Need I say, pun very much intended. ;) Kudos to whoever made that brilliant casting call. The rest of the cast is pretty solid as well. The direction and production values are through the roof. It can get pretty dark and almost too deep(?) sometimes. I feel like I'm holding my breath the whole time I'm watching it. It's a great show, probably one of the best shows around right now, but it's definitely not for everyone.
For many fans of the Hannibal Lechter films, the jury is still out on the new TV show, Hannibal. While the ratings have been passable, when you ask people what they think of the show, most will tell you they haven't seen it yet. If NBC would put more money into advertising and let it stream on Netflix, I have little doubt that this will be a top ten show.
People are hesitant to watch a Lechter story without the legendary Anthony Hopkins, however once you get into the story, you will see that this isn't a problem. The series takes place in between the events of Hannibal Rising and Red Dragon, featuring Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) in his prime, as the FBI's top profiler. As seen in the opening scene of Red Dragon, Graham got help solving his cases from the world renowned psychologist, Dr. Hannibal Lechter (Mads Mikkelsen). The series focuses on this relationship, with Graham, who of course is in the dark over who Lechter really is. Lechter serves as a calming element in the vary chaotic and troubled life of Graham, and also plays the intermediary between Graham and his boss, Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne). This dynamic allows the FBI to solve some of the most heinous serial crimes they've been faced with.
For those of you still hesitant about watching this series, a few things to keep in mind. The same writers, producers, and directors who worked on the four films are behind this series. There are frequent references to all the films, and points where they actually clear up plot holes from the films. That alone should be enough to get people interested, but what really brings the story to the same level as the film series is Hugh Dancy as Will Graham.
Will Graham is a much deeper character than we came to know in Red Dragon. He is extremely complicated and as it turns out, not all that different from Lechter. Hugh Dancy, a veteran of a lot of bad movies, stars and is tremendous. Award shows are notorious for ignoring performances in series that feature gore and violence, but if anyone deserves an Emmy for best actor it his him. Dancy regularly gives a performance that is the best I've seen in a TV show since Breaking Bad. He really is that good.
Mads Mikkelsen is also terrific as Dr. Lechter. I wasn't sure how a French guy known for B-movies would do taking on the epic character of Hannibal Lechter, but he has shown all the class, humor, and madness of the legendary character. Finally, Laurence Fishburne rounds out the cast as the only big name involved in the project. He plays the boss, Jack Crawford, and is very important as the man who brought Graham and Lechter together. In my opinion, Fishburne is the perfect choice as he's cold, emotionless, and deeply focused on on thing, getting the job done.
You don't know most of the actors, but you know the characters. The cast of Hannibal is outstanding and will give you the chance to see your favorite characters in a whole other light. I love the Lechter films and was hesitant about watching this show myself. I didn't want to tarnish my view of the characters or the films, but this series is the missing companion piece that fills in the holes and gives you an all new appreciation for Lechter.
Hannibal has great set designs, good sound, great actors, a story worth telling, and some good ol' fashioned blood and gore to top it off. A recipe for success right? Well unfortunately.. No.
Pack up your flamethrowers, fanboys (you know who you are (pointing at you, green score guys below me)), and hear me out. Hannibal is a great example of how you can do almost everything right on a show, yet make it mediocre if you mess up one of its major compononents. I'm talking ofcourse about the writing of the show. (Beware: There's going to be a few minor spoilers ahead)
Let's start with Graham, the protagonist. He works as a consultant for the fbi. The show doesn't waste any time establishing him as Sherlock's second coming. Whereas Sherlock had heightened observational skills, Graham uses his.. Wait for it.. Empathy! Okay, okay.. Maybe that's not so strange afterall, it's a great tool for profilers. It gets strange however, when his emphatic empathy allows him to visualize crimes, upon seeing the crimescene. Knowing the why of things (and doing so upon seeing a gut painting is a little presumptuous, even if your empathy scored: Jesus +10), doesn't make you know the how of things, but the show disagrees on that. It relies so heavily on this "because of empathy" thing, that it doesn't even bother to show the viewers a lot of the supposed clues on which Graham's vivid visions are based, pretty much making him a psychic. Customary to these kind of things, the fbi (or rather: The consultant's sidekicks) are there just to make Graham look super special. The show throws them a bone every now and then, having them highlight a clue, which Graham then connects to something no one else saw, because he's smarter.
That brings me to Hannibal, the criminal mastermind which the show interpreted as: "The obvious killer who has this uncanny ability to make everyone stupid about everything that concerns him " Really.. it doesn't get any dumber than this. In the show, a fellow, random psycho spots him in a crowd, and knows Hannibal exactly for what he is (takes one to know one I guess), but empathetic wonderboy's mind is drawing a blank. The fbi should've hired that psycho, his psychic abilities exceed even Graham's. While watching the show you'll notice that Hannibal is either really lucky (Cops not telling anyone they're going to Hannibal's office when they happen upon clues, making it easy for him to kill them) or just bluntly saved by the writers themselves, where impossible things happen offscreen and the writers don't even feel like they owe us an explanation for what happened.
The show is not very subtle in establishing characters. It mainly comes down to: "Care for Graham, because he takes in stray dogs" and " oh look, the tough as coffin nails police chief has a heart afterall, because he's sweet to his wife who has cancer (and she pretty much has cancer for that purpose the first season)" The show constantly yells at us how smart Hannibal is (by having him quote textbook psychology), not to mention how sophisticated he is, because he cooks, listens to classical music, sips wine and has more books than anyone could ever read. The usual smoke and mirrors to make characters appear deep, without requiring any effort of the writers.
The show having an episodic nature really doesn't help it, because it becomes extra cheesy (I have nothing against episodic shows, they just make bad writing extra apparent). Every episode you get to see a killer who is very artsy fartsy about how to arrange the crimescene. Every episode there's a killer with some sort of rare dissorder. There's a couple of decent fillerplots there, but most of them are just dire.
And yes, all this ranting was about the writing of the show, because honestly.. The rest of the show is really good. .
I really liked the show from the beginnig and i have watched it non-stop- but the last episode... WTF?! It sucked BIG time and made me furious. Makes me not want to watch this crap anymore. You better make Will survive and take out his revenge - or else you've lost a viewer for sure!
I was hooked from the first episode and couldn't wait for season two after season one finished. But what seems to happen to the shows I follow here in Australia, free to air shows are now on pay TV.
Thank you downloads. I was able to download the complete season in one go and watch it over two days.
It's amazing and at the same time scary that one writer, Bryan Fuller can come up with a corpse being frozen, sawed in six ? vertical slices and displayed standing in a row, in one episode. To a corpse being hidden in a dead horse in the next episode. To Mason Verger cutting off pieces of his face to feed to Will's dogs. Boy would Hannibal like to get you in therapy Bryan.
So now it's between seasons and I'll have to sit tight, to find out who survives out of the four critically injured characters.
i'm a kind of person who enjoys crime shows always wanted to see a perfect crime show about serial killers without the stupid romance and censoring of the bodies and hide clues that the detective see and other elements that makes ANY tv show rubbish for me, however! i was hesitating to watch hannibal i was afraid it would made me lose my interest in the character of doctor Lecter as Anthony Hopkins but as soon as i started watching it it turns out to be the most amazing tv show i've seen the casting is perfect, the amount of crimes and ideas in it is remarkable, the direction, story line, psychological thriller... dare i saw it was perfect for me i sure hope it continue to many seasons probably even when hannibal gets caught? what i know is i highly recommend it and it's my favorite show
You are clearly not a very intelligent person as the reasons you give for this show being bad are actually what make's it great. No, Hannibal is not a paint-by-numbers drama like your used to. It's difficult to understand sometimes and it can be slow, but so was breaking bad. Your brain is full of pop culture and jizz, go watch glee or some other sugar coated, *** bait. This program has layers, subtext, they speak in prose, the characters are constantly surprising us and revealing new characteristics. Your problem is that you've watched so much shit that now when you see actual genius and artistic merit you don't recognise it. I'm glad you don't like it because if you did it probably wouldnt be worth watching. Oh and if you think im wrong about this then why dont you check out the other reviews and then you'll see that you are one of a few morons who dont understand what Hannibal is about, you are one of a few idiots who watch crap all day and have the balls to talk smack about a truly awesome show. for shame. My favourite part of your review was the bit where you said "It's too dark," hahahahahaha. you really are a fukin idiot. A programme about serial killers and psychopaths that's too dark? whatever next?
I did not like the first episode because it was so slow and boring (and trite and clichd for that matter). Later in the first season, it got sort of interesting so I changed my mind about it, but then in season two, it is back to being slow and boring.
The show is currently slower than molasses in winter and duller than Bieber and Kartrashian combined.
I really hate shows and movies where the characters speak so slow that you can go to the bathroom between words, especially the kind where they don't even make eye contact while speaking to each other and stare off into space as though they are "deep in thought".
This show could not only be watchable at all, but actually interesting if they picked up the pace (by about 100x) and sped it the hell up. Currently it is an intolerable, tedious, and excruciating chore to sit through episodes, watching the slow, meaningless blather, waiting to get to the actual stories.
If I wanted to watch a show with nothing but a bunch of people sitting around and emoting, I would watch a soap-opera.
As to whatever little content there is in the show, the idea of someone consult on cases about psychopaths while secretly being one is certainly not new, but this could certainly work (if it had a much faster pace). Anyone who is familiar with the books and/or movies can potentially appreciate and enjoy the show.
I had originally disliked Mads as Hannibal because he was fairly off-putting. Something about him just looked and felt odd and out of place. He has grown on me and I have accepted him as being quite fitting for the role. I still do not like Will and would be perfectly happy if he was cut from the show altogether. He has little use in the show and the whole crazy-cop-insight-to-catch-crazy-killers gimmick is already played out and hackneyed (Dexter did it much better).
They should drop Will and focus on Hannibal and Crawford matching wits; that would be much more interesting.
Also, the show is far too dark. Not thematically, but chromatically. The jarring visuals are lost and wasted if you CANNOT EVEN SEE them. For example, I could barely tell that Mason was cutting his face because the screen was so damn dark. The special effects and stuff that they spent time and money on were completely wasted; they could just as easily have shown him from behind and indicated what's happening with words since that's how I had to find out what's going on anyway (thank goodness that at least had the consideration to at least say what's happening in words, otherwise I would have no clue and would have to try to find out if there is a version of the show with descriptive video or something).
Viewers should not have to mess with their display settings to see what the hell is on screen, assuming they can at all.
I absolutely love the show and every single aspect of it. That is why my friend and I created a blog dedicated to Hannibal. We think that other fans would enjoy "Cannibalism & All The Rest" and we're trying to build a fan-base. If anyone is interested, we'd love to hear your comments about the show on the blog.
I love this show!!! I hope it never just get cancelled. I'm so tuned in when I watch because its all so interesting. I don't try to pick on some irregularities and just accepts it as it is... although, it has made me re watch the movies!! yeah!!
I LOVE the music! It's eerie and nerve racking and beautiful... I wish it was on cd. If the show gets cancelled then I am giving up on many of my favorite shows have been cancelled while shows like 3 1/2 men never go away.
The production value, the lighting, the acting, the writing, and most of all the food styling are all great! This definitely for me is ranked as one of the best produced shows I've scene. Albeit the subject matter and design has a preternatural ability to make you either lose your appetite and be scared for the rest of the evening or be enthralled by the storyline and psychoanalysis of the human mind, and be enamoured by his cooking skills. It is a great show, and should it stay on NBC will definitely be one of the cult favourites.
It has around the same number of viewers as Mad Men, and while it is a cable not syndicated show, it has a low production cost and is still relatively knew. My only hope is that if it is not renewed by NBC for a 3rd series Amazon, SyFy, Netflix, or another network will pick it up. It's potential is to only get better and Bryan Fuller has ensured it will remain a great show through the test of time.
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