realms, mostly personal relationships, where violence doesn’t have to be physical, and in Hollywood, Berkman’s love interest Sally Reed (Sarah Goldberg) adapts her based on her past abusive relationships of single women plays into a show.
When we caught up with Sally in the first episode, we immediately saw how her story was twisted and twisted under the watchful eye of Hollywood.For example, Sally was clearly too old for her lead role in the stage play, and was instead chosen to be the mother of a teenage girl who was Elsie Fisher, who are in an abusive relationship. The involvement of network managers on the topic cannot be underestimated. Likewise, Sally’s job as a showrunner requires her to emotionally distance herself from her past and be willing to sensationalize it for entertainment, like when she approves of actors slamming stunt doubles to the kitchen table like WWE wrestling moves on time.
Overall, Sally’s storyline this season is a fascinating and often hilarious case study of the commodification of personal trauma that also manages to collude The so-called ‘golden age’ of television In the age of streaming and recycling IP. Meanwhile, Sally’s already disturbing relationship with Barry — she still doesn’t know he lives by killing people — becomes even more problematic when he becomes her abuser (which was attempted to protect last season after she was spared from a violent ex-boyfriend).
Goldberg nominated for Emmy for playing Sally in season 2 Barry, credits the series’ female writing staff for the clever execution of these themes. She noted that the show’s producers Hader and Alec Berg encouraged collaboration on the show’s female-centric aspect — a test given that the show’s portrayal of Sally and the women she’s encountered in her career is one of the best. A choice has paid off on female relationships on TV.
The Daily Beast tells Goldberg about Sally’s experience as a creator and why she’s like Tom successionher relationship with Barry, and how the show deftly portrays power dynamics among women.
You guys obviously took a long time off before filming this season because of COVID. Was it harder to go back to Sally’s character than to go from season 1 to season 2?
This is a good question. I really don’t know the answer. I do not think so. We read the first table before the pandemic hit, and we’re so excited to get back together. It was a terrifying moment, are we embracing? Or do we not hug? There was a rumbling, but no one knew what was going on. We all decided to hug.And Henry [Winkler] I shared the french fries and definitely exchanged breath drops in the air. We found that we were shut down like the rest of the world. So I think we were so excited to get back to work that any hesitation about whether we could try the character again was overshadowed by the hysteria and the enthusiasm to reunite and finally shoot. And, you know, it helps that all the characters are in a slightly new place this season.
I think, this season, you guys are starting to explore many forms of violence beyond Barry as a killer. Notably, a scene where Barry yells at Sally in front of her co-workers while she’s filming her show became a big focus of the season.We learned something bad Cusino has done it in the past. Is that what Bill Hader and Alec Berg discussed with you?
I think the act of showing verbal abuse and all that is very organic, and if we’re talking about people, morally bankrupt people making selfish decisions, it naturally applies to the realm of violence as well. And I think for Sally’s storyline, it’s really interesting because she’s someone from a history of domestic abuse.
What I found interesting about what we did with the Barry-Sally storyline was that when he started showing aggression towards her, she had a traumatic reaction and was totally out of touch with the reality of what was going on. She got into a historic, rehearsed pattern of behavior that I found really interesting and moving and an accurate way to tell the story – we saw her in episode 2 as he abused her Apologised to him afterwards, and she didn’t wake up until the reality of what happened in front of her. She shuts down a bit. We didn’t take the easy route, she suddenly became rebellious, she had all the right words, she fought back.
Well, speaking of this, in episode 4, Katie who plays Sally’s daughter Joplin, facing her Barry yelling at her, basically telling her she deserves better. I’m a little surprised that Sally took Katie’s advice and left Barry so quickly, because she was so eager to ignore it. What do you think is going on inside that allows her to make the right decision?
I think it’s a combination of things. I think she’s in a coma. Katie woke her up. It’s as if she’s in this coveted sleeping space, where she sees and understands all the various behaviors on a subconscious level, but she hasn’t yet found a place to act. I think Katie is speaking for her – Katie is her disciple, you know? She has all the status and power in this dynamic in her mind. For this young woman she so admired to hold up a mirror so suddenly after the most exciting time of her life – I think it woke her up.
Sally has a hard time seeing herself or facing herself in any way. It’s one of those moments throughout the season when someone actually gets directly with Sally. We don’t see that in the whole show, really. The other actors in the acting class were flattering to Sally. Or Barry is always trying to make Sally feel good. [Gene] Cusino is sometimes outspoken with Sally, but often it’s for his character. So this was actually the first time — I just realized when I said it to you — that someone actually stood up and said to Sally, “Hey, this is what’s going on.”
“So this was actually the first time — I just realized when I said it to you — that someone actually stood up and said to Sally, “Hey, this is what’s going on.”“
as a Eighth grade stan, I have to ask what it’s like to work with Elsie Fisher. I found Sally’s character to be very endearing with her dynamics.
you are so nice.A lot of people say that because we’re just huge Eighth grade fan.So basically, when we went to the Critics’ Choice Awards a few years ago Barry, I remember Eighth grade Get up, Elsie Fisher wins.I sat with Alec Berg and we were like, “Oh my god. That girl — we love her. She’s absolutely incredible.” Bill and Alec and everyone in the cast were so big Eighth grade fan. So we basically wooed her. We really want her to be on the show. We are so glad she can do it. She read on that table what we had read years before it closed. I’m worried that when we go back to another project we might lose her to another project. But anyway, working with her was phenomenal. She is 18 and 45 years old.
I love Sally’s specific and nuanced portrayal of a female creator in the TV industry, especially in the age of streaming. How much of that came from the brains of women writers? Do you have any comments on that part of her arc?
It’s a combination.everything is Barry‘ Collaboration, which is a real luxury on TV. This is definitely from the perspective of us women writers. Of course, I bring some of my own experience. I think we were interested in showing Sally getting into a successful place after seeing her underdog for two seasons and working really hard to get somewhere and not having any luck. But what we want to show is that when you get there, it’s not always what you think it is. What happens when your art is commodified?
For Sally, she was at the top of episode 1 when we had that long shot of her walking through her scene. She was actually watching the most terrifying moment of her life unfold in front of her. She’s totally down-to-earth and “looks good.” She’s totally out of touch with the emotional story that got her here. So we’re interested in exploring what happens when you step into the world of business and business meets art, basically.
I also think that Sally’s sense of being disempowered by other women’s executives and superiors is very smart and genuine.I think a less incisive show would have her deal with these cartoons Scott Rudin type data. Sally also plays the role of this lady boss when she has the ability.
I’m personally interested in what do you do when you gain a little power? Sally is a bullied person. She’s been sexually harassed in the workplace, all those things. So when she achieves some kind of leadership, one would love to see an evolution and she would be the kind of leader she would like herself to be led. Unfortunately, human nature is not always like this.I really want to imitate Tom [Wambsgans] exist succession. I love Tom because he’s such a fun character and because he’s so vulnerable. You feel sorry for him when he is bullied. But once he gains a shred of power, he becomes the bully himself. So I really wanted to explore with Sally.
You also see how vulnerable the women who work on Sally’s show are when the Barry thing happens, and no one feels like they can say anything.
I think what we want to show is how complicated this can be and see what happens in the workspace when she’s being molested by her partner and no one knows what to do.The writer’s line, she loves, “I really love my job” – she, loves all the characters Barry, not choosing the right thing to do. She chooses to do selfish things. But you totally understand the predicament that woman is in. To me, that scene between the writer and Elsie Fisher was incredible.
I think they handled this very, very smartly. Just because it’s an all-female network doesn’t mean these are all good people, these are all good people, and these are all motherly people. You know, it was clear to me from the beginning that Sally was the only female series regular on the show, but I never wanted her to be spared the moral bankruptcy of the other characters just because she was a woman. These are corrupt people. I don’t want her to be a moral barometer. Obviously, the storylines are completely different, but the decisions she makes are parallel to Fuchs or NoHo Hank because they’re a bit selfish.