The new show Hap and Leonard will premieres Wednesday March 2nd on the Sundance channel. As we previously covered, the 6 one hour episodes are based on the novels by author Joe Lansdale (who first introduced the duo in 1990 with Savage Season. My interest in the show was based upon reading the description of Leonard, “a Black crime fighting Vietnam vet who is also homosexual.” The series’ time period takes place in the 1980s.
Leonard will be play by Michael K. Williams, better known from his breakout role as Omar in HBO’s The Wire. Additional details on the main characters:
Leonard Pine is a gay, black Vietnam vet with serious anger issues. He was raised by his uncle who shunned him after learning he was gay. However, when his uncle passes away, he leaves his house and all his assets to Leonard. Leonard has zero tolerance for racist or anti-gay slurs. Although Hap dislikes guns, Leonard has no problem carrying or using them. Quick to anger, at times he cannot understand Hap’s aversion to violence or killing if necessary, even when provoked. His relationships are also short and tempestuous. Leonard is the much more aggressive of the two and repeatedly burned down a local crack house that used to be his new next door neighbor.
Hap Collins (played by James Purefoy) is a white working class laborer who spent time in federal prison as a young man for refusing to be drafted into the military and serve in the Vietnam War. In his late forties, he is often haunted by the various unpleasant jobs he’s held over the years such as working at an aluminum chair factory and working the East Texas rose fields. The two now work for the former police officer turned private investigator Marvin Hanson. Hap tries his best to avoid violence and also tries his best to avoid the taking of another human life. Often lovesick, most of his relationships haven’t worked out. He is currently with his on-again-off-again girlfriend Brett Sawyer. Some of his past has been taken from Mr. Lansdale’s own past. The stories are told from Hap’s narrative point of view. Not as quick to anger as Leonard, he often finds himself attempting to talk Leonard out of committing serious violence.
Check out the below trailers from the six episode run of Hap and Leonard.