Barry Berkman (Bill Hader, “Saturday Night Live”) is just your average guy, perhaps worryingly so. Literally, he ticks all the boxes. He’s presumably middle-aged, lives in the Midwest and is going through a crisis of sorts. You know, the typical daily onset of existential dread and general dissatisfaction with, well, everything. Furthermore, his past as a Marine continues to play a role in his life, haunting him in the process. To put it quite frankly, his life simply sucks. You can even probably guess his occupation. Accountant? Tax attorney? Disgruntled engineer?
The constant teetering between comedy and drama gives rise to some exposition-heavy writing and stiff performances at first, but the show’s ambitions pay off by the season’s final episodes, when everything really falls into place.
On paper, a crime series that tones down the mystery and emphasizes the deceitfulness of social institutions has the potential to really make a statement, but not if its plot is as loose and convoluted as this one.