New to SoHo in April

Amid the high-profile returns of Westworld, Legion, Silicon Valley and Fear the Walking Dead next month on SoHo, don’t overlook the premiere of violent hitman hoot Barry (10.00 Fridays from April 6).

It launches this weekend on HBO and stars Saturday Night Live alumni Bill Hader as a depressed, low-rent hitman from the Midwest who falls in love with acting while on a job in LA.

“To make a possibly long review shorter, let me just declare how far over the moon I am about Barry, a funny, violent, gripping and masterfully melancholy half-hour show created by Hader and Silicon Valley producer Alec Berg,” The Washington Post said.

“Drama? Dramedy? Comedy? I was too emotionally invested in its eight-episode story arc to label it. From start to finish, it’s just one hell of a show.”

TV Guide dubbed it “wildly original and sensationally entertaining”, The Hollywood Reporter “one of the weirdest and most compelling experiments in American comedy in years”, and USA Today, “alternately funny and horrifying, and manages to make jokes about its criminal elements without being too exploitative or blasé”.

Also new is Britannia (8.30 Wednesdays from April 18), a Sky Atlantic series about the Roman invasion of Britain in 43AD starring David Morrisey (The Missing), Kelly Reilly (True Detective), Zoe Wannamaker (Mr Selfridge), Ian McDairmid (Utopia), and Mackenzie Crook (Game of Thrones).

“There’s plenty of action and enough gore in this vaguely historical drama to quench your fix for Game of Thrones,” said the Boston Herald while the Financial Times thought the female characters “fantastically strong”.

Less overwhelmed was the New Statesman: “It behoves me to say quite firmly that Britannia is the barmiest thing I’ve seen on TV since just about forever.”

“While the money Sky Atlantic has spent on Britannia is very much in evidence, at times it can feel more small scale than we’re used to from shows like Game of Thrones, as two-wheeled chariots trundle through fields and up hillocks at the head of a tiny group of people that call themselves a kingdom, yet that’s probably how it was in Britain back when the whole population numbered less than half that of modern London,” Radio Times observed.

“And so what if it’s a little more modest in scope than its transatlantic fantasy cousin? Britannia also takes itself a bit less seriously and has an earthy charm all its own.”

SoHo also will premiere Paterno (8.30, April 29), an HBO dramatisation of Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal starring Sean Penn.

Returning for new seasons next month are Westworld (1.00/8.30 Mondays from April 23), Legion (9.30 Wednesdays from April 4), Silicon Valley (9.30 Fridays from April 6) and Fear the Walking Dead (9.30 Tuesdays from April 17).

And back for box set weekends are High Maintenance (S2), Crashing (S2), Strike Back (S5), Westworld (S1) and Here and Now; S1 of Westworld also will get its own pop-up channel from April 1-22.

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