Hannibal Series Premiere Review: The Mind Can Be A Terrible Thing to Taste

Hannibal S01E01: "Apertif"

In a more sensible world, NBC's new drama Hannibal would be called Graham, after the real main attraction of the show. But television, particularly television that's created by NBC, is a business first, a business second, and a business third (and at NBC it's a bad business, if 2013 has been any indication), so marketing trumps sensibility when dollars are involved. And who would watch a show called Graham anyway? Hannibal does have a marketable heavyweight behind it in the legend of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a character made somewhat well-known by Thomas Harris's novels and outright infamous by the film The Silence of the Lambs. But so far Hannibal, which debuted tonight in NBC's Thursday 10pm death slot, is really all about that other guy, FBI agent Will Graham. 

It's Graham, played sharply by British actor Hugh Dancy, who lifts Hannibal above the crop of other serial-killer-based series that've sprouted in this early midseason (Fox's lame The Following and A&E's sorta-okay Bates Motel also center on killers or would-be killers). The opening of the pilot is a stunner; Graham, on the scene of a grisly double homicide, virtually inhabits the mind of the killer and works his way through the murders as if he'd held the gun, pulled the trigger, and delighted in the expired life that resulted. Dancy goes off to a distant place, has an out-of-body experience in his head, and reluctantly frolics in the playground of his imagination. See, Graham has one of those few traits that television often starves its characters of: empathy. In fact, he's got so much empathy, you can't even begin to imagine what he feels like (but he could). He can tell what killers are thinking just from the way a body is left hanging from a set of antlers (gross) or how an organ was replaced within a body or whatever other sick things his job brings up. It's detective work, but it's just different enough from what we're used to seeing to make the format feel new.

Those who chase serial killers and criminals on television today are typically powered by some heightened form of deduction, turning them into a kind of super detective. They flaunt their ability in front of others, because let's face it, it'd be a pretty cool bar trick to piece together someone's backstory from the contents of their purse, as Elementary's Sherlock can. But Graham's prize for high levels of empathy is crawling through the filthy muck of of serial killers' minds, and his emotionally taxing routine of replaying their gruesome acts has him straddling victims and choking the life out of them or putting slugs into their brains. It's not exactly like Patrick Jane's Mentalist squint or Carrie Wells' Unforgettable memory trance. This is life-shortening experience transference, the kind of work strain that follows you home and chips away at your soul. And unlike his profiler counterparts on other shows, Graham isn't able to use his ability in the real world because of neurosis and crippling social anxiety, "somewhere between Asberger's and autistics," and it's a consistant and terrible reminder that maybe he understands serial killers better than he understands normal people. It's like having the voice of one of the Four Tenors, but only being able to use it in the shower.

This makes Will Graham a far more compelling centerpiece than, say, The Following's Ryan Hardy (zzzzzz...), whose setbacks (alcoholism, a pacemaker) are wearily mundane by comparison. Graham is a character with persistent flaws, Hardy is merely a persistently flawed character. Graham has to constantly live with his problems, whereas the writers of The Following can turn Hardy's on and off as they please and as it fits the story. Plus, does Hardy pick up stray dogs and give them baths!? I don't think so.

However, most viewers will come to Hannibal for the Hannibal, and this incarnation of the grisly gastronomist is a much more subdued dude. Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, known by most Americans as the bad guy from the Bond flick Casino Royale, lets most of Lecter's pre-established reputation do the work in the pilot episode, as Mikkelsen stands mostly quiet and reserved—a brilliant decision. We all know who Hannibal Lecter is, and it would've been a huge mistake for the series to oversell the character or reimagine him for today's audience. The monster beneath is hiding in plain sight, and our knowledge of his culinary preferences is all we need to be fearful him. And in case we need a little kick in the ass, interstitial bits of a prim-and-proper Lecter noshing on some liver medallions or lung fritters are there to remind us. Mikkelsen is also allowed to keep his Dutch accent, and even though it makes for a few indecipherable phrases, the thick consonants class up Lecter's intellect and make him seem more professorial, which is key to his charisma. 

What will make the series worth watching is the odd relationship between Lecter and Graham, two geniuses in their own right who are engaged in a game of cat-and-mouse in which we're not sure who's doing the meowing and who's nibbling on the cheese. Lecter likes to prod and test Graham's ability and patience, as he does when they first meet and when Lecter puts out his own copycat murder. Though Graham's a champion mind-invader himself, he gets grumpy when others try to psychoanalyze him, and Lecter picks up on that quickly and exploits it. But I suspect that, as the series moves forward, the two will have to work together to catch other bad guys, and their success will be all over the map given Lecter's propensity for unpredictability. In tonight's episode, Lecter gave the killer a heads up for reasons unknown, though I'm guessing it was just to make Graham's life as difficult as possible.

Lecter is the wildest of wild cards and a sociopath whose inconsistency is the perfect foil for Graham's high levels of empathy. It's the unstoppable force and the immovable object catching bad guys! Try as he might, Graham will probably never be able to understand Lecter, and Lecter is so fascinated by Graham that Graham will become Lecter's favorite plaything. It's a set-up that sounds great now and should pay off big early on, but there are questions of how long the two can bicker before their disagreements become tiresome. There's going to have to be some serious relationship development along the way as the two get to know each other better, and I think that's exactly what will happen. The bigger obstacle will be dealing with the idea of a serial killer working in secret with the FBI's greatest criminal profiler and not getting caught. But hey, a chump like Dexter Morgan did it for six seasons, so Lecter should have at least a season and a half in him.

It's a good sign for the show that the first things I wrote about in this review were the characters, but Hannibal's tone and feel are just as important to its overall canvas of creepiness. Creator Bryan Fuller (Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies) dips his brushes into that wonderfully perverse brain of his and paints effectively, with dark tones and splashes of red to set the mood to uncomfortable and squeamish. But the violence here isn't egregious like the gore-porn of The Following (sorry to compare the two again, okay fine I'll try to stop). Instead, and I don't want to start anything up with the air-tight asses of the Parents Television Council here, it's kind of... beautiful. Pools of blood retract in reverse motion, arteries spray red at quarter speed, and corpses are placed in elegant poses like murdered fashion-model mannequins. It's violent imagery that draws the eyes in instead of poking them with needles. Shout-out to director David Slade (who also directed the pilot for last year's late-season NBC Thursday 10pm slot show, Awake) for making it flourish. 

The problems that did arise in the pilot had to do with the case of the week. But if there are going to be problems, it's best to have them with the weekly procedural format, especially in the pilot. We don't care about the case so much in the introductory hour; however, as long as we're talking about it, it wrapped up rather quickly, didn't it? Once Lecter and Graham easily identified the suspect, they hurried to his house and shot him. Bang bang bang! Case closed! And you have to wonder why Graham, a mentally unstable agent who should be under close supervision, and Lecter, a mere psychological consultant, are out in the field alone together chasing bad guys in the first place. Shouldn't they have training wheels for a bit? Would you let a guy who acts and dresses like Hannibal Lecter run free with a wackjob agent like Graham? Is this the FBI or Police Academy

Midseason shows are usually midseason shows because expectations are low. But Hannibal took advantage of low expectations and became one of the most pleasant surprises of the season. Due to its subject matter and one bitch of a cursed time slot, it might not be an outright hit, but it has a chance to become NBC's best show of the season and one of the better new entries in all of television if it can maintain a majority of the pilot's great start. 



NOTES

– I didn't even mention Laurence Fishburne, who plays third fiddle to Dancy and Mikkelsen.

– Who takes care of Graham's dogs when he's out on business? And didn't that dog he picked up have a leash? Is Graham just stealing other people's dogs? I must know more about these dogs!

– Lecter had Graham eat human flesh LOL great workplace prank, gotta try that on my boss sometime. [Ed. Note: Dear Tim, we're never sharing a meal together ever again, xoxo, Jen]

– A couple WEIRD casting choices that I dig: Dan Fogel (of the late Man Up) as Lecter's weeping patient, and Scott Thompson (Kids in the Hall) as a very serious agent who knows a bit about birds. 

– A welcome return to American television for Caroline Dhavernas (Wonderfalls), whose plays Alana Bloom. I'm not sure how her character fits in, but any Caroline is better than no Caroline! Unless it's via her previous outing, ABC's dreadful Off the Map.



Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Hannibal is better than the Following by a mile. Actually, several miles.
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Hobbs kills his wife and attempts to kill his daughter as a desperate act of love/mercy. To save them from what is to come, after his capture or death. Then too his daughter was his crime partner, her future was over. His tendency to kill other girls in order not to kill her is a whacked kind of reflected love/mercy. When the jig was up and he knew it, this love mercy became direct. Because he loved and cared for them that much. This whacked love/mercy thing is hinted at early on by revelation of his obsessive reverence for all parts of the thing killed. All the writing and production elements of good sequentialized dark moments. At least that's what I thought as I watched it. They occur regularly throughout this series an are expertly presented.
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Mads Mikkelsen has a Danish accent, Famke Janssen might have a Dutch accent.
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the second episode was as epic as the first one and creepier definitely.. this show requires weekly reviewing, it is superb!
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Since the audience is lead to believe there is something wrong with Graham, and from the buzz the pilot episode was getting about being utterly disturbing, I actually fast forwarded through the scene of Graham trying to get the dog in his car because I thought he would act out the actions of the serial killers acts racing through his mind on stray dogs (probably from watching the pilot of The Following)... hence my utter relief and ear to ear grin when it turned out he was saving the dogs, not cutting them up.
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'Keep his Dutch accent'...? Danish people have Danish accents!!
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There's no good way to say this, so I'm just gonna blurt it out:
Several of the missing girls´s names match the names of actresses in the adult industry.
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Can really tell your a fan of The Following...
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I didn't watch Awake but I did watch this show. I'm afraid that its going to be like Awake and gets cancelled. I'm glad that NBC is still taking risks on artsy non-traditional procedural. If ever the show gets canned, I hope one of the NBC cable channel picks it up. Bravo is NBC right? It'll fit right in.

I honestly didn't like the Will Graham character. Anti-social genius savants are just so uninteresting to me. I would have preferred a Clarice Starling type lead. Maybe that way, more people would have watched the show since the Hannibal franchise is known for both Hannibal and Clarice.

I'm not a fan of artsy type shows but this is better than The Following and Bates Motel. I like the show but with the relatively low ratings and the artsy production, I'm pessimistic that it will survive. Hope cable picks it up.
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Yes, they shouldn't have wrapped up the series killer of the week this easily and by the civilians on their own. But apart from that it was a brilliantly written, made and acted episode.
And just because this show has no resemblance to real life doesn't mean it shouldn't be enjoyed all the same.
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Hannibal really has nothing to do with the following, aside from the awesomeness of their casts. Beautiful. the last thing i saw with this much art was... karenina. Those antlers and the body?! epic! love this so hard!
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This show is so good please don't let this world be so gone that Revolution survives and this show gets canceled.
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I was enjoying NBC's 'Hannibal' this evening (cause ain't nobody gonna tell me not to enjoy a show about a canabalistic dude who made Ray Liotta eat his own brain) when something odd caught my eye and took me out of the fantasy world of the new drama; Scott Thompson was playing a very serious FBI agent. I know you mentioned it here, but I actually had to do some rewinding to make sure I saw that right and after confirmation, I was Immediatly transported to the hysterical image of Thompson slapping a cop on the ass while wearing a leather daddy outfit and saying "All yours cap'n" as the officer went to investigate a gay rest area in the Kids in the Hall movie "Brain Candy". I couldn't believe that Thompson wasn't even playing a slightly funny comedic relief roll in Hannibal. This guy was gay back when it was funny to be gay and not Republicannilly obcene. This is a comedy tragedy folks. This is a homeless comedian wandering the landscape of drama. What's next? In ten years we could see Jerry Seinfeld doing CSI Madison Wisconson (only city left in 10 years to not have been CSI'd) I say we start an organization to put our comedians BACK in comedies. No longer should we suffer shit like 2 broke girls and whatever the show is with the fat people who do stuff and care about things. Let the unfunny assholes who we don't know and who blew a producer to get at part, be in Hannibal. I'm starting the PCBC or "Put Comedians Back in Comedy" foundation! Who's with me?

Our Commercial:

"The PCBC: Won't you help support our struggling comedians? (Mantage of still photos of Jim Carrey (caption: The Truman Show), Robin Williams (caption: The Fisher King), Jim Carrey (caption: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Chevy Chase (caption: Caddyshack 2 (not a comedy)), Jim Carrey (caption: Man in the Moon) Will Farrell (caption: Stranger than Fiction), Bill Murray (caption: Broken Flowers), Jim Carrey (caption: Jenny McCarthy) and our poster boy Scott Thompson (Sad music playing in the background) Donate now to the PCBC and help little Scotty Thompson be funny on film again. Thank you....
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What I don't get is the repeated comparisons to "The Following". Hannibal isn't about cults. If you're looking for an apt show to compare "Hannibal" to, why not compare it to Fox's "Millenium". Will Graham has much more in common with Frank Black than with Ryan Hardy.
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Just watched the show tonight after I had taped it a few days ago. Confused near the end as to why the Hobbs guy kills his family after Lecter calls him. What did he say to him? I never saw any of the Hannibal movies, but the show was pretty good up till this point. Can anyone explain?
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Lecter only said "they know".. or sth like that (that was one of the few lines I was able to comprehend that came out of Mikkelsen's mouth:D) so the guy went for the "golden ticket".. but why the hell lecter called the guy, what was his main intention, that I have no clue either..
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Glad I'm not the only one who had trouble making out what Mikkelsen says!
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Well, being Danish myself, after reading this review I now know I've failed my country gravely by not having a Dutch accent. I will immediately turn in my blonde hair, my love of beautiful furniture and my collection of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, before hastily making my exit, covered in shame, to the left.
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I shudder to think how many Amerikankis will not get your clever snark, brother. And Mads is not indecipherable due to his accent, but his underbite. The guy has one of the worst structural lisps I've ever heard. I love him, but any actor sharing a shot with him must need a rain slicker.
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Yeah, I kind of got confused as well as why Mikkelsen was first referred to as Danish but then has a Dutch accent?

Confusing the Dutch with the Germans, I can somehow understand, but really, Danish and Dutch? :s
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so far i am loving the show. i agree completely that the gore and blood is displayed in a beautiful way. and i can't wait for more graham-lecter moments (it's like in the movies when you are saying "don't trust him, he is a psycho" am i the only on who does that? oh well) maybe the series is gonna get the axe after a season... hope not but as long as they know (all the people involved in the making of the series) and make it a d*mn good season i won't complain... maybe.
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pretty good review Tim, well stated points.. for me, there are wins and fails for this show, yet, I will try to watch a couple episodes more.. to begin with the wins: 1) the visual quality, she picturesque scenes, the "replays" in Graham's mind: they are all amazingly beautiful.. it is a show to look at the aestethics, if for nothing else.. 2) also, the idea of two not so well functioning psychopaths, teaming up as a so called ally to FBI is also refreshing.. yet I wonder: how long will it take until Graham the exquisite empathiser will find out what Hannibal is really about and how will the events move on from that point? 3) Laurance Fishborne's presence is by itself a win for the show and I wish they utilized him more.. 4) the acting.. Graham is portrayed perfectly as a man being on the verge of breakdown.. the way he feels and understands and explains it, is great writing in terms of script as well as great acting.. however I cannot say the very same thing for the Hannibal character.. while he, by himself, gives the creeps, I still cannot portray him as a young Hannibal.. 5) the just right amount of gore.. seeing too much blood sprayed around is not much of a problem.. I have seen much harsher torture and violance scenes in plain procedurals like CSI:NY or Criminal Minds.. if they showed how Hannibal took out the lungs I would have given up on the show, at the very moment.. but seeing the lung on the kitchen counter gives enough scare, but not too much..

in terms of fails, first there is too much accent and too much low-key speaking.. as a non-native english speaking person who has watched seasons of shows without any need of a subtitle, this one seems to require one for sure, as I lost many of some very important stuff, kept rewinding and still couldnt get.. the accent is not the only issue with the Hannibal but as I said before the actor himself does not feel like Hannibal (he does feel like a psychopath for sure but maybe I was expecting someone remindin more of good old Anthony Hopkins).. other than that, there is also some serious problems in terms of flow.. the first half and the second half of the show felt as if they were written and directed by two completely different people.. while the first half flew like a river, the second half was way to rushed, chaotic and hard to comprehend.. I hardly understood that the last lady presented open in the field was a work of Hannibal and still cannot understant why.. also why did he warn the killer? he is not a "honor among thieves" kinda person, but is it really possible that he could have guessed that the man would go crazy at that moment? or did he really wanted to see the girl (golden ticket) died? and if he did, why was he in the hospital holding her hand? (I am not even will begin about how to investigators but not offical fbi agents, walk around by themselves, without the proper observation and help of an actual agent).. also, last,but not the least, what the hell was the opening murder about? what happened to the paralized lady after he paralysis? was that related to anything to any degree? who was the killer? the second half, went on as "whatt? why?? really??" for me, and I am only hoping for some of it to be revealed in the next episode.. and, yes, we got it, Hannibal is a cannibal, he eats peoples organs.. eeveryone who watched this show have heard about it and/or watch it already a thousand times.. we really do not need long scenes where Hannibal meticulously eats stuff, we know the deal..

yet, with all the problems, it still is worth giving a shot..
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Obviously Tim doesn´t know the difference between Danemark and Holland. But who cares, danish or dutch, for some americans this is all the same. This started already in the good old days, in Hell on Wheels "the Swede" is the swede although he is actually norwegian.

I haven´t seen this pilot yet but it seems worthwile to watch.
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If Mads Mikkelsen is Danish how can he have a Dutch accent? Wouldn't it be a Danish accent?
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Seems some serial killers' fans and Hannibal's fans are pissed off coz some regular folks expressed their critique of this average show. Critical opinions are good, people. Relax. I think some people just don't like show coz of extreme violence and gore (usual for such genre) and serial killer's adoration thing. But some of critics (including me) don't like it coz it's average looking show with one decent british actor and one helluva great DANISH actor. I'm afraid they're not gonna save this show. But we'll see. The thing is that we don't need another serial killer gore show until it's a smart show (pushing boundaries kinda show, innovative show). I just don't see it in this series yet. Hannibal character is overestimated. It's just recycling of the same story. Madds Mikelsen is trying to make him interesting, it works for a while, but I doubt it will last whole season. I'll give it a shot (4 episodes test) for Mikelsen's sake. Serial killer or murder show can be smart and intriguing without showing so much gore and violence, devil is in details, suspense is all you need. It's a bad sign if series relies on rising amount of blood and violence to keep viewers.
And in the end I think some people are negative of serial killer thing coz reality is more cruel and keeps reminding of itself all the time.
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Great review, the show is artistically captivating, I agree with you, way better than the following. Will Graham fascinates me especially when his with his dogs, love dogs, wish we'd seen more of them. can't wait to see the different relationships grow, especially Will and Hannibal. Just can't wait for more Yay! finally I found a show I can get obsessed about
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Once more spot on Tim!
I totally agree with your review, and I too wondered about those dogs too... we NEED to know more!!!
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Time to hand in your resignations CSI and Criminal Minds, there is a new gut wrenchin, suck you in, glue you to the TV screen show that has just started.
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Leave criminal minds alone! LEAVE CRIMINAL MINDS ALONE!!!
Just kidding, it's a decent show and it has a few good years left to squeeze out of. ;)
Totally right about all the CSI, they're past their expiration dates.
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"It's the unstoppable force and the immovable object catching bad guys!" Great one, Tim.

I also thought it was a bit weird that they went by themselves to investigate the construction site, and then to the guy's home.
You just can't trust Laurence Fishburne when he's 80% sure of something, can you?
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Oh wow, was just reading they have the rights to for Red Dragon, and they said they would do the tooth fairy storyline in season 4, but they dont have the rights to Silence of the Lambs, but they are trying to get them.
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Anyone else hoping this is in a slightly different universe so we can see Graham and Hannibal track down Buffalo Bill, or a younger Tooth Fairy I think that would be really cool.
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I enjoyed the first episode.
I don't see this being a multi-year show. More like do a bang-up job for one season and go away with a happy audience and the knowledge that you did a good job.
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AMAZING. Really, overall brilliant. But the dogs are the best part. I think they're the nice touch that utterly polarizes Graham to Lecter: it's like, "Graham's the good guy, man! The dude's got dogs!!!".
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Ahh yes and I loved it when he bought home a new dog to meet the family.
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Blown away. Must watch further. Beeeep.
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i wonder if Hannibal gonna eat Graham's dog meat to impress the Chinese demographics .. Hot Dogs anyone !
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I was happy with this, though not blown away. With Bryan Fuller on board, I think I expected to much from an NBC procedural-with-a-twist. Still, this is several times better than the intelligence-insulting Following and the confusing and pointless Cult. Thank you for that at least. Also, some excellent casting. Wasn't sold on Graham but glad to see Caroline in something else of Fuller's, I like Fishburne and Mikkelsen, and am very excited by the actors in the preview. I'm not entirely sure what I disliked about it, it is possible I'm just tired of this type of show.

Overall very decent, but I'm sad I'm not immediately in love with it like Dead Like Me or Wonderfalls. Oh well, maybe this one will make up for it by breaking the Bryan Fuller Curse. Needless to say, if The Following and Cult get renewed (I know the former already is) and this doesn't... I think I really will start waiting later to start getting into shows.
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The one person you chose not to mention, which you kind of did, Laurence Fishburne is the reason I will watch this show. He has a resume of acting projects that have impressed me in the past, I shall give this show a watch. The rest of your review gives me reason to tune in as well.
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Mads Mikkelsen is danish and have a danish accent. Not Ductch.
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Great review! I hope the show survives cause I can't wait to see more of this. Loved the rich visuals and the often theatrical acting. I do not see Graham as purely Lecter's plaything. I think there are hints of a mentoring / surrogate father relationship (I am waiting for Lecter to ask Graham about little lambs...). Sure Lecter plays with Graham rather viciously but there's more to it and that is where the cat-mouse play could get confusing down the line. The idea of a serial killer working with the FBI looks a bit like the Homeland's Brody working with the CIA or FBI (can't tell those apart). Based on the pilot, it could be an entertaining ride even if the 'cases of the week' are unlikely to be interesting... Truth is there is not enough time in an ep for the overriding story (the good stuff) and a case of the week (zzzzzh) so this would be better as a drama rather than a procedural but sadly this is NBC and not cable...
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Tim, can you keep reviewing this or if you are to busy then assign it to someone else. I don't think many people are watch The Cult anymore so this show and The Golden Boy should be reviewed--look at what people choose for what they are watching each night--Golden Boy has a lot of people clicking it on this site.
I loved this review so hopefully you can keep doing the review.
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So I compared my favorites with yours and I must say, there are a few surprises..

Shows I expected to be in yours:

Lost
Shameless
Louie
Wilfred
Camelot
The Americans
Alias
Californication
Weeds
Boardwalk Empire

Some Shows I really like & you don't have (Most of them are Comedies or funny Dramas)

Leverage (really funny, good actors & at times very smart show)

Chuck (Great performance by Zachary Levi, sometimes a little cheesy, but I think it was very funny & a little emotional sometimes) Especially first 2 season were very good IMO (Give it a chance, and if you don't like it after 2 episodes, it's not for you..)

Scrubs (Very funny, outrageous and bizar humor. Great performances by Zach Braff and pretty much every actor) Season 9 was a big miss, but first 8 were great

House (Gotta love Hugh Laurie)

That 70's Show (really ?? :p)

Friends (First American comedy show I completely watched & I will always love it)

How I Met Your Mother (esp. the earlier seasons, but I will keep watching untill the end)

Cartoon Comedies are not for you I guess ..

South Park ??

American Dad & Family Guy ??

Cleveland show should have been cancelled after 1 season.



There are still a few shows that you don't have in your list, but those are not very high on my favorite list too..

House of Lies (only saw 1st Season, pretty funny sometimes)
Hung (never really loved it, but was fun at the time)
New Girl (only saw 1st season, also pretty funny sometimes, but could be better)
Falling Skies (I like aliens, but expected more of this show)

Also because you told me you like war shows. I didn't see The Pacific in your list. It was a HBO show from the same creative team as Band of Brothers, about marines who are fighting during WWII in the pacific..


Greetz
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What?? House of lies should be in my list! Same goes for Band of Brothers & Pacific (but BoB was better)--did you EXPAND the list at the bottom? They should be someone on the list. Also Boardwalk empires is on my list as is californication.

I probably forgot to add in Alias and Leverage (but I thought it was on the list). I think someone is messing with my list (lol)...

I wanted to include Lost but the finale pissed me off....

I haven't watched Wilfred yet but it's on my laptop list of shows to watch.

Weeds was good for a few seasons then started going down hill..I still thought it was on my list.

I think someone is messing with my list! lol

The list is NOT in order except for the top few. I also don't like adding new shows because then I have to bump up the top 10 shows (the rest aren't ordered)

I'm probably the only one on this site who watched 2-3 episodes of Louie and didn't like it. I watched about 1/2 the first season of The Americans and just couldn't get into it (Kerri Russell's character turned me off to the show).

I don't watch medically oriented shows like House but watched one episode when visiting my mom and enjoyed it but not enough to watch it regularly. Same goes for scrubs--cute but not my thing.

Chuck was dragged out to long. I liked it for most of the seasons then it started dragging.

I watched one episode of HIHYM and hated it (I don't do well with most sit coms).

New girl was cute but I fell behind on it and plan to catch up on it later.

Falling skies doesn't seem to get good comments from people's whose opinions I respect but I started watching BSG and love it.

Family Guy and Southpark should be on it but I haven't kept current with the shows but liked all the ones I watched

hung was fun but to short and it could of been better

Haven't seen shameless yet

Have no desire to watch Friends but saw a few That's 70s show and it was ok for what it was.

now I need to double check my list since it seems like stuff is missing that should be on there.

Animated comedy--> archer;-)
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You have the exact same thoughts as I used to have about Medical oriented shows. I can't push you, but Scrubs is really one of the funniest shows I ever saw. It would be easier to convince you in my native language.. :p But with this kinda show, I could see perfectly why some people wouldn't like it. And about 3 years ago I could never see myself watching a show like House, but Hugh Laurie is just perfect in the role of "All knowing, publicly drug-taking, sarcastic & Hilarious" Dr House. The concept is usually the same (epiphany at minute 37 and 9/10 House is right & the patient lives) But what makes House great are his interactions with his collegues, the funny dialogues, funny bets & pranks with Wilson, his problems with authority & ethical matters, etc. If there is one episode I would recommend to see: Season 1 Episode 21 Three stories. I know this probably won't make you change your mind, but it was worth a try.

Also give Louie another try. It's really one of the funniest shows that I currently watch and the relationship with his 2 daughters is really amazing. The humor is pretty rude and dark mostly, but thats how I like it.

So I'll give The League a chance and I will let you know my thoughts. And I really recommend you to watch the pilot of Shameless US. That show really amazed me, very powerfull stuff sometimes. I'm almost 99% sure you will love it.
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I plan to try Shameless.

you mention rude and dark humor--I really like The Jeselnik (sp?) Offensive and like rude/dark humor. I tried 1 or 2 episode of Louie but will try again later.

I saw a couple episodes of scrubs and thought it was cute but I prefer darker comedies.

Cheers!
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never mind! I just checked my lists and I must of forgot to include so of my favorite shows like Boardwalk Empires and a bunch of others!
Thanks!
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I guess Tim was too busy.. Why are there only 2 reviews of this (so far-) amazing series? I waited this long to watch, because I knew that I would love the crap out of this show and I was afraid they would cancel it.

Just finished episode 4 (the full episode, not the web series sh*t) and I love it so much! Too bad I can't read other people's insights and opinions of each episode..

Wishlist for the new seasons:

Banshee reviews!

Hannibal reviews!

Shameless reviews!

Sons of Anarchy reviews!
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great wish list!

also continue the POI Justified reviews when they start back up.
Breaking Bad reviews
Ray Donovan reviews
BANSHEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ORPHAN BLACK!
;-)
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Well the idea of Imaginary sports wasn't very appealing to me. I do like most sports (I'm a guy, sue me haha :p ) especially soccer (I know that soccer isn't very appealing to Americans, but I'm a Belgian and here in Europe, soccer is kind of a big deal.. Remember USA - Belgium from a few weeks back? :p ) But I think you convinced me to give The League a chance, because I very much enjoy dark & twisted humor (like Wilfred & Louie)

I also resisted Vikings, because I also thought it could never be something like Spartacus and because it was on History Channel. But I've read a lot of postive things about it, so maybe I'll watch..

I also resisted Da Vincis Demons, because I didn't read much good about the show..

I have seen most episodes of American Horror Story. I watched it with some friends, but we never saw the last or the last 2 episodes of season 2.. I think some elements in season 1 were good and some elements in season 2 were very good. So maybe season 3 will finally be great..

And yes Dexter and Hannibal.. Almost the last 12 episodes of Dexter.. Hope they go out with a Bang :)

& Hannibal.. I watched 8 episodes so far, and each episode I like better than the previous.. Very dark & creepy feeling sometimes (love it) But now I'm waiting because a few friends are catching up, so we can view the last episodes together. I very much loved the performance of Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal. But I believe Mads Mikkelsen has it in him to outperform Anthony Hopkins one day.

Thanks again & Laters!
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if you try The League then send me a message to let me know if you like it or not~~I won't be upset if you didn't like and am just curious to see what you think of it.

It's been fun chatting with you about shows;-)
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First of all, Thanks for your time!
For some reason I cant reply on your big reply (Issues haha)

More Issues, because you think I'm awesome 'cause 24 is my #1 on the list. But I added some TV shows earlier and for some reason those shows appeared at the top of the list. I only saw the first season of 24 and apart from Jack's daughter there is nothing bad about 24 that I can think of. I really liked it but I couldn't find good quality copies at the time for the later seasons. But that shouldn't be a problem anymore today.. :p So maybe I should start there.. :))

I find it too difficult to really rank all my "watched shows" in a particular order. To rank them in different genres would be easier maybe.. But if I would have to say a Top 3, Breaking Bad, The Wire & Game of Thrones would probably be the answer. I also like to give Lost & Prison Break credit because the "American TV-Land" that I'm currently walking in, all started with Lost & PB. They both had their mistakes & flaws, but I will always love both shows for what they are. (If I would think about them too long, I would probably start watching them once again.. But NO! =)) There are too many shows out there that I haven't seen yet.. Hence my question that you answered so quickly..

In the past I was really picky with TV shows, Criticizing everything before I even watched it. (And come to like/love later) Shows like True Blood (for girls) How I Met Your Mother (wannabe Friends) Sons of Anarchy (Gay) etc..
And now it's like some days I think I watch too many TV shows and some days I feel like I haven't seen enough.. And with most shows on hold now, it's a good time to add some more.. :))

There are a few shows you mentioned that I already have on an invisible "to watch list".
Shows like OZ (couldn't get good quality at the time)
Strike Back (so there is a BBC version and a Cinemax version? I was never clear about that)
Suits (a few friends already suggested to watch, I'm not really into law shows but I hear the comedy is quite good)
The Sopranos (No reason not to watch)
Misfits (The actor playing Ramsay Snow on GoT did an amazing job and I saw he is also in Misfits)
Archer (saw a few episodes and got on hold somehow although I did like it)
There are a lot more shows on this imaginary list like The X-files, Parks & Rec, Arrested Development, Seinfeld, Firefly, Deadwood, Rome, Six Feet Under, It's Always Sunny in Philly, ...

As I mentioned before I don't really like Law shows or even cop shows (although I have watched and still watch a few) So I will probably never see The Good Wife and Southland. The Shield is with dirty cops and law breaking stuff going on, so maybe I'll give that a chance one day. It was on FX and the shows on FX have never dissapointed me so far..

I'm also picky with comedies and I think The League is not really for me.. Imaginary sports and all that.. :p But I could be wrong, have been wrong a lot before..

I also love good mystery/drama so I will inform myself on Broadchurch.

And yes I am a true Spartacus fan. I really think that they could have easily added another season without hurting the quality of the story. However they ended it on their own terms and they did it with style. So nothing but love..

Most of all I like these rough and brutal shows like Spartacus, The Wire, Banshee, SOA, BB, ... Thats why I love American cable shows!! Also easily hooked to an interesting Mystery show, altough a lot of these show suffer from cancellation.. So I play the waiting-game a lot.. :p

Big thanks to you again and forgive my rambling please! I will check your list tomorrow or so and I will let you know if there is missing something!
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The League sounds like a sports show but it is not. I'm not a big sports fan (more of a girly girl who likes action, horror, violence, etc...lol). It has twisted humor (dark and not all light and fluffy like so many "comedies"). Also it's an FX show. Try 1-2 episodes and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I hate romantic comedies and am not a sports person (except the occasional basketball games in the finale every decade or so--lol). Sports is really a focus of the show but rather the group of twisted friends.

Southland isn't a traditional cop show--very dark and gritty--not all goody two shoes--more brutal and "real".

Skip the good wife if legal shows aren't your thing.

Strike Back was produced by the BBC for season one but the rest of the season were co-produced by BBC and Cinemax...I think.

The favorites list keeps putting new additions to the top but I try to bump up my top 10 or so shows and rest are random (not in order).

Try Black Mirror (the 1st episode of season 1 is the best in my opinion)

I resisted Vikings because I didn't think it could match up to Spartacus but it is totally different and a good show.

Mad Dogs is great--has a tarantino vibe to it imo

Rescue Me was addicting but I also have a fondness for Denis Leary

You've probably seen it but American Horror Story: Asylum (aka; season 2) is great if you like horror. Season 1 wasn't that great but I liked the school shooting scene (probably because it upset everyone else--lol)

Dexter
Hannibal

Cheers!
Vicky
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Just watched the first 2 episodes of Justified & Orphan Black. And I'm already hooked to both! The ratings for the first 2 seasons of Justified are very poor on this site, but I'm glad I gave it a chance..!

If you know some more good shows, feel free to share! :) (most shows I watched are in my favorite list on my profile)
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wow, we have a lot of overlap on favorites--knew you had good tastes;-)

have you seen OZ (set in a prison)?

Strike Back (Cinemax) is good. Season 1 (done by the BBC before Cinemax was involved) was the best but I still liked the other seasons. I wish there were more military oriented fiction shows. The Unit was good except when it focused on the wives and the last season was bad. The first few season was great when it was in "war mode".

For a good mystery/drama try Broadchurch.

For legal oriented shows try The Good Wife (the concept sounded like crap but it is actually really good for a law show). Suits is a great "legal" oriented show (blend of comedy and legal).

For cop oriented shows, you have to watch Southland and The Shield (I can't remember if you had them but you had The Wire--awesome show).

For supernatural or "special powers" shows consider Misfits

For crime shows try The Sopranos (also there is a lot of overlap of crime shows and cop shows imo).

I'm picky about comedies but I love Legit (first episode was ok but was hooked by episode 2), Archer, and The League.

My favorites are in my list but as soon as I saw 24 as #1 on yours I knew you were awesome;-)
There are sooo many great shows.
Sherlock (mystery with some subtle humor), person of interest....

I basically put everything on my favorites list (anything from liked to loved).

I can't remember if on your list (probably) but definitely Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy should be watched.

if there is anything missing on my list that you think I should watch then let me know.

SPARTACUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm glad to see another Spartacus fan;-) I really miss that show (and Southland and Terries and Alphas)
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Justified and Orphan black are next on my watch-list. But I need to finish some other shows first. Which one would you suggest to watch first? Orphan Black are only 10 episodes, so maybe that would be the better choice..? I have also read a lot of positive things about Rectify on this site..

And I think I will also give Ray Donovan a chance. The trailer looked pretty awesome..
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The are all great.

Maybe Orphan Black first since there are more seasons/episodes of Justified.

Rectify is also great...only one season and not many episodes. A slow (not boring) but gripping drama that is well acted and had beautiful cinematography.

The pilot episode of Ray Donovan is available on line for free. I really liked it.
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I'm banishing Elementary to online viewing in favor of this. Holy characters. Absolutely stunning.
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Will Graham live long enough to see Season 2? I think Lecter's going to work some mind job on him and it'll be the FBI killing Graham as the shocker to end the season. I'm putting this together from the look ahead at the end of the premiere.
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I really liked the actors and the story was compelling. I'm going to watch it and so far it is better then The Following and I just quit The Cult (ugh!).
I hope he had the dog on the leash scanned for a chip if it didn't have a tag on the collar. So far it's great. The violence/blood reminds me of Spartacus--kind of beautiful but it just sounds twisted to say blood & violence can be beautiful (I thought the movie 300 was beautifully violent). Regardless, it's the characters (especially Graham) that draw me in (but the actor playing Hannibal is fabulous).
off to read the comments--hopefully not all negative just because it involves a serial killer.
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hmm, a lot of negatives (people are sick of serial killers--I think they are horrible but fascinating) about another "serial killer" show but even more are upset about the Dutch vs Danish comment--don't underestimate a person's pride in their country/nationality!
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That's right. And Tim DID write that Mikkelsen is Danish, but also that he had a Dutch accent. Just a little mix-up there. Although I guess it IS possible to have a Dutch accent even though you're from Denmark (or from anywere else, for that matter...)
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I'm from Belgium and my native language is Dutch. But Danish people talking with a Dutch accent would be really weird..

So it MIGHT be possible, but it would be very weird..
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I bet not everyone who was pissed off about Surette's ignorance is Danish. I am certainly not Danish, I just appreciate talented actors no matter what nationality they are.
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I was pissed and I'm Brazillian.
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for some reason that made me smile in a good way. I see the comment as respectful on behalf of other countries but its still made me smile;-)

Brazillians are hot blooded (stereotype) which may be why some of the best MMA fighters come out of Brazil. About half of my family are from Central America and they are "hot blooded"--which is a good thing--passionate.

The only thing I don't like about Brazil is you all are so gorgeous in general and I am jealous of people prettier then me...lol, just kidding

All the Brazillians I have met have been wonderful people and you have a gorgeous country!
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mads mikkelsen is danish not dutch.
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This time I'm not gonna write a puff piece like I did on so many other shows this season. Trying to make something bad better.
Hannibal doesn't need praise or compliments. It speaks for itself.
Though I think it'll be too high-toned for most viewers - let alone network viewers - I hope it'll last longer than only this one season. I guess we'll see...
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I can't stand these sorts of shows, as much as I oppose censorship in any form I really wish TV producers wouldn't devote so much money & time to normalising abnormal behaviour. I turned off after 10 minutes or so because I didn't really care who was the bad/good/gray guy anymore they all needed to put work into themselves.
Surely the dire criminal minds with its serial killer a week for umpteen seasons must have used up all available psychopathic killers in amerika. And didn't that dexter bloke knock off all the truly evil serial killers?
Although psychopathy isn't that rare, murdering psychopaths are. The casual acceptance of this behaviour as a normal expected 'outlet' for every person who lacks empathy, as demonstrated in these facile dramas with adult violence, is bound to have an effect on many psychopaths and lead them into criminal acts.
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Based on the following sentence of yours, it sounds like you are pro-censorship or pro-psychopaths being led into criminal acts (fyi: I disagree with the following quote): "The casual acceptance of this behaviour as a normal expected 'outlet' for every person who lacks empathy, as demonstrated in these facile dramas with adult violence, is bound to have an effect on many psychopaths and lead them into criminal acts."
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Anyway, NBC is into endless chewing of the same crap. How many interpretations and prequels of Hannibal are we going to have? Is there anything left to say about him? Is there, really? How did this cesspool formely known as NBC blackmail Madds Mikelsen into working for them? Same crap about serial killers. Cable give us tits and asses, network blood and gore.
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I am asuming that you have a TV remote and know how to change the channel?? Best you use it next week while Hannibal is on hey.
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how ignorant... For your information, the official canon has only three films-- Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon and Hannibal. Hannibal Rising did not star Anthony Hopkins nor did it resemble the other films in any way (it was about Hannibal as a child). The TV series is based on a section of Hannibal's life not covered in any books or movies. So, I'm guessing you either haven't read/watched the available material or you simply didn't watch the show and decided you had enough expertise to criticize it. Oh, and by the way. cable gives you blood and gore. Porn sites give you tits and asses.
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Cable do give us tits and naked asses. Go watch HBO, GoT, Showtime shows, a lot of titties and bare backs or even dicks. Porn sites are giving you exactly what it's supposed to. And I've watched all Hannibal features, you forgot Mann's Manhunter on which Red Dragon was based partly. Know some movie history, man. And it is enough stories already. I don't see any need in TV series about this abnormal refine douche, who eats people's meat. It's a boring character already. TV producers just can't find interesting in sick way serial killer anymore, so they go same old way. They are broke creative-wise. And don't tell me that you don't see that network is afraid of showing naked bodies, they mostly makes a bet on gore and violence. Coz it;s a lot safer ratings-wise.
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I wouldn't say that Manhunter is part of the same canon. Hannibal's last name is spelled "Lecktor" in that film. And calling Bryan Fuller "broke creative wise" either means you have higher standards that humans can achieve or you haven't seen Fuller's work. I completely understand if you think that you've had your dose of Hannibal Lecter, but to say so would make you part of a minority. Oh, and by the way, calling Hannibal an "abnormal refine douche" is not only grammatically incorrect... it means that the show's crew has achieved its goal.
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It makes me sad that no one ever seems to remember Manhunter.
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I turned the show of after 10 minutes. It was terrible. The music was just too painful to my ears...
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I bet this goes like so many previewed 'hard hitting shows', namely the odd TV14 and then PG-tastic therein. I'm not saying shows need visual violence or gore to be strong or taxing viewing but considering the story matter, there should be more mature output and I don't see it lasting. The beginning was too OTT, what with the supposed gunshots being more accurate than the world's best neurosurgeons could make with a scalpel in certainty. Of course all can be blamed on dreams, even though they're meant to represent brilliant subliminal thought.
After that though, things picked up with the well placed who's who and what's what juxtaposition of good guy/s vs. bad.
Lecter's toying with people is fun and believable but Fishburne's shouting and interfering with Graham makes little sense, if he has the disorders so heavily stated in the pilot.
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Based on the previews, there are some interesting guest stars coming up: at least Eddie Izzard and Gillian Anderson.
I watched the pilot even though I promised not to. I just had to see Mads Mikkelsen's performance, and it didn't disappoint. However, the show was kind of what I expected: slightly boring. Well made, but also boring. It's just that there has been so many find-the-serial killer shows, that Hannibal just feels like one more in the bunch. Though I do understand if someone likes this show, I just don't have the patience to continue watching it.
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Wow. This looks very promising.
Of course I shouldn't get my hopes up too high. One has to remember that The Following's pilot looked really good too.
But I think this could turn into something exceptional.

ps. that would be a Danish accent not Dutch.
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I like Mads’ incarnation of the mad character because he leaves somewhere for the character to go. We are meeting Hannibal early on and he isn’t completely mad yet. I had an early start this morning before I went to work at DISH but I was able to catch the Hannibal premiere anyway. I just instantly skip the commercials with my DISH Hopper DVR so I can get an hour show watched in about 40 minutes; the exact amount of time it takes me to get ready for work. The time I save helps me get more shows watched during the week and enjoy more of how TV relaxes me.
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While I liked the show, I could not understand 75% of what Hannibal was saying. I kept imagining Mush-Mouth from Fat Albert reading the lines.

I mean I wore my TiVo out rewinding to re-listen and decipher what the words were... which killed the flow of the program.
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Try subtitles; they are made with the hard of hearing and Americans in mind, as the latter can't seem to understand barely another nationality speaking English :P
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I want to see it but at the same time I don't
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