Hannibal – The Series

imageI’ve spent the past few days getting caught up on this new series called Hannibal. It’s somewhat surprising to see this is from NBC since they aren’t exactly known for good dramas. But this has turned out to be surprisingly good even though it may not be for the faint of heart. If you’re a fan of Criminal Minds, Dexter, Major Crimes, etc, this should right up your alley.

One of the main characters is none other than Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon. In fact, credit is given that the characters are based on those from Red Dragon. This is a prequel that leads up to the events of that time period. As a counterpart to the psychiatric insight of Lecter we have Will Graham, the slightly off-balance, nightmare riddled FBI Profiler who’s probably more unstable than the criminals he’s chasing down. And there are plenty of other characters who have their own demons. Everyone is a bit off kilter in this one.

Unlike many other shows, this one is not episodic, meaning the story runs across multiple episodes and isn’t neatly completed at the end of the hour. I much prefer this style, similar to Dexter, where a real story can come together and lots of layers can be piled on. It also means you can weave in treachery, deceit and hide secrets.

Hannibal has even hit it’s own bit of controversy where Episode 4 was held back in the wake of the events in Boston. Perhaps the timing was off for a show like this, but the content had nothing to do with those events and people who would be offended by the material or timing of the airing wouldn’t be watching it anyway. And ironically, the episode they put on instead came across as far more disturbing with the backs of victims being carved into the wings of angels. I’m not a censor, so who knows what was behind that decision.

So far, I find this show very interesting and engaging. We know who Dr. Lecter is and what he’s going to do, we’re now peering in to see if we can find out why. However, the characters don’t have any knowledge of those events, so what clues can they pick up on, if any. It makes for some interesting watching, especially with how Hannibal treats people and what he feeds them for dinner. Is that really rabbit they’re eating? The flashbacks as Hannibal speaks lead me to believe otherwise. :) How about you?

I also see Hannibal akin to the character of Dracula. He comes across as smooth, collected, sure of himself and what he’s doing. He always seems to be calm, speaks slowly and all his motions seem deliberate. It’s like he’s casting a trance on those around him.

And then there is the chaos of Will. He is akin to the “Frank Blank” from the old “Millennium” series. He sees what the killer sees, that’s his curse. It plagues and haunts him, perhaps drives him to madness. Is he any more stable than Hannibal? On the surface it doesn’t seem so.

How soon until the real Hannibal is revealed? Will his law enforcement friends see the real persona? Is he really responsible for some of the events taking place around him, or is he somehow planting the power of suggestion in other people to do his bidding?

Anyone else tuning in for Hannibal? And did you watch the uncut version that NBC thought would be too much for the audience? What do you think? Are you concerned about what you’re eating?

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