Hannibal was an American psychological thriller series which was adapted from the book series on Dr Hannibal Lecter. The TV show was in many ways different from the books, the biggest one being the absence of Clarice Starling. Her place was taken by another character from the book Red Dragon, Will Graham.
Developed by: Bryan Fuller
No. of seasons: 3
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Lawrence Fishburne, Caroline Dhavernas, Gillian Andersen & others
A friend recommended Hannibal to me sometime last year. I only got around to seeing it this year when the last season had already begun. I found the first season really boring & it took me nearly three weeks to complete the season, after which I took a break from the show for a week or two. It was that boring. All that blood & that stag constantly marching about was just too much to watch.The only reason I downloaded the next season was to see more of Mads Mikkelsen 😛 In an otherwise boring story line he really shoulders the responsibility of being the lead guy. Mads takes Hannibal to a completely new level.
The second season was a lot better. I loved the part where Will has finally figured out Hannibal & is desperate to first convince others of his innocence & of Hannibal’s crimes, but later on goes on to plan Hannibal’s murder & get justice for himself. The last episode of Hannibal S2 is unforgettable. That fight scene between Hannibal & Jack Crawford is pure gold. Hannibal pounding against the pantry door like a bull, Alana finding him & discovering his true self, the “be blind, not brave”, Abigail’s murder, him previously sniffing Freddie Lounds on Will, each & everything steadily built up for a stupendous climax.
The third season begins in Europe & I am not going to forget Hannibal racing through the streets of Paris on a bike, in leather, anytime soon. ❤ Cannibal or not, the man has style. No one can deny that. Season 3 was good, especially the first half. Muskrat Farm was wonderful to watch, but did they really need to add the Alana – Margot angle to the show? Also, Alana pretty much made me sick this season. It looked as if Caroline was for some reason trying to imitate Gillian Andersen’s psychiatrist voice. Gillian’s voice is irritating enough, but still a whole lot better than Caroline. Also, Caroline in those weird suits & that weird hairstyle & that whole “Oh my baby is a Verger baby” thing & “Oh I am so rich now” attitude made my stomach turn. She behaved as if she had caught Hannibal herself 😛 I am not going to mention the Red Dragon at all. Richard Armitage is super but the Red Dragon was boring as a book & it was boring to watch on TV too.
What I liked:
- Season 2, Hannibal beating the shit out of Crawford. Hannibal asking Alana to be blind, not brave.
- Hannibal in Florence
- Hannibal hanging Pazzi like his ancestor. That was a damn wicked thing to do.
- Jack beating the shit out of Hannibal.
- Hannibal smelling Freddie Lounds on Will. It made me shiver with an impending sense of dread
- Hannibal escaping Muskrat Farm
- Hannibal on a bike whizzing through the streets of Paris
- I am a vegetarian but I loved each & every dish presented on the show. The food is presented in such an artistic manner (this is true for the entire show really) that you can make a vegetarian drool over meat (even human meat :P)
- Richard Armitage as an actor is very talented & a pleasure to watch onscreen. I wished they had had him for something better than the Red Dragon. Another fabulous actor was Lawrence Fishburne. He nailed it as the chief of Behavioural Sciences. He had some memorable scenes with Mads & Gina. Eddie Izzard & Raul Esperaza were more great additions to the cast.
- This is one of those shows where the book to show transition was pretty good in some parts. It was a good mixture of Thomas Harris’s work & Bryan Fuller’s fanfiction.
What I did not like:
- No Clarice! Why?! Such an awesome character & you skip her. It might have helped you get the ratings which could have saved this show. Also, they had a Clarice on the show already. CAROLINE! She would have made a fabulous Clarice. Alana could have stayed Alan & Caroline would have been better off as Clarice. But then there would have been no Hannigram & it was obvious that the makers were really invested in Hannigram & wanted it to happen at any cost.
- The show sometimes was too much about Will Graham than about Hannibal.
- While I enjoyed Hannigram, I must confess I still love Clarice X Hannibal & will always wonder who they would have cast as Clarice opposite Mads. Will Graham is a boring character who is nothing compared to Clarice. And Hugh Dancy is good as an actor & does justice to the character but as the character is pretty one dimensional there is only so much that he can do with it. Leave him alone with his dogs or doing his empathy thing & you can easily snooze for a few minutes.
- I would have loved a flashback in to Hannibal’s childhood, Mischa, Lady Murasaki, etc. Had they got another season, maybe they would have done it.
- Alana Bloom & her whole ‘you are such a monster’ & ‘I am such a pure, innocent soul’ attitude. She was shameless enough to go to the monster for help, once for Will & once for her darling Margot, but once her work is done she completely forgets that she owes her Verger baby & all that wealth to this same monster. She is not as bad as him but she isn’t as sinless as she would have everyone believe.
- Gillian Anderson’s voice when she was counselling Hannibal. It grated on my nerves.
I am really surprised that this show & Mads haven’t received any Emmy nominations. But then shitty things like Game of Thrones S5 & horrible actors like Emilia Clarke are nominated. So maybe it is OK to not be in the same category as them.
I am surprised that they had to cancel this show for lack of ratings. I would have understood it being cancelled for violence or some such reason. But how can this not have viewership? It has great actors, great story, epic execution of the story, great direction, food porn, has gay & lesbian love stories. I wish that the show gets picked up by some other networks but the chances of it seem dim what with Mads & Hugh already having found new work. And if it is renewed after say 5 years, will all the same actors be available to play their respective parts? A show is a success because of the entire team, even those working behind the scenes & hence I am not too enthusiastic about a renewal as it is almost always impossible to get the same set of people to work together after a long gap. And I will never watch the show/ movie if even a single actor is replaced! Hence maybe it is better this way.