Hap and Leonard

Gone Too Soon: Hap and Leonard

The show at the center of this week’s Gone Too Soon is a little different from the other shows I’ve covered, it isn’t sci-fi or fantasy nor is it meant for a teenage/young adult demographic.  We are talking about Hap and Leonard, based on the books by Joe R. Lansdale. The show ran for three seasons on Sundance from 2016 to 2018.

Couple Hug GIF by SundanceTV - Find & Share on GIPHY
Hap and Leonard ran for three seasons on Sundance.

This “Gone Too Soon” is a departure from the usual shows that I watch. It’s not a teen drama (Daybreak), there’s nothing sci-fi (Stitchers) or supernatural (Ravenswood) about it. It’s target audience isn’t 18-25 year old girls. It shares nothing with iZombie or Eye Candy, for that matter, but trust me this is a show worth checking out. 

The show really should have been given more seasons. It was enjoyable, didn’t have any filler episodes, so it was nonstop action, so that begs the question: why didn’t it get more seasons? Well ask yourself this, did you ever really hear about it? I mean, I remember seeing a few commercials about it, but I didn’t watch it. I was introduced by my family, that convinced me to start a binge. I’m hoping that this convinces you to start one as well.

Trailer for the first season of Hap and Leonard

The Gist

Hap and Leonard is set in the 80’s in a rural East Texas town. As an East Texas girl myself this was definitely a draw. 

Each season has a different plot. The first sees Hap (James Purefoy, Rome) and Leonard (Michael Kenneth Williams, The Wire) dragged into a treasure hunt by Hap’s ex-wife Trudy, (Christina Hendricks, Good Girls, Mad Men) The second revolves around a bunch of missing children and a dead body found under Leonard’s house. The third has the boy’s going to a town run by the KKK to find Florida, (Tiffany Mack) Hap’s one time love who has gone missing. 

The series explored race, family, corruption, and sexuality. The show really feels like a southern gothic epic, grounded in real life issues and never truly delving into the supernatural, but haunted by the ghosts of the past. 

Should You Watch It?

Are you a fan of crime dramas with a little mystery and dark comedy mixed in? Then I have just the show for you. Seriously Hap and Leonard only has 8 episodes a season, for 18 episodes total. It’s the perfect binge and it’s really addicting. Good luck trying to just watch a couple of episodes, once you start a season you will want to finish it. 

Stand Out Moment

I’m personally a fan of the entire shootout that rounds out the first season. Jimmi Simpson (Westworld) is a wonderful villain who really shines in this show. I love how this season plays out, how every season plays out, but in terms of entertainment value, this takes the cake.  

Sunken Ships

This show isn’t shippy. You don’t really get invested in any relationships outside of Hap and Leonard themselves, and with so few episodes each season things move so quickly that there isn’t any time for filler. 

Caution: Cliffhanger

You’re in luck; no cliffhangers here! Since every season is based on a different book in the series each season actually ends and if you want more there are 22 books in the series so you can keep reading even after the show ends. 

Where to Watch

All three seasons are available to watch on Netflix and since I know that you are staying home why not start a binge. It’s the perfect time. 

Have you ever watched Hap and Leonard? Are you planning to?

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  1. I had never heard of Hap and Leonard before working as an extra in several episodes of season 3. Now I am a big fan of Joe Lansdale’s work.

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