The second season finale of Hap and Leonard: Mucho Mojo (Wednesdays, 10/9C) wraps up the last loose ends of the season – who was BB and who killed him?
All of the details that have made this season so memorable – deeply unexpected circumstances; characters that are fully formed and relatable; that hint of the supernatural that feels natural when it really shouldn’t, and a final reveal that is both satisfying and completely logical – culminate in the what is a remarkable season of television.
The second episode of Hap and Leonard: Mucho Mojo (SundanceTV, Wednesdays, 10/9C) finds Leonard in jail and his lawyer, Florida and Hap trying to get him out.
Ticking Mojo maintains the slow burn build of the mystery behind the body found under the floorboards of Leonard’s (Michael Kenneth Williams) house; presents a possible killer and suggests the possibility that Leonard’s late Uncle Chester was involved with a series of missing children over the years.
Joe R. Lansdale’s southern fried, swamp rock duo of ne’er-do-wells, Hap and Leonard, have staked out a home on SundanceTV.
After a critically-acclaimed first season that ended on a doozy of a cliffhanger (what was that thing doing in Uncle Chester’s basement, anyway?), the duo return – caught in the middle of a murder mystery with more twists and turns than an East Texas highway – in Hap and Leonard: Mucho Mojo on Wednesday, March 15th (10/9C).
Ever since Boris Karloff donned the flat top and neck bolts in James Whale’s Frankenstein, there have been many attempts to capture the essence of Mary Shelley’s Classic novel.
Jed Mercurio’s 2007 take – available on home video today – updates the story with Dr. Victoria Frankenstein working to develop artificial organic organs for transplants – and driven to push her experiments ever faster when her son becomes deathly ill.
Fox’s ambitious new drama, The Following (Mondays, 9/8C), plays out as a gory chess match between a dour, taciturn ex-FBI agent and a cheerful, personable serial killer who goes from ‘making art’ to spawning a religion based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. It’s also the first television series to star Kevin Bacon, so there’s that, too.
ABC’s mini-series, Diamonds [Sunday and Tuesday, 9/8C]wants to be the Blood Diamonds of television when it’s more like a morality play that fuses that excellent film with the baser aspects of 24 – and throws in some primetime soap that’s significantly less than 99 & 44/100% pure [or fun…].
When Senator Joan Cameron’s daughter is murdered in the Congo, it sets off a chain reaction that reverberates through the halls of both the U.S. and Congo governments and the offices of the Denmont Corporation – a major wholesale diamond supplier looking to go into retail for the first time.
The high-powered includes Judy Davis [My Brilliant Career] as Senator Cameron; Sir Derek Jacobi [I, Claudius, Gosford Park] as Denmont CEO, Piers Denmont; James Purefoy [Rome], Louise Rose [Eastenders] as Luna Kormoma, Joanne Kelly [Vanished] as Stephanie Dressler, and Stephen McHattie  as Llewellyn Anderson – which guarantees that the cheesy, over-blown script is at least well acted.
That script, by David Vainola and directed by Andy Wilson, is simultaneously overcrowded and simplistic. Arcs include the machinations behind the scenes at Denmont Corporation; the plight of a child soldier in the Congo; a model who becomes the face of Denmont Corporation – and its face; an investigation into the massacre that included the senator’s daughter; and a cantankerous prospector for diamonds in the Canadian Arctic.
The various arcs weave in and out – actually they jump in and out [not much subtlety here] in harsh cuts rather than more elegant transitions. Everyone is so, so serious – the script doesn’t allow much in the way of badly needed comic relief because it’s Saying Something. As a result, the whole thing feels like someone thought that 24 and Dynasty would meld into the general Blood Diamonds concept. The monster diamond at the heart of most of the arcs is beauty, though…
There’s a certain fascination in seeing a world-class cast acting the hell out of a Razzie-worthy production [too bad there’s not a Razzies for television], but it fades well before Diamonds’ four-hour running time. The really sad thing is that Diamonds is a co-production with the CBC [Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, so it’s a genuine international fiasco. My grading for this is based solely on the performances – otherwise, diamonds would rate an F.