Damn you, Hannibal. Damn you for being so amazing and realistic but just flying right over the heads of the mainstream viewer. Hannibal is the perfect example of what a psychological thriller should be. The direction is fantastic, the cinematography is beyond beautiful. It manages to creep you out and captivate you all at the same time. Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelson play their parts perfectly. Bringing to life criminal profiler, Will Graham, alongside Hannibal Lecter has never been done so tastefully. Many say that Anthony Hopkins’s portrayal of the titular terror was the ultimate version of him, but I disagree. Mads Mikkelson brought a level of acting to the small screen that was nothing short of Oscar worthy.
We’re not going to give away any spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the show, and would like to stay spoiler free, please have no fears here. The story is pretty simple, and follows the Red Dragon book, although it does differ from it. It also differs from the Edward Norton movie of the same name and subject matter by taking its own liberties as far as production and story. We pick up prior to Hannibal Lecter earning his fame as a serial killer, and prior to Will Graham knowing anything about his grisly nature. You may be asking, what makes Hannibal so good?
It’s pretty simple. There aren’t too many shows that are as elegant as Hannibal is. This elegance helps to breed the creepy atmosphere that radiates from the show. It’s hard to imagine a man who loves fancy suits, beautiful cooking, and fine wine is a psychopath bent on murdering and eating everyone he comes across. The first season is easily the strongest. It’s pretty hard not to get chills as Hannibal interacts with Will and the world around him. As Hannibal and Will search for the Chesapeake ripper, Hannibal begins to have his interests peaked by Will. Will’s suspicions pique as well, and he and Hannibal square off on more than one occasion.
The serial killers that are shown throughout the show are brutal, and real. Building up to the reveal of the infamous Red Dragon, the show handles tough subjects with grace and class. Not to mention that the beauty in the camera work is something you have to see to believe. The show only has three seasons currently, NBC unfortunately pulled the plug on it due to poor ratings (not the show’s fault, though). Hannibal is still looking for a home elsewhere, but for the foreseeable future it seems that 3 excellent seasons are all we’ll get.
If you’re a huge fan of psychological horrors, or enjoyed movies like Silence of the Lambs, this is a must see. Even if you’re just a fan of great television, this is a must watch that you have to cross off of your list. It’s a shame that its life ended so soon, but it forever lives on in my heart and the hearts of Hannibal fanboys and fangirls as one of the greatest television productions ever. This is an easy, easy recommendation.
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