So the other day we were a bit snowed in here, and we were thinking about what we were going to watch all day. The new TV series Hannibal’s first season has come to Amazon Prime and we missed it when it was on. Due to the fandom, and great internet following, we decided to check it out.
I’m a fan of Silence of the Lambs, and I’ve seen Hannibal the movie. I have not seen the one with “youth Hannibal” because that I don’t care so much about. I recently watched Red Dragon, which is boring and a bit confusing, but has some winning parts like the very first five minutes. In the first five minutes of the film you are introduced to Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). He’s not behind the glass doors of an asylum but sitting in the audience watching an orchestra. He’s clearly holding a lot of disdain towards one of the flute players who is completely off key. Of course, ten seconds later at a dinner party that he is hosting, one of his guests brings up how sad it is that the flute player recently went missing. We, as the audience, are to believe that Hannibal “took care of him” and that he is most likely serving his body parts for dinner. After the guests leave Special Agent Will Graham (Edward Norton) shows up at his front door. Apparently, Dr. Lecter has been working with the FBI to help in profiling serial killers. Eventually Graham realizes that the killer he’s looking for is Lecter, which leads to Lecter’s demise. The film again was a bit boring, and I would have much more preferred if Lecter was the actual villain of the film, but he’s only in it for twenty minutes.
Hannibal the TV series takes place supposedly years before Red Dragon. It airs on NBC and stars Hugh Dancy as Will Graham, Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and Laurence Fishburne as Special Agent in Charge Jack Crawford. The show delves into the character of Will Graham far more than the film did. In the movie, Will Graham apparently has something no one else has, an imagination. In the show, yes he has a great imagination and is able to relive the crime committed, not a “Sherlock” type way, where there is writing all over the place, and you see how many clues there are in the room, but in a way where he commits the crime as the assailant in his mind. He’s a dark character who is tiptoeing on the verge of becoming a killer himself, but his empathy and his morality keep him grounded. Each time that he has to relive a crime in his mind, it seems to physically tear something away from him.
Mads Mikkelsen does an absolute incredible job of playing Hannibal Lecter. He has the same creepy class that Anthony Hopkins gave to the character in Silence of the Lambs. He brings something new to the character that has you routing for him to win. In the series he acts as an anchor to Will Graham. While Will’s mind is breaking a part with every crime he solves, he comes to Dr. Lecter for help in breaking down how the killer’s mind works without realizing he is in the room with a killer himself, to the point where the two begin to build a friendship.
Hannibal also seems to have rules in the series. He does eat his victims but not the entire body, sometimes only certain parts, mainly organs, and the way he prepares the food is almost half the reason to watch the show. He’s using French techniques to saute someone’s lungs or to bake a stuffed heart. His victims are all people who in his own mind deserved to be killed and not just killed, but killed by him. If there is a “red shirt” in the episode who is vulgar around Hannibal he uses them as an example or as a way to further Will’s examination of the crime. At a few different points he cooks people and serves their pieces unknowingly to his guests. If prepared in such an artistic and classic way, how could one tell if they are eating human or animal? Plus, most of the people that Hannibal serves don’t question what kind of meat it is since Hannibal says it in French and is also obviously a very good liar.
Laurence Fishburne is another who does an amazing job on the show as Jack Crawford, who is a character in both Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon. He’s a counterpoint to all of the psychiatrists in the room. Although he has the patience and the respect to deal with the doctors he has to deal with, he is still the one who has to think outside the box. Even if Will believes that the teenage girl isn’t a killer, Jack has to put it in his list of possibilities.
The show is really great, smart, and very entertaining, but like most television that I love it is also pretty gruesome. It’s created by Bryan Fuller of Pushing Daisies so it’s a very visual show as well. The first season which is thirteen episodes long is now on Amazon Prime and the second season starts February 28th.
I hope you guys check it out! Thanks for reading!