HAP AND LEONARD – TV Pilot Review [Episode One: Savage Season]

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TV Pilot
Episode One: Savage Season
On Amazon Prime Instant Video

Best friends Hap (James Purefoy) and Leonard (Michael Kenneth Williams) are made redundant from their job rose-picking when Hap’s former flame Trudy (Christina Hendricks) invites them in on a deal that could see them walk away with $100,000 a piece! With a million dollars reportedly at the bottom of a river after a bank heist went wrong, the money’s just there for the taking should Hap and Leonard be able to find and retrieve it.

HAP AND LEONARD is a brand new series to Amazon Prime Instant Video adapted from the work of Joe R. Lansdale by two of the horror genre’s notable contributors Nick Damici and Jim Mickle. The pilot is currently available to watch on Amazon and introduces the viewer to two likable best friends. Set in the back end of the 80’s, Hap Collins is a straight, middle-aged labourer who seems to go weak at the knees at the sight of Trudy, ignoring advice from pal Leonard Pine. Leonard is a black gay man, something which even his own uncle is unable to comprehend, but Hap is supportive of Leonard and accepts his sexuality which makes their brotherhood concrete. Though he may succumb to Trudy’s allure, Hap is adament that he and Leonard come as a team or not at all so when propositioned with the chance to make $200,000, the final decision rests with Trudy who’s not exactly a fan of Leonard’s after his decision to serve in the army during the Vietnamese war. If she and her hippy husband want the loot though, it doesn’t look like they have much of a choice.

Meanwhile, across town at the local gas station, a police officer meets a couple with peculiar personalities…

If the pilot episode is anything to go by, HAP AND LEONARD will be something remarkable. A stellar cast led by our very own James Purefoy (Rome, Resident Evil) and Michael Kenneth Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire), the series is set in the Southern states of America and almost feels as though you’re living and breathing the life that Hap and Leonard live. The only thing that will awaken you from this world is the appearance of Jimmi Simpson and Pollyanna McIntosh who’s presence will startle, shock and leave you speechless. What this will mean for our main characters and for the townsfolk is anyones guess but it has sure left me hooked and chomping at the bit to see the next episode.

HAP AND LEONARD seems to have a bit of everything from humour to action, sadness to horror. You can tell that the series will be very character driven purely from the pilot episode. James Purefoy and Michael Kenneth Williams appear to be a winning combination as the likable best buddies and I can’t wait to see what adventures and scrapes they find themselves in. With such strong performances and plot threads that lead in curious directions, with a particular eye for detail, I believe this series will be one to watch. Nick Damici and Jim Mickle’s track record is a very fine one so I have complete faith they’ll be bringing us something rather special to our television screens that we may not have seen before.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Although already airing in the US, the streaming date for the rest of the episodes on Amazon Prime Instant Video have yet to be confirmed.

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About Bat 4339 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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