Sundance's buddy crime series Hap and Leonard returns for its second season March 15th with a whole new story and a bunch of new characters, including Brian Dennehy as Sheriff Valentine Otis, the local chief with wealth and power even beyond what his position should allow, and who makes life difficult for goodhearted Texas boy Hap (James Purefoy) and his fiery best friend Leonard (Michael Kenneth Williams).
On the surface, the show is a crime caper soaked in blood and mayhem, but if you look deeper there's much more to it. It's really a show about family and community.
This season is subtitled Mucho Mojo, and is based on the novel of the same name by Joe Lansdale (Season 1 was based on the first Hap and Leonard novel, Savage Season). Michael Kenneth Williams tells TVGuide.com that in Season 2, Leonard, a very traditional, socially conservative man despite being gay and black, sees his community changing in ways he doesn't like. It's 1988 and crack has taken hold, and with it a dog-eat-dog mentality.
"You see Leonard react to that, and he bucks against that," says Williams. Leonard bucks by fighting the drug dealer who lives next door to him and even taking in a kid who has nowhere else to go. He's trying to be a positive person in his community.
Brian Dennehy concurs that the show is about people trying to do good for the people around them, saying that one of the things that drew him to Hap and Leonard in the first place is that it's a "show about virtue," which he defines as "the concern to do good for yourselves, for your families and your community."
"It's a good idea, and it seems to be working," says Dennehy. "And please, God, there should be more of them."
Hap and Leonard: Mucho Mojo premieres Wednesday, March 15th at 10/9c on Sundance.