Set in the late 1980's Hap and Leonard is a darkly comic swamp noir of two best friends, one femme fatale, a crew of washed up revolutionaries, a pair of murderous psycho killers, some lost loot, and the fuzz.
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Michael Kenneth Williams
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When a protective father meets a murderous ex-con, both need to deviate from the path they are on as they soon find themselves entangled in a downwards spiral of lies and violence while having to confront their own inner psyche.
Down on his luck after losing his job, '60s activist/ex-con Hap Collins can't help but listen when his seductive former wife Trudy, for whom he still pines, resurfaces with promises of finding a sunken treasure in the Deep South. Joining the adventure is Hap's unlikely buddy Leonard Pine, an openly gay black Vietnam War vet with a bad temper and little use for Trudy's feminine wiles. Soon enough the simple get-rich-quick scheme snowballs into bloody mayhem.
Episode 2 "The Bottoms" is also the name of another Joe R Lansdale (award winning) novel although it doesn't feature the characters of Hap and Leonard. Like a lot of Lansdale stories it does share the same setting of East Texas, where the author himself is from. See more »
My spoilers are super minor, nothing that will jeopardize your viewing pleasure.
This show keeps getting better and better. I have just finished watching the 4th episode and there is something so quirky about it. It is supposed to take place in the 80's (thereabouts) and centers around crime - trying to locate stolen money and dealing with the results. It is set in Texas with the 2 main characters wearing cowboy boots and hats, giving it a westernish vibe. But then you throw in the spandex wearing, spike-haired, blue eye-shadowed, 80's murderous vixen and the show becomes a little more off kiltered, but in an entirely good way. This mix of characters makes me feel like I am watching a blend of a Guy Ritchie Film and Pulp Fiction turned into a TV show. The violence reminds me of this combo as well. It is extreme and bloody but done with flair and frivolity.
There are some excellent and well-known actors in the show: James Purefoy, Michael Kenneth Williams, and the ever lovely Christina Hendricks. Michael and James have really good chemistry together and It is completely believable that they have been best of friends since childhood. I do have to say, though, that Enrique Murciano's acting was cringe worthy (an ex-lover to Leonard (Michael's character)). It was so over the top. But I have to wonder if the director wanted it to look like that because otherwise one would think that he would have redone the scenes. Fortunately Enrique's role is very minor.
I am rating Hap and Leonard a 10 because of how entertaining, quirky, and amusing it is. The show is not up there with such monumental TV like Breaking Bad or The Wire, but I am surprised that more people aren't watching this and proclaiming its superb entertainment value. Shows like this and Fargo demonstrate that TV can be even more than good writing and acting, they can be art.
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